As the weather begins to cool, dinner menus turn to hearty soups and stews.
The following bisque recipe from the pages of The Old Farmer's Almanac Everyday Cookbook takes advantage of the best and healthiest flavors of the season with squash and parsnips.
Autumn Vegetable Bisque
2 pounds butternut squash, halved lengthwise
3 pounds acorn squash, halved lengthwise
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
5 leeks, thinly sliced (white and tender green parts only)
6 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
4 1/2 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
2 parsnips, peeled and finely diced
2 red bell peppers, seeded and finely diced
1 stalk lovage, finely diced
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread some butter or margarine on the cut surfaces of the squash halves, place them cut side down on baking sheets, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until tender. When the squash is cooked, remove and discard the seeds. Scoop out the pulp and set aside. Discard the shells. In a stockpot, melt 5 tablespoons of the butter and add the leeks and thyme, cooking until translucent. Add the stock and the squash pulp and simmer for 15 minutes. In a skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and sauté the chives, carrots, parsnips, peppers, and lovage for 5 minutes. Set aside for a garnish. In a food processor or blender, purée the squash mixture until smooth. Return the purée to the stockpot, reheat it, and whisk in the cream. Add the sugar, salt, and pepper to taste. Garnish individual portions with the diced cooked vegetables. Makes 8 servings.
This recipe is courtesy of "The Old Farmer's Almanac Everyday Cookbook," available wherever books and magazines are sold and at Shop.Almanac.com.