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Butternut Squash Bisque with Almonds & Cilantro
“Roasting the squash first deepens the bisque's flavor and is a step you don't want to skip. Look for pre-chopped butternut squash in the refrigerated area of the produce section, or in the freezer aisle. It will significantly simplify this recipe. If you're short on time, plan to prep the other ingredients while the squash roasts. We add almonds at the end for a toasty, textural contrast, while cilantro and cayenne give this butternut squash bisque a slightly exotic flair. This easy bisque recipe is naturally dairy-free and vegan (if you opt for vegetable stock), but you could certainly add a drizzle of heavy cream at the end if you wish.”
4 medium garlic cloves, chopped (about 1½ tablespoons)
½ teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
4 cups unsalted chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup toasted sliced almonds
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1Preheat oven to 450°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2Toss together butternut squash and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large bowl; spread evenly among prepared baking sheets. Roast in preheated oven until slightly browned and softened, about 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through roast time.
3During final 10 minutes of roast time, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high. Add onion, garlic and coriander seeds; cook, stirring often, until slightly softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add stock; bring to a boil over high.
4Add roasted squash and salt to stock mixture; cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until squash is very tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
5Working in two batches, transfer squash mixture to a blender. Secure lid on blender and remove center piece to allow steam to escape. Place a clean towel over opening. Process until very smooth, about 20 seconds.
6Ladle hot soup evenly into 6 bowls; sprinkle with almonds, cilantro and cayenne.