Visiting home and seeing the seasonal changes that are so much more apparent there was a great reminder for me of the turning of the yearly cycles. Even though it's still in the 80's here in the Valley, there are subtle shifts at work. The days are shorter, the nights are longer, it's cooling off at night and there's less birdsong in the air. These changes alone are enough to encourage me to make shifts in my lifestyle and approach. I'm wearing more layers and even socks in the evenings and craving more warming food and drink.
The recipe I'm going to share with you today is a perfect and tasty homage to the transition we are in - moving out of summer into autumn. The heartiness of the carrots, onions and squash is balanced with the presence of Herbs De Provence, a reminder of the summer months since passed.
You can make this several different ways: on the stovetop or in a crockpot, as a stew or blended into a bisque. Take the path that best suits you and your tastebuds.
Tres Bon Butternut Bisque
What You'll Need
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, cubed
1 onion (white or yellow), diced
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoons chopped shallots
4 cups of vegetable stock
1 can of canellini beans (or other white beans of your choice), drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes, with juice
3 teaspoons dried herbs de provence
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped, toasted hazelnuts
1/4 cup chopped parsley
What you do
First decide if you'll be using the crockpot or your stovetop. If you're using your crockpot, you'll need to set it for about 6 hours on the low setting. If you're using the stove top, things will move much quicker but you'll have to be more involved ;)
If you're using your crockpot, put ALL ingredients (except for the salt and pepper and the toasted hazelnuts) into the crockpot. Set it and at the end of the cooking time, taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.
Now, if you want this to be a bisque, use an immersion blender to puree in the crockpot, or transfer to a blender. If you're more into stew, then you're good to go, as is!
Garnish the soup with a sprinkling of the toasted hazelnuts and parsley. Enjoy!
If you're using your stovetop, use a big stockpot and first sauté the onions, garlic and shallots, over low-medium heat for 5 minutes or so, until they become translucent. Next add your carrots and butternut squash, stirring to combine for a minute or two with the other ingredients in the pot. Then, add the beans, stock, tomatoes and herbs, stir to combine and bring to a simmer. At this point, I would put a lid on the pot and let it sit at a low simmer for about 30 minutes.
Check with a fork to make sure that the carrot and the butternut squash have cooked through. If they need more time, give it to them, checking every 5 minutes or so.
Now, decide if you're happy with the dish as is, a stew, or if you feel like being fancy and having a bisque. If you're feeling bisque-y, use an immersion blender to puree in the pot, or transfer to your blender and get the deed done there.
As above, garnish with parsley and hazelnuts and voila! You're done!
Bon Appetit beautiful people!