Cooking with Jonathan By Jonathan Jolicoeur

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In this weekly culinary column, I will be focusing on one dish – giving the reader a quick history of the dish, the classical preparation of it, and of course, my own spin on the classic

This week I have chosen to cover bisque, specifically butternut squash bisque. Bisque is a creamy, smooth and highly seasoned soup that originated in France, which is great for the Fall and Winter seasons. Classically, bisque is based on seafood, although it can be made with roasted vegetables, pureed fruits or fungi. The name bisque comes from the Bay of Biscay, where the seafood for the various bisques originate.

Traditional butternut squash bisque

6 cups​Butternut squash, peeled, diced
4½ cups​Vegetable stock
1 cup​Onion, diced
1 cup​Heavy cream
1 tbsp​Unsalted butter
1 tbsp​Canola oil
to taste​Salt, pepper, ground nutmeg

In a large pot over medium heat, add your oil and butter. Allow butter to melt, then add your onions. Sweat onions until they’re is translucent. Once onions have become translucent, add your squash to the pot. Pour in your vegetable stock and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until vegetables are cooked through. Place soup into a blender and blend until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and add your heavy cream. Return the soup to low heat until the soup has warmed through. Serve hot and enjoy.

Traditional squash bisque

2 cups​Butternut squash, peeled, diced
2 cups​Kuri squash, peeled, diced
2 cups​Blue Hubbard squash, peeled, diced
4½ cups​Vegetable stock
1 cup​White wine
1 cup​Leek, sliced, washed
1 cup​Heavy cream
1 tbsp​Unsalted butter
1 tbsp​Canola oil
to taste​Sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, ground nutmeg

In a large pot over medium heat, add your oil and butter. Allow butter to melt then add your leeks. Sweat leeks until the leeks are translucent. Once leeks have become translucent, add your squash to the pot. Pour in your wine and cook for roughly 5 minutes to allow alcohol to cook out. Add your veg stock, sea salt, fresh cracked pepper and nutmeg. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until vegetables are cooked through. Place soup into a blender and blend until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and add your heavy cream. Return the soup to low heat until the soup has warmed through. Serve hot and enjoy.
Whether you choose to prepare the classic, my twist or your own interpretation, remember that food is about bringing people together and that the act of cooking is about caring and as long as your heart is in the dish you prepare, the people you are cooking for will appreciate it (and you).

If you have any questions for me or would like to see me cover any particular dish in this column, feel free to write me, care of this publication. From my kitchen to yours, it is my pleasure to give you a peek into the mind of a chef. Thank You

Jonathan Jolicoeur is a chef at A Tavola – an Italian restaurant on Church Street in Winchester – which focuses on “farm to table” style of cooking. Jonathan was born in Somerville, lives in Woburn and has a degree from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.

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