“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
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.
- 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
- 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.
- Add in all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until all vegetables are very soft.
- 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.