Colorful, creamy, savory, and lightly sweet, winter squash bisque is one of my favorite autumn dishes and often the first thing I make when the weather turns chilly. Pureed squash (and root vegetable) soups are a great option for gluten-free and dairy-free meals, since the vegetables' starchiness creates a silky smooth texture without the need for flour, butter, or cream. My latest version is dairy-free (though I sometimes finish it with a dollop of tangy creme fraiche or a swirl of yogurt), with apple for natural sweetness that complements the earthiness of the squash.
I also included my go-to spice combination of ginger (fresh and ground), coriander, and turmeric, which I lightly toast along with the vegetables and apple. This potent triad provides a wide range of anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, detoxifying, and immune-boosting goodness, in addition to delectably pungent, spicy, and complex flavors.
Fresh ginger root is a mainstay of my kitchen apothecary during the colder months. A squeeze of ginger juice (grated and then strained/squeezed to release the juice) and lemon in warm water -- you can also add a pinch of ground turmeric -- is a powerful morning elixir to keep germs at bay.
I've found that ginger root stays quite fresh for a few weeks at cool room temperature, whereas when stored in the fridge it tends to go shriveled and moldy. (I do store small, peeled pieces in the fridge, but try to use them within a day or so.)
And an announcement ...
If you're in the NYC area and interested in learning more about gluten-free cooking, join me for a small-group market tour and tutorial (with dinner and wine) on Saturday, October 20th.
We'll explore a local market and talk about the basics of a health-supportive gluten-free lifestyle, then head to the kitchen where we'll put the finishing touches on our seasonal menu before sitting down to enjoy our meal.
Click on the 'cooking events in NYC' tab at the top of the page for more details. Hope to see you there!
And visit the kale & cardamom page on facebook for more frequent updates and quick and easy recipes.
spiced butternut squash-apple bisqueThis soup is extra tasty finished with a dollop of creme fraiche, plain yogurt, or coconut creme, and a few crispy spiced pumpkin seeds (try these!)
makes about 6 cups
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 butternut squash (1 to 1.5 lbs), peeled, seeded, and roughly diced (about 5 cups)
1 large apple (I used a macoun; any variety will do), peeled, cored, and diced (about 1.5 cups)
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
3 to 4 cups stock (bone or veg) or water
juice of half a lemon, or 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (to taste)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a heavy-bottomed soup pot heat the coconut oil over a medium flame. Add the shallot and onion and saute for about 5 minutes, until softened and beginning to brown.
Add the butternut squash, apple, and fresh ginger, and big pinches of salt and black pepper, and cook for a few minutes more. Add the ground spices, stirring well to coat the squash and apple, and cook for a couple of minutes until the spices are fragrant.
Add stock or water to cover the vegetables. Stir well, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
Allow the soup to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before processing in a blender (for a uniformly smooth and silky texture) or with an immersion blender (for a slightly more chunky and rustic soup). If using a stand blender, blending in 2 or 3 small batches is easiest.
Return pureed soup to the rinsed pot and reheat over a low flame, adding a little more stock or water if the soup is too thick. Add lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to taste, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve as is or garnished with creme fraiche or yogurt and toasted pumpkin seeds.