Who: Chef Olan Cox
Chef Olan Cox’s Guest-Worthy Recipe: Autumn Squash Bisque paired with Bonterra Chardonnay 2017
“For me, the Autumn Squash Bisque is a dish that I very much associate with harvest season, as butternut squash ripens around the same time the Bonterra team begins harvesting grapes. My favorite pairing for this rustic, silky soup is Bonterra Organic Vineyard’s Chardonnay. The creamy richness of the Chardonnay creates a lovely song on the palate, and not only stands up to, but complements the richness of the bisque. The slow and lovingly cooked depth of flavors of the bisque interplay beautifully with the creamy, buttery fruit finish of the wine.”
2 – 2 ½ lbs winter squash (Butternut, Hokkaido, Delicata, Sugar Dumpling, or Acorn)
2 Tbsp olive oil, more if needed
1 large onion, roughly chopped
Pinch of thyme
Pinch of sage
2-4 garlic cloves
2-3 c vegetable, chicken, or bone broth
Sea salt and pepper to taste
*Optional: apple, celery, carrots, splash of heavy cream
Cut the whole unpeeled squash in half and drizzle the flesh with olive oil. Place it flesh-side down on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan. Bake the squash at 400°F for 45 minutes to an hour, until your knife slides in easily. The squash should be soft enough for you to scoop it out with a spoon.
While your squash is in the oven, start sautéing onions in a heavy pot on medium-low. Cook the onions on low for at least as long as you are roasting the squash. Once the onions start breaking down and caramelizing, feel free to add an apple, celery, carrots, or any flavors that you feel work together. When the squash is out of the oven and cool enough to handle, scoop it into the pot with the other simmering ingredients.
Add the broth and a splash of heavy cream (if using). Let this simmer on low for five or ten minutes for the flavors to combine.
At this point, you can gently mash the ingredients with a masher or whisk to create a rustic soup. Or, you can use an immersion blending wand or blender and process the ingredients until velvety smooth. If the soup is thicker than you prefer, add a splash of broth or water until you’ve achieved the desired consistency.
For added flair, serve with raisins, pumpkin seeds, caramelized onions, mushrooms, dry goat cheese, curry powder, Cajun spice, salt, or even a drop of maple syrup.