For a winter special occasion or just a weekday meal, this butternut bisque makes a perfect, warming starter course. The snipped chives and pomegranate garnishes add a festive touch, but you can also use crumbled bacon and a swirl of crème fraiche.

Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
35 mins
total:
50 mins
Servings:
6
Yield:
6 servings
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Melt butter in a pot over medium-low heat. Add onions and a large pinch of salt. Cook and stir until onions have softened but not taken on any color, about 10 or 15 minutes.

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  • Cut off ends of squash. Carefully cut squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler. Cut into chunks.

  • Raise heat under pot to medium-high. Stir in tomato paste; cook and stir until mixture begins to caramelize and turn brown, about 2 minutes. Add squash, chicken broth, 1 teaspoon salt, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a simmer; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until squash is very tender, 15 to 25 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Blend with an immersion blender until very smooth. Stir in cream and maple syrup; add more salt if needed.

  • Ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with a swirl of cream, and a sprinkle of chives and pomegranate seeds.

Chef's Note:

If I'd intended this bisque to be a main course, I would probably have roasted the squash first. When you roast butternut squash, you caramelize and concentrate the flesh, and get something sweeter, starchier, and richer. That's perfect if you're enjoying it as a meal, but maybe not such a great thing if it's going to be followed by additional courses.

If you don't have an immersion blender, you can blend the squash mixture in batches in a regular blender. Just be careful not to burn yourself.

Nutrition Facts

231 calories; protein 3.2g; carbohydrates 27.1g; fat 13.7g; cholesterol 45.8mg; sodium 1058.9mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (32)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
02/06/2018
I made this for a Super Bowl gathering. I made this and two other soups. I should have just made this one - it disappeared in a hurry and our guests wanted copies of the recipe before they left our house! I made it straight up according to the recipe and wouldn't really change anything. The cayenne does give it some zip, so if you're not into spices you may prefer a tamer version. It's not burn your mouth spicy, but there's definitely a kick. I can't wait to make it again. Safety tip: Don't put the squash peelings in the disposal. I thought I was fine, but ended up with a majorly clogged sink. Rookie mistake on my part. Read More
(8)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
08/20/2018
The soup was ok but I feel the onion is over powering it. Are there any suggestions to cut the onion flavor other than using less onion? Read More
(1)
51 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 48
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
02/05/2018
I made this for a Super Bowl gathering. I made this and two other soups. I should have just made this one - it disappeared in a hurry and our guests wanted copies of the recipe before they left our house! I made it straight up according to the recipe and wouldn't really change anything. The cayenne does give it some zip, so if you're not into spices you may prefer a tamer version. It's not burn your mouth spicy, but there's definitely a kick. I can't wait to make it again. Safety tip: Don't put the squash peelings in the disposal. I thought I was fine, but ended up with a majorly clogged sink. Rookie mistake on my part. Read More
(8)
Rating: 5 stars
02/27/2018
This was a delicious and super easy recipe that will definitely be made again. I did decide to roast the squash (peeled and cubed before roasting for 24 minutes at 400 degrees). I also skipped the maple syrup and used less creme fraiche. I am the boss of my squash right? Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
11/29/2019
I had a roasted butternut squash that I was eager to use so I made this tonight and it was outstanding and easy! I was out of tomato paste so I substituted a couple handfuls of chopped sweet cherry tomatoes. I also didn't have heavy cream so I substituted half and half. I'm sure it would only be better with the real thing. I served it with finely chopped bacon on top. The combo of the sweet bisque with the salty bacon was outstanding. Nice job once again chef John! Read More
(1)
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Rating: 3 stars
08/20/2018
The soup was ok but I feel the onion is over powering it. Are there any suggestions to cut the onion flavor other than using less onion? Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
11/22/2019
crème fraiche bumped it up! Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
12/31/2017
Made this Butternut Squash Bisque It taste great! I could not find a 2lb butternut squash used a 3lb one followed the directions added a little more butter (5 tbs) and needed to add some water at the end because it was too thick. Thanks Chef John Read More
(1)
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Rating: 5 stars
09/15/2018
Absolutely delicious and so easy! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/06/2018
I did not make any changes and I will definitely make it again! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
12/30/2018
This soup is quickly becoming my wife's favorite. Very tasty! Read More
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