Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Roasted-Squash and White Bean Bisque

Bisque is a rich, creamy soup made with ingredients pureed to a thick, even texture. Seafood and heavy cream are common in traditional bisque, but vegetables also play a leading role—especially those that blend into a smooth texture with concentrated flavor. I think that means squash and beans.

Roasting the butternut squash concentrates the gourd’s sweet, buttery flavor, and creamy white beans provide complementary flavor, as well as a little thickening.

I served the soup as a main course with some crusty bread and salty cheese, but this dish would be great as a first course for more formal or holiday dinners—simply decrease the amount to about one cup per serving.

Serves 4-5 (as a main course)

  • 2 butternut squash, about 2 lbs each, cut in half lengthwise, seeds and fibers removed
  • unsalted butter, for rubbing, plus 1 tbsp
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • 1 cup cooked great northern or cannellini beans (rinsed and drained, if canned)
  • 2-1/2 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 1-1/2 cups skim or 1% milk
  • smoked paprika and chopped scallions (green parts only), for garnish
Butternut Squash
Cleaned Squash
  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. Rub the cut sides of the squash with butter and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place cut-side down on the baking sheet and roast until almost tender, 30 minutes. Turn the squash over and roast 10 minutes longer, until tender and beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.
Buttered, Seasoned Squash
Squash Ready to Roast 
Squash after Turning 
Roasted Squash
  1. Meanwhile, heat a stockpot over medium heat and add the butter. When melted, add the onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook until tender, 3-4 minutes. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth to the pan and cook 1 minute, scraping up brown bits.
Onion and Garlic in Butter 
Broth Added
  1. Pour the onion mixture into a blender (or large food processor). Scoop the roasted squash flesh into the blender along with the beans and remaining 2 cups of broth. Process until smooth. Note: If your blender or processor will not hold the entire amount without spilling over, divide the ingredients and work in batches.
  2. Return the mixture to the stockpot and stir in the milk over medium-low heat. Check for seasoning and bring to a light simmer. Cook 5 minutes.
Ingredients Ready to Blend 
Blended Squash Mixture
Milk Added
To serve, divide the bisque among 4-5 shallow bowls and garnish with paprika and scallion greens.

Roasted-Squash and White Bean Bisque

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