Butternut Squash, Frangelico and Brown Butter Bisque with Spiced Maple Foam
This simple-to-make holiday soup always satisfies.
- 2 butternut squashes
- 1 white onion
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 4 tablespoons whole butter
- 2 cups Frangelico
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- Apple cider vinegar, to taste, about 2 to 3 T
- 1 gallon distilled water
- 2 cups skim milk
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- Pinch of cayenne
Yields 4 to 6 servings
Begin by splitting the two butternut squashes from the top to the bottom. Rest assured this will be the most difficult task you do all day. Use a big, sharp knife and take your time. If you have done this step correctly, you will have four halves of skin-on butternut squashes. Scoop out the seeds.
Rub a little cooking oil of your preference on a baking sheet, season the squashes with salt and place cut-side down on the sheet pan. Place in a preheated 375° F oven and bake until soft, approximately ½ hour.
Now, open the bottle of Frangelico and pour yourself 3 fluid ounces and drink it. Go ahead, you deserve it. Once the squashes are cooked, remove the “meat” by scooping it from the skins with a spoon and reserve.
Here’s a fun trick that will keep your fingers and cutting board from smelling like garlic: Put the peeled garlic cloves in a Ziploc baggie and smash them with the bottom of a pan, the butt of your chef’s knife or your forehead (it is the holidays after all) and reserve. Peel and cut your onion into a small dice like they do on cooking shows on television.
Pour 3 more fluid ounces of the Frangelico into a cup and drink. Repeat this step if necessary.
In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat your cooking oil (2 tablespoons) and 2 tablespoons of your whole butter to medium-high. Put your squash “meat” in and the onions, garlic, brown sugar and Arborio rice, and sauté.
At this point pour the 1 gallon of water (distilled) into the pot and bring to a simmer. Allow this to simmer over medium-low heat, stirring as needed, until the water has reduced by approximately one-half. Use this time for social media updates, shoveling the driveway, basting your turkey or continuing drinking.
Pour the contents of the pot (in small batches!) into a variable-speed blender or food processor and blend until very smooth. The Arborio rice will provide a silken viscosity to the bisque that your guests will swear contains heavy cream. At this point, the soup is not going to taste like much. Taste the soup. If it doesn’t taste like much, you’ve done everything correctly so relax.
In a small saucepot, pour the remaining 2 cups of Frangelico and reduce over medium heat by one-quarter, cooking the alcohol off in the process, and reserve. Heat a small sauté pan to medium-high and add your remaining whole butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, and allow it to brown. Reserve.
Using a whisk, whip the brown butter and then the Frangelico into the soup. Taste it. It’s fabulous now but probably needs a pinch or two of salt and a splash of apple cider vinegar. Do what’s right and season to your taste. Set it aside.
For the Spiced Maple Cream, combine all ingredients and froth using your home cappuccino machine. If you do not have a home cappuccino maker, combine all of the ingredients and take them to your local coffeehouse. Ask the barista to do it for you. It will confuse them, but they will do it if you are polite.
Happy holidays and happier cooking!!