It’s 5 star make over time again, and this month’s theme is squash!
Right away, I knew I would be doing something with butternut squash. Sweet, and remarkably vibrant orange in color, it’s definitely my favorite member of the squash family.
Even though it has been more summer like here in Virginia with 80 degree days, the evenings have been cooling off, and the idea of things like soups and stews are beginning to sound appealing.
I decided to make a bisque for this month’s challenge, showcasing the true flavor of butternut. I roasted the squash along with a red bell pepper to bring out the natural sugars before blending into a smooth puree; the base for the creamy bisque. Sauteed onions and leeks were invited to the mix, along with some chicken broth and a bit of cream for simmering. I balanced it out with some crisp salty prosciutto and crab for the garnish.
After shooting the pics for this post, we ate the bisque for lunch (one of the benefits of photographing food for your blog! ); a nice treat to sit down and enjoy on a busy weekend day. —-really loved this one, yes, butternut squash is still my favorite.
- 1 (2 pound) butternut squash – halved and seeded
- 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup finely diced onion
- ½ cup finely diced leek
- 2½ cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1⁄2 cup of heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 slices prosciutto
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup lump crab meat
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Brush the cut sides of squash with 6 tablespoons of the butter. Season with the salt, pepper and thyme. Place the squash cut side down in a baking dish and bake until tender, approximately 1 1⁄2 hours. Cool, scoop out the pulp from the skin.
- Puree the squash in a food processor with roasted red pepper. Reserve.
- Meanwhile, prepare garnish. Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add prosciutto slices and cook until crisp, a few minutes per side. Drain on paper towel lined plate.
- Melt butter in saute pan over medium high heat. Add Panko crumbs and stir until crumbs begin to turn golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add crab, continue to stir an additional minute. Transfer to plate and reserve.
- In a large saucepot, heat the olive oil and add the onions and leeks. Sweat over low heat. Add the puree of the butternut squash, and stock. Bring to a boil and then lower heat; simmer gently for 15-20 minutes. Whisk in the heavy cream.
- Garnish with crispy prosciutto and toasted crab crumbs