Roasted Butternut Squash and Spicy Crab Bisque

17 Mar

I read somewhere or other over the past few weeks that traditional bisques were often thickened with rice.  I don’t know whether or not that’s true, but it struck me as an amazingly cost-effective way to cut down on calories and fat while preserving the creaminess that makes bisque so special.  It really worked well, in my humble opinion.  The only dairy that I added was 1 tbs. of plain Greek yogurt, which I have extolled before for its health benefits.  The butternut squash added a nice sweetness that worked well with the brine-y saltiness of the crab and spiciness of the crab boil.  I will never be making a calorie-laden, heavy-cream infused bisque again now that I have this rice trick up my sleeve.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Spicy Crab Bisque

1 butternut squash, halved lengthwise

3 tbs. olive oil, divided

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 rib celery, chopped

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 tbs. fresh sage, finely minced

3 cups homemade chicken stock

1 cup jasmine or other white rice, cooked according to package instructions

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1 tbs. plain Greek yogurt

1 6 oz. can crab meat, drained

1-2 tsp. crawfish, shrimp and crab boil mixture (I used Zatarain’s)

Lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat oven to 350º.

Cover a baking sheet with tinfoil.  Rub the “flesh” sides of the butternut squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place in oven, flesh side up, and bake for thirty minutes.  Flip flesh-side down and bake another 15 minutes or until easily pierced with fork and almost fully cooked.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Peel and dice.

Heat remaining olive oil in a medium stock pot over medium heat.  Add onion, celery, carrot, and garlic and sauté until onion is translucent and vegetables are tender.  Add squash, sage, broth, and cooked rice.  Mix together crab meat, yogurt, and crab boil.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer at least 15-20 minutes until flavors have melted.  [Note: I simmered ours for about three hours, only because I was bored and wanted to cook.  I think it improved the flavor, but I’m sure it would be delicious after a relatively quick simmer as well.]

Transfer to food processor and blend until smooth, working in batches if necessary.  Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.

Transfer back to stock pot and heat to serving temperature over medium heat.  Garnish with a sage leaf and lemon wedges.

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