vegan butternut squash and apple bisque

Posted on Jan 19, 2012 in Food

“Bisque” is one of those red flag words that all the diet books tell you to stay away from when ordering in a restaurant. Because hiding behind the guise of a veggie-packed soup, a bisque is usually chock full of high-fat, high-calorie cream. You go in thinking you are getting a bowlful of veggies when you are actually getting a caloric bomb.

But not all bisques are created equal.

It is entirely possible to get a silky smooth, creamy and comforting bisque without a drop of cream. In fact, you can do it without a single drop of dairy. This vegan bique is a great way to get a serving or two of veggies in a low-calorie, super flavorful meal. When this sucker is cooking, it’s easy to think that there is no possibly way it’ll end up creamy—it’s all veggies! But then once it goes for a whirl in the blender, the soup that comes out is almost pillowy soft. I loved, loved, loved this soup.

I am a big fan of butternut squash. Not only because they are delicious and a great way to get in your daily allowance of Vitamin A and dietary fiber, but also because they are one of the easiest produce items to preserve for the winter. We had one butternut squash plant this summer, planted in a large planter on our apartment patio. That single plant gave us eight squash, which we cured and now have sitting in our dining room just waiting to be used. It’s a really nice treat to be able to use fresh produce that I grew, even in January! Not into growing your own? Next Early Fall, hit up the farmer’s market and snatch up a ton of butternuts while they are cheap and in season. They store beautifully in a cool and dark place. Then, you can avoid shelling out $10 for one squash out of season in the supermarket (been there, done that).

Vegan Butternut and Apple Bisque

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Makes: 6 servings

The real flavor star in this soup is the butternut squash. The apple lends a nice, naturally-sweet side note that partners perfectly with the warmth of the squash. No apples on hand? Sub in a tablespoon of honey (which isn’t vegan) or maple syrup for a similar taste. If you want to up the protein of this dish, sprinkle some crunchy, earthy salted pumpkin seeds on top.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated and peeled ginger
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, chopped
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add garlic, onion, ginger and carrots and cook until softened, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add in all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until all vegetables are very soft.
  3. Remove from heat, puree in batches in a blender or puree using an immersion blender. Test for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
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Do you store squash over the winter?

13 Comments

  1. This is one of my all time favorite soups–your recipe looks fantastic.

  2. I am so, so, SO making this. Since I’m doing Weight Watchers, the only points in this for me would be for the olive oil. AWESOME.

  3. That looks so pretty :D I love butternut squash soups – they get so creamy, it’s amazing. I love that you grew your own. My butternut squash plant didn’t do too well and I only got a couple small ones but my spaghetti squash plant went crazy – I’m still eating them!

  4. I looooove squash, and I think butternut is my fave. I need to pick some up and make this. It’s been too long since I had a good homemade butternut squash soup!

  5. Must make this immediately!!

  6. One of the best things about having a garden: homegrown produce in the middle of winter! I just finished our last homegrown spaghetti squash last week, we are still working on the potatoes, tomatillos, and pattypan squash. I didn’t grow butternuts, but I did buy a bunch at my farm stand and still have two or three left. I still have a variety of my own produce in the freezer, too!

  7. I love butternut squash!!! I tend to buy them when I need them, but here in Holland they are not expensive at all, even in mid-winter.

  8. The color of this soup is amazing… and I have a butternut squash sitting on my shelf just waiting for something like this!

  9. We just had this for dinner last night and it was crazy good! Thanks for the recipe. It’s so rich, and we have plenty leftover to eat with some cornbread :) I did get contact dermatitis from prepping the squash, so I was freaking out while making it, lol. But it was worth it! Now to buy some latex gloves for next time…

  10. Honey is NOT vegan.

  11. Honey is NOT vegan.
    also, If you reacted to squash, don’t use latex gloves. use nitrile.

  12. Hi, Don’t think the previous attempt at posting this went through, but here goes again: Honey is not vegan. I use agave, works fine. Also, if you are having contact dermatitis from handling squash, you might reconsider eating it. I’m not meaning to snark, it’s just that I have been on a very long road of finding out what foods were triggers, and have found that what causes an external reaction is often going to affect the sensitive tissues of the gastro-intestinal tract.

    • Nope, you are correct on the honey! Your original comments didn’t post because I have to approve new commenters, so welcome! :) It was just a simple mistake. I’ll edit the post to reflect.

      And thanks for your suggestion!

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