Fall brings my favorite scents of the season. On Sundays my kitchen is often filled with aromas of assertive herbs and spices like sage, cinnamon and cloves. I also may have a slight obsession with all things squash and pumpkin. I’m sure you’ll see in the weeks to come that I love to incorporate these quintessential fall vegetables into everything I can! This recipe for Butternut Squash and Apple Bisque awakens all of those autumn senses.
Ironically, by calendar it’s still considered summer so some of you may think I’m wishing away the final days. This may be true, but once September hits it’s hard for me not to immerse myself in those sensational comfort aromas and tastes of the harvest season.
My first autumn hearty recipe of the season is this butternut squash and apple bisque. There is no cream required to make it rich and velvety. So we’re calling this a very healthy soup (and it is!). However; for some extra Fall features I’ve added mini meatballs to the mix. I also love Italian wedding soup and the small pops of meaty flavor. I thought adding to a different type of soup would be a fun twist. To keep with the harvest flavor theme the meatballs have tender, tart apple bits in them.
This healthy soup will be on repeat in your house all season.
…all for the love of the dish
- Ingredients for Meatballs:
- 1 apple (Ginger Gold)
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 & 1/2 tbsp of maple syrup
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp finely dices fresh sage
- 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper
- Ingredients for Bisque:
- 3lbs of diced butternut squash (I bought a 3.25lb squash and peeled/diced it)
- 2 apples (Ginger Gold)
- 1 large vidalia onion
- 2 to 2 & 1/2 cups of low sodium chicken stock
- 3 sage leaves
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp coriander
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 30 chicken apple meatballs
- Mini Chicken Apple Meatballs:
- Preheat to 400 degrees. Peel and finely dice the apple. (*Note: I used Ginger Gold apples for both parts of this recipe because that was fresh at my farmers’ market and it is sweet and mildly tart. Feel free to use another apple variety if you can’t find this. Some other apples you can swap for include: honeycrip, jonagold, or cortlands)
- Using your hands, mix all the ingredients together and roll into little balls-about teaspoon size.
- Place the meatballs on greased pan and cook for about 20 minutes or cooked through and slightly browned on the outsides.
- Butternut Squash & Apple Bisque:
- Tools Needed: Food Processor or Blender
- Peel and chop the squash and apple into medium sized chunks. Slice the onion. Heat olive oil (2tbsp) in a stock pot, add veggies and cover. Let cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally to allow for all ingredients to soften. Then add 2 cups chicken stock, spices, and sage.
- Allow to simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes. Remove the sage leaves from the bisque. Working in 2-3 batches, pour the soup contents into a food processor/blender and pulse for 2 minutes or until smooth. Add additional chicken stock if needed to obtain the consistency you would like (I added about 1/4 cup to each batch). I like my bisque to be thick! But, feel free to add as much stock as you like.
- Return to pot and add 30 meatballs (You’ll have a few leftovers. I enjoyed my extras with eggs at breakfast!). Let simmer for another 10 minutes and then serve in large bowls.
** A good note for leftovers if you keep the bisque thick like I do. Just add some chicken stock when reheating as it tends to thicken even more once cooled.