We enjoy soup and this bisque is absolutely delicious! This can be served as an appetizer, with a salad, or sometimes we enjoy it as our meal with some warm, homemade Sourdough Bread (and you can access that recipe easily by clicking on that recipe title).
It is important to have either an immersion blender, or a stand blender to prepare this wonderful bisque.
2 small Butternut Squash, peeled and then cubed in about ½-inch pieces (about 9 cups of cubed squash)
1 ½ cups of Carrots, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of McCormick® Grill Mates® Montreal Steak Seasoning
2 tablespoons of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
3 tablespoons of Butter
3 cloves of Garlic, minced
⅓ cup of White Onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of fresh Thyme, finely chopped
2 Shallots, finely chopped (or about ⅓ cup)
2-3 stalks of Celery, finely chopped (about ⅔ cup)
3 cups of Chicken Broth
¼ cup of Sherry
2 cups of Heavy Whipping Cream
8 ounces of Lump Crab Meat, coarsely chopped
¼ teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Chives for garnish, finely chopped (optional) for about 1 teaspoon per bowl of soup
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix the cubed butternut squash, the carrots, and the olive oil. Place this mixture onto a baking sheet, and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the McCormick® Montreal Steak Seasoning on top. Place this in the oven for one hour. The butternut squash should be very tender. After an hour, set the baking sheet aside. In a stockpot, melt the butter and add the garlic, the white onions, the shallots, and the celery; cook it over a medium heat, until these are translucent, or about 3-5 minutes. Then add the thyme, the butternut squash mixture, the chicken broth, and the sherry to the stockpot. Cover it and cook it for about 15-20 minutes over a medium heat. Remove it from the heat, and using an immersion blender, purée the mixture until it is smooth. (If you do not have an immersion blender, you may use a stand blender, but be very careful since the liquid is quite hot). Once the mixture is very smooth, add the cream, the cayenne pepper, the lump crab meat (but leave a small amount of the lump crab meat to the side to use it as a garnish on top of the soup -- about a teaspoon per bowl), and heat the bisque for a few minutes. Stir to mix it all together.
Add salt and black pepper to taste, sprinkle with the chopped chives, and add a bit of the fresh crab in the center of each bowl and serve the bisque immediately.