Normally I'm not a recipe type person and I don't usually post them, but I'm posting this for my sister, Pat, because she wanted to know how the bisque turned out, and because it turned out so amazingly well, I just have to share.
Okay, as a preface, these are not pictures of the bisque I actually made, I snagged them on-line because I didn't think to take pix myself when I was making the bisque.
So I absolutely LOVE butternut bisque. When I lived in New Hampshire there was a restaurant downtown below the legal office I worked in, that made the most amazing butternut bisque I have ever tasted in my life. So for the past nine years I've been ordering at restaurants, and making bisques at home, trying to capture that taste I love so well. Nothing has ever come close until now. A few weeks ago I went to our Farmer's Market and picked up a butternut squash. It was a massively large squash, so I thought I'd try to make a bisque again. I went on-line and printed out 5-6 different butternut bisque recipes. Because I ended up adding so many different vegetables, and adding sweet potatoes, that no recipe called for, and parsnips to get the flavor of cardamom without paying a fortune for that spice, I didn't think I could call this a true butternut bisque, so that's why I call it a Farmer's Market Bisque.
I took all the basic ingredients that go in all butternut bisques, but then I took the most interesting ingredients from all the recipes and put them all together into my bisque. The result was phenomenal! The scent of this bisque cooking all day was unbelievable and it was so easy to make as well, that I was astounded at how delicious it was when I've been trying for years and never produced anything like this before. Now I do have to warn you, the recipe I'm including below was made in a giant-assed crockpot. You can cut the recipe in half if you like. I intended to make a large pot so I could freeze the leftovers. Also, this is a vegetarian recipe for those who need that. If you don't care about meat, you can use chicken stock instead of vegetable stock and probably get the same result. As for the spices, sorry, I didn't measure anything, I just sprinkled in the spices, heavy-handed for the ones I liked, a teaspoon at the time for spices I wasn't that familiar with, and then let it cook and I would come back and add more spice to my own taste. I just thought that apples might have been good in this, I just didn't think to add them. This bisque ended up with a savory, complex flavor, the apples might have added a hint more sweetness.
Farmer's Market Bisque
Chop all vegetables into cubes. Put everything in a large crock pot at the same time and cook on low all day.
1 large butternut squash (4-5 lbs)
4 medium sweet potatoes
2 large white potatoes
2 medium carrots
2 medium parsnips
2 medium leeks
1 medium yellow onion
3 large celery stalks including leaves (the leaves carry a lot of flavor)
2-3 large garlic cloves
2 containers vegetable stock (approx. 8-9 cups)
1 lemon (squeeze & use the juice only)
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Add rosemary, tarragon, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, thyme, cayenne pepper,
salt and black pepper to taste.
Use an immersible food processor to blend all the ingredients into a smooth bisque after they have cooked all day. Eat with a nice crusty bread and fresh butter.