Butternut and Apple Bisque

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Well, even though the calendar says spring starts  tomorrow, it’s still soup weather here in New England. Here’s a recipe for one of my favorite soups to warm up with. As usual with my recipes, it’s pretty flexible. Amounts can vary, even the ingredients can vary a bit. And the toppings and accompaniments can definitely vary.

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

2 ribs of celery, coarse chopped

2 carrots, coarse chopped

2 Tbs Earth Balance

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp nutmeg

1 Tbs cinnamon

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1/4 cup white wine

1 butternut squash (2–3 lbs., peeled, seeded, chopped)

2 tart green apples, peeled, cored, chopped

3 cups vegetable broth

1 cup water

1-1/2 cups plain unsweetened coconut milk (any non-dairy unflavored unsweetened milk will do, but I think coconut is best for this creamy bisque)

salt and pepper to taste

Toasted pine nuts and minced flat leaf parsley for garnish

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Heat the Earth Balance for a minute or so in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and. Do not let it turn brown. Add the onion, celery and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes, reducing heat if the vegetables begin to brown.

Add the minced garlic and sauté just about 30 seconds or so, or until garlic softens, but doesn’t brown.

Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne and sauté another 30 seconds or so, stirring so garlic and spices don’t burn.

Add white wine and let it reduce for a minute or so.

Add squash, apple, broth and water. Bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat down to simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes or until squash and carrots soften. Puree in batches in a food processor, adding part of the coconut milk to the food processor with each batch, and return to a clean pot. If the coconut milk cooled the bisque, you may need to put the pot back on a low burner to reheat a bit.

Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve garnished with pine nuts and parsley.

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