November 10, 2011

Harvest Butternut Squash Bisque

"Autumn begins with a subtle change in the light, with skies a deeper blue, and nights that become suddenly clear and chilled.
 The season comes full with the first frost, the disappearance of
migrant birds, and the harvesting of the season's last crops."
Glenn Wolff and Jerry Dennis

The Maine House Dining Room

When you feel that first crisp breeze, you know that summer is gone and fall is in the air. Every season has its upside; however, autumn has a particular beauty to it. Lovers of the season revel in its unique ability to turn the world into one big canvas with nature’s paintbrush. From warm apple cider to camping trips, there are so many reasons to enjoy fall.

One of my favorite fall activities is taking a drive up a tree-lined street or going on a nature hike. To see the canopy of red, gold, and orange leaves is so enchanting.

Fall fashion is the best. Woolen scarves, puffy vests, long sleeve, and equestrian boots… There are so many options to layer up and stay warm during the autumn months. Plus, fall clothes look good on everyone.

Your taste buds will salivate for all things pumpkin. From lattes to ales, pies to waffles, everything gets a delicious pumpkin makeover. You don’t want to miss these seasonal delights.

Late November kicks off holiday time – when you find yourself gathered around the table more often with friends and family. In particular, Thanksgiving is special because you not only get to spend time with loved ones, but you also get to reflect on everything you have and show your gratitude for it all!

Estelle's Harvest Butternut Squash Bisque
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup orange juice
 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
 1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)
1 medium granny smith apple, peeled and chopped
1 cup chopped yellow onion
 1/4 cup butter, cubed
 4 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup evaporated milk
 Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/8 t. Cayenne pepper
Sour Cream for garnish

In a roasting pan, toss 3 cups of squash, orange juice and brown sugar; add cinnamon. Cover and bake at 450° for 30-40 minutes or until squash is tender. Discard cinnamon stick and set squash and liquid aside.

In a Dutch oven, saute the apple and onion in butter until tender. Add broth; bring to a boil. Stir in cooked squash; cook for 5 minutes. Add the evaporated milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne pepper and  heat through. Cool slightly. In a blender, process soup in batches until smooth. Return all to the pan; heat through (do not boil). Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream!

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