Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Butternut Squash Bisque

Denver's Brown Palace Butternut Squash Bisque, garnished with salad burnet.
As a friend who stopped by to taste this soup remarked, "Oh, that's not good... that's  ffffffive–star brilliant." Indeed it is: at the turn of the century, this bisque was served at Denver's Brown Palace Hotel, the first atrium–style hotel ever built and host to the "Unsinkable" Molly Brown, Theodore Roosevelt and Queen Marie of Romania among others.

The recipe comes to us through Andrew's mother, Kathi, whose mother and grandmother were among the "Beautiful People of Denver." Andrew, an expert soup chef, has adapted this family favorite to take advantage of our Guardian Service cookware. Rather than boil the vegetables, we stove–top roast the squash and potatoes first, then mash. The perfect caramelization of the vegetables adds fantastic depth to an already rich soup. Plus, the waterless technique preserves nutritive value and flavor, helping to make up for this soup's truly staggering Gilded Age dairy fat content. Serve it in small portions... but they'll all want seconds. Andrew reminds us: like all soups, this improves over days and freezes beautifully. Plus, it is excellent served chilled.

Butternut Squash Bisque
from Denver's Brown Palace
(adapted for Guardian Service Ware by Andrew Martin) 

1 1/2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded.
1 lg sweet potato peeled
1 qt milk 
Pinch each nutmeg and cinnamon
2 T. honey
1 tsp. pure maple syrup
2 T. mascarpone cheese
2 T. creme fraiche
1/2 c heavy cream
1/2 dry sherry
salt and pepper to taste

1) Roast the squash and sweet potatoes the Guardian Way, whole or in chunks, in a large cooker (pictured: the Guardian Service Chicken Roaster) until soft enough to mash with a potato masher. Low heat, about thirty minutes and a bit.
2) Let cool a bit, then mash the sweet potato/squash until smooth.
3) In bowl, add milk to the mash, and mix in remaining ingredients, blending until smooth. To give it a nice texture we used an egg-beater, but a blender or food-processor may suit you.
4) Pour into Guardian Service Tureen. Stirring constantly, bring soup back to a gentle simmer and cook 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. If too thick, add more milk and adjust seasoning. Makes 2.5 quarts.

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