By Tommy C. Simmons, An enthusiastic cook
Photograph courtesy of Tommy C. Simmons
Ken Smith praised the Squash Bisque he was served at the Century House Tavern in Woodstock, GA, and after taking a taste of the creamy puree, I, too, was raving about the soup. It was one of those “tastes like more” dishes.
I’ve never been one to ask a chef for a recipe. Good recipes are chefs’ livelihood. Instead, I try to recreate the fabulous dish at home in my kitchen. I don’t always succeed. To be honest, I didn’t this time. There was something in the Century House Squash Bisque missing in mine; however, my version is pretty tasty. I’d say it’s a “tastes like more” dish, too.
End of summer squash are perfect for this soup. You can find just the right size, not too big and still moist inside. All yellow or the yellow and green summer squash work equally well. I expect you’ll want to make this soup several times to get it just right.
Season to your taste a pot of Summer Squash Bisque.
Home kitchen-tested recipe
Summer Squash Bisque
Serves 6 to 8. Recipe is by Tommy Simmons.
6 medium summer squash
1 medium size potato, peeled
½ cup chopped Vidalia onion
1 stick butter
2 cups chicken broth (or slightly less, if using a canned chicken broth)
½ tsp. black pepper
¼ to ½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. red pepper
Dash of Tabasco sauce
¼ tsp. ground ginger
½ to 1 tbl. Cane syrup (or brown sugar), optional
½ cup evaporated milk
Thinly slice squash and peeled potato and place in a large saucepan. (I use a mandolin to thinly slice the vegetables.) Add chopped onion to the pan and stir together.
Put stick of butter and 2 cups chicken broth into pan. Cover pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent vegetables from sticking to pan. As the vegetables soften, add the seasonings to the pot. Stir these in gently. The cane syrup or brown sugar is optional.
When vegetables are soft and cooked through, pour them into a food processor or blender and puree. You may have to do this in several batches. Return squash puree to saucepan.
Stir in evaporated milk. Check seasoning. Heat over medium heat until hot, but do not boil. Serve.
Testing note: You can tell from my ingredients list, I like spicy soup. Cut back on black and red pepper, if desired. I also tend to use less salt because both chicken broth and butter contain salt. Leftovers can be refrigerated and reheated in a microwave, but the soup does not freeze well, gets watery. You can also garnish with fresh herbs or a bit of grated cheese, if you like.
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By Justin Hancock, Monrovia Horticultural Craftsman
Photographs courtesy of Monrovia
Labor Day may represent summer’s unofficial close but now is a perfect opportunity to add late-summer perennials that will continue to beautify your landcare until fall arrives. click here for an article that identifies 9 perennials for late summer.
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