Debbie Dance Uhrig
This week I’m presenting a brand new recipe that my staff says is wonderful!
Actually one of the team said this bisque should be called ‘Thanksgiving in a cup’.
I have to admit, it is delicious, and would make a nice opener for a dinner party or Thanksgiving dinner!
A week ago when I first debuted the dish I found it was convenient when your teenager has their braces worked on. Or, any time there’s an issue with chewing or an individual is on a soft diet. Definitely a bisque that would warm you on a cold night. My assistant, Bonnie, put it in a thermos and traveled with it last week.
Most of the vegetables being used are root vegetables. If you wanted to use leek instead of onion, it would be a good option. The first time I made it I didn’t use any bay leaves and I was still happy with the taste. Originally I chose olive oil for sautéing the vegetables, but decided on the butter for the flavor.
When you review the recipe itself you will notice I mentioned topping the soup with a dollop of sour cream and parsley. I’ve found when I’m serving really large groups the sour cream may be tasty, but it also cools the soup. If I were choosing a cheese for the topping I think I would suggest Jarlsberg or a smoked Gouda.
The jarlsberg would provide the slight nutty undertone that would go well with winter. Then you could also make a sliced pear and jarlsberg cheese tray with warm honey and chopped nuts over the top. For the bacon hounds out there, bacon crumbles would be absolutely divine over a serving of this bisque. We also haven’t mentioned using seasoned homemade croutons.
Freezing? Most definitely, I would however freeze it without the cream added.
If you’re preparing this for a single person I would think about freezing the soup in muffin tins. Then you would pop 3-4 frozen muffin cubes into a mug, allow it to thaw or ‘nuke’ the soup base. Lastly’ pour in say a 1/4 cup of heavy cream and stir to blend. This would even be a cinch for someone taking their lunch to work.
If someone is lactose intolerant, they could use whatever dairy substitute works for them. I don’t think coconut milk would be a poor choice either.
Now, what would I serve with this if I were using it as a main entrée and not an ‘opener’? Glorified grilled cheese sandwiches or a BLT would be a nice combo. After Thanksgiving I would also enjoy fresh turkey sandwiches made on leftover dinner rolls. When the cold winds blow this winter you’ve got more choices than you may have thought.
On the home front I’ve started working on the holiday décor. Washing greenery, re-lighting lots of trees, putting new batteries in the candles, and moving winter décor in ever so gradually. We’ve had cousins in from Columbia this week and the big news is mom got a new car! You will now see me coming in my sassy red Ford Flex. It was hard saying good bye to my 10 year-old Dodge van. But I was ready for the change. There were a great deal of memories and stories associated with our silver van. I thanked the folks who bought it from us, and then I went back in the house, I just couldn’t watch it pull away.
I’m planning my Thanksgiving dinner. Trying to figure out how many will be there and what desserts I plan on serving this season. Considering a regular turkey and a smoked turkey breast. Oh, yes, do not forget to make extra chicken stock for the holidays. If you make gravy for 10-15 people you’ll need at least 6-8 cups of stock. For the dressing add another 5-7 cups. And we haven’t mentioned stock for homemade noodles! Should you boil your potatoes in stock, add even more.
Enjoy the new bisque and let me know what you think. Simply yours, The Covered Dish, www.thecovereddish.com.
Creamy Vegetable Bisque
2-3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion
1/2 lb. carrots, peeled
(3-4 large carrots)
3 large gold potatoes
10-12 oz. butternut squash*
3 celery ribs
1 red bell pepper, optional
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
3 garlic cloves
3 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon dry ground thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1-2 bay leaves, optional
1 cup heavy cream
Chop onion, carrots, potatoes, squash, celery and pepper into small 1/2 inch chunks. Heat butter in a skillet and sweat the vegetables for around 8-10 minutes; until the vegetables begin to soften. Introduce garlic cloves towards the end. Sprinkle in the salt and white pepper.
Pour the 3 cups of chicken stock over all the ingredients. Add the thyme and bay leaves. Cook until mixture comes to a boil and the potatoes and carrots are tender when pierced with a fork. Remove bay leaves; with an immersion blender blend the ingredients until smooth. Add the ground red pepper. Slowly add the heavy cream and heat over medium to medium-low heat.
If the bisque isn’t as rich as you like add a bit more cream or fresh grated cheeses. Ladle into soup cups and garnish with a spoon of sour cream and parsley. When serving this for 20 or more I omit the sour cream and top with curled leek tops.
Yields 7-8 cups.
*Cubed butternut can be purchased at most Walmart stores.