Butternut & Ham Bisque

I got this recipe from a Family Fun Magazine many years ago. Delish! I freeze my butternut squash in the fall so I make this in the fall and on chilly winter days.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 very large sweet onion, chopped
½ teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups peeled, diced butternut squash
1 cup peeled, diced all-purpose potatoes
5 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper, to taste
½ cup light or heavy cream
1½ cups diced cooked ham

Melt the butter in a medium soup pot or a large saucepan. Stir in the onion and rosemary. Partially cover the pan and cook the onion over moderate heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and cook another minute.

Add the squash*, potatoes, chicken stock, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover the pot. Cook the soup at a low boil for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are very soft. Remove the pan from the heat.

With a potato masher; mash up the vegetables until they are a nice creamy consistency. Stir in the pepper, the cream, and the ham, and heat for several minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.

* I use squash that has already been baked.  I find it too hard to cube and peel an unbaked squash, and it eliminates the need to mash the vegetables with a potato masher. I also bake and freeze squash in 5 cup sizes to have on hand for this recipe.  When I make the bisque I simply pull out the frozen squash and put it in (unthawed) it thaws during the 20 minute boil.  Then, it is a snap to cook.

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