My absolute favorite, bar-none, soup recipe: Roasted Butternut and
Garlic Bisque. Adapted (a bit but basically intact) from good ol' Epicurious. The
goat cheese on top really makes the soup superb (my own
addition! ha!) so I wouldn't leave it out if I were you.
ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND GARLIC BISQUE
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
3 cups chopped onions
3/4 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 4-lb. butternut squash, halved lengthwise
6 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1/2 cup dairy (choose fat content depending on preference;
this soup is rich enough that regular or even nonfat milk is
Preheat oven to 400°F. Insert one half of garlic head in hollow of each squash half. Rub garlic and squash surfaces with olive oil; place face down on baking sheet. Roast for 45 min.-1 hr. or until flesh is soft.
Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery; sauté until onions are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Scoop flesh from squash halves; add squash, stock, and chopped sage to pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, squeeze garlic cloves from skin into small bowl. Discard skin. Mash garlic with fork until smooth.
Stir garlic into soup. Working in batches, purée soup in blender until smooth. Return to pot. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Refrigerate uncovered until cold. Cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before continuing.) Stir in 1/2 cup dairy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with 1-2 tbsp. goat cheese crumbled across top of each bowl.
Makes 12 servings.
(original version from Bon Appétit, November 2000)