As many of you know, I manage the tasting room/bistro Vihuela, which is located in downtown Paso Robles (see the Media page for a press clipping about it!). In addition to being a tasting room, cheese shop, and bistro, we are also the North County pick-up spot for the Cal Poly Organic Farm CSA program! We are lucky enough to be able to use their delicious produce to make some of our menu items…including the soups we have been offering all winter!
To be honest, I didn’t even think I liked butternut squash soup or bisque, but I started making it because I knew it would be well-received. The versions I had tried in the past were always too heavy and rich. After trying a few different things, I decided this way of making the bisque is my favorite – it’s surprisingly light and fresh, and I grew to love it. All of our customers raved about this dish, it definitely became our most popular soup! So warming for winter! Enjoy!
Butternut Squash Bisque with Gruyere Croutons
Vihuela Wine Pairing: 2003 Syrah, a light bodied, peppery Rhone-style wine
3 pounds butternut squash (about 2 medium squash)
1/4 cup butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
1 Tablespoon dried thyme
24 baguette slices, about 1/4 inch thick
3/4 cup grated Roth Käse Grand Cru Gruyere cheese
1. Preheat oven to 425. Prepare the squash: cut in half, remove seeds, and brush cut side with oil. Place cut side down on baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, or until soft. Let cool to where you can touch it.
2. Melt butter in large put over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until tender, taking care not to burn or brown.
3. Scoop out squash flesh and add to pot along with thyme. Bring to boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.
4. Using immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. Alternatively, carefully pour into blender or food processor and puree. Serve hot with croutons.
Arrange bread slices on baking pan and drizzle with olive oil. Broil until golden, about 1 minute. Remove from oven and turn over. Sprinkle with cheese and return to broiler for about 1 minute until cheese melts.