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Delicata Squash Bisque

3 pounds delicata squash (2 pounds after preparing)

Oil for roasting

4 cups vegetable broth

1 tsp thyme

lots of black pepper

1-1/2 tsp salt, more or less to taste

Cashew Cream

1 cup raw, unsalted cashews

1 cup rich vegetable broth, divided

Preheat oven to 400º F.  Peel squash and chop off the ends.  Halve the squash and scrape out the seeds.  Place on a baking sheet cut-side down and brush lightly with oil.  Bake for 30-40 minutes until tender and beginning to brown.  Flip squash before the baking is finished if needed to prevent burning.

Meanwhile, add the cashews to your blender and 1/2 cup of veggie broth. Begin pulsing to incorporate, eventually turning the blender all the way on while slowly adding the other 1/2 cup of broth. Once all the broth is added (1 cup total), let the blender run for 1-2 minutes until very, very smooth. Set cream aside.  If your blender can’t get the cream completely smooth, strain before adding it to the soup.

Remove squash from the oven. Using a spatula, transfer it into a large soup pot. Break up the squash into chunks with a spoon or your spatula and add 4 cups of veggie broth, thyme, and black pepper. Bring to a boil then turn down the heat and let simmer for 20 minutes, covered.

Working in batches if needed, blend the soup until very smooth, being careful not to overfill your blender. My 64 oz blender fit the entire batch of soup.

Return the blended soup to the pot and add all but 1/4 cup of the cashew cream. Season with salt and more pepper. How much salt you add with depend on how salty your broth is to begin with. I thought 1 1/2 tsp salt was perfect for my batch, but yours might differ.

Remove soup to bowls (or mugs!) and garnish with extra cashew cream drizzled on the top and some fresh black pepper.  Little squigglies of cream look nice, but you can also draw hearts or stars or swirls, whatever! Serves 4 large bowls, 6-8 Cups