Food & Drink Magazine

Bourbon + Butternut Soup

By Lucasryden @saborkitchen

Nothing beats a good Old Fashioned.  (Except another one).  The combination of sweet and spicy is simple yet utterly profound.  Bourbon, sugar, bitters, and citrus peel – that’s it.  With a cherry on top, please.  And plenty of ice.

I had about six of these last Saturday.  After the third, I started thinking long and hard about the flavor components of this classic American cocktail, and why it’s remained so popular for over 100 years.  At some point (probably around number five) I realized that the Old Fashioned is good because it has everything your taste buds desire: sweet from the sugar, acid from the lemon, and spice from the whiskey and bitters.  It doesn’t need anything else because it’s perfect.

Sometime after the sixth cocktail I started thinking about soup.  Something seasonal, maybe something with butternut squash.  My train of thought was completely senseless and out of control at this point, which is to be expected after finishing close to half a bottle of 90 proof bourbon.  But the creative juices were flowing, so I said what the hell and let my brain do its dance.

The result was a rather outlandish idea to breed my favorite cocktail with one of my favorite fall soups.  Butternut squash with bourbon, bitters, cherry, and orange.  More specifically, a bourbon-infused butternut squash soup topped with bitters whipped cream and cabernet syrup.  If you’re still confused, just read the recipe.


bourbon + butternut soup


Bourbon & Butternut Soup:

2 large butternut squash
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 dried pasilla chili (available at Mexican grocery stores)
1-inch piece ginger
1 tsp star anis
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 cup bourbon
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup chicken (or veggie) broth

Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Slice the squash into rounds and cut the onion in half. Place in a baking pan along with garlic. Brush veggies with olive oil and bake for 30-40 minutes, until very tender. Meanwhile, toast the pasilla chile in a skillet until puffy. Remove and soak in hot water for 20-30 minutes. When vegetables are ready, puree in a food processor along with the pasilla chili, ginger, sugar, and spices. Add bourbon, orange juice, coconut milk, and broth. Pour into a large pot and cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Bitters Whipped Cream

1 pint heavy cream
2 tbsp Angostura bitters
2 tbsp honey

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Beat with a whisk until stiff peaks form.  Spoon onto soup at service.

Cabernet Reduction

2 cups cabernet sauvignon
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp orange peel
1 tbsp sliced ginger

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until thick and syrupy.  Squeeze a few drops onto each serving of soup and stir to combine.


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