One of my favourite things to do in the colder months of the year is to make soup, and now that our outdoors is so well chilled, here’s a favourite of mine. A friend shared this with me years ago, and it remains in my regular soup arsenal to this day. Taking advantage of the winter squash season, with a hit of apple cider for a subtle tang and a touch of maple syrup to balance it out with some sweetness, it’s hearty and comforting, and perfect for cozying up with at home.
Butternut Cider Bisque
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1/2 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 1/2 stalks of celery, diced
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 tbsp olive oil
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups apple cider
ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger
1/4-1/2 cup maple syrup (depending on your preference of sweetness)
1 cup heavy cream
Using a large stock pot, sweat onion, carrot, and celery with olive oil until the onions are translucent. Add thyme and butternut squash, and stir until the squash is coated with olive oil.
Add stock and cider and bring to a boil. Cook, covered, on medium-low heat until the squash is falling apart.
Remove from heat and puree in a blender, then return to low heat and add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger to taste. Add maple syrup to sweeten.
Stir in cream just before serving.