Winter Squash and Apple Bisque

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At the Saratoga Farmers’ Market the freshly harvested winter squash is piled high. They come in an amazing array of shapes and sizes from acorn squash, the size of a soft ball, to Hubbard squash, the size of a basketball. Each squash variety has a discernible flavor and unique texture. Any variety can be used in the recipe below.

By trying different varieties you may discover your own favorite. So be brave, don’t let those large squash intimidate you. If one squash is more than you need for the bisque below, boil the extra until soft, puree it and freeze.

Buy extra winter squash and store in a dry, cool (50-55 degrees) place to use all winter long. Winter squash will store for up to six months, with the exception of acorn squash, which will keep for about three months.

Winter Squash and Apple Bisque

2 ½ – 3 pounds winter squash* (any variety)
3 large apples* (tart such as Granny Smith, Empire, McIntosh)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion*, finely chopped
1 stalk celery*, finely chopped
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons fresh or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup  Half and Half

Peel and seed the squash and cut into 2-inch chunks. Peel and core the apples and cut into chunks. Heat vegetable oil in a 4 quart sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery, saute until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the squash and apple chunks, broth and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add salt and thyme, simmer gently for 30 minutes.  Working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return pureed soup to sauce pan, add half and half, and gently rewarm being careful not to boil. Serve immediately.

Makes 12 servings.

Nutrition per serving: 120 calories, 5g fat, 2g saturated fat, 140mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate, 3g protein, 30% DV vitamin A, 25% DV vitamin C.

This market recipe appears courtesy of Diane Whitten at Cornell Cooperative Extension and The Saratogian. Ingredients marked with an asterisk (*) are available at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market.

For information about food and nutrition, contact Diane Whitten at Cornell Cooperative Extension at 885-8995 or email dwhitten@cornell.edu.