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Butternut Bisque with French Onion Toast Topper

This creamy, fall-ready butternut bisque is served with homemade French onion toast toppers, loaded with broiled Gruyere cheese and caramelized onions.
Makes:6 servings


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1½ cups chopped onion
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (2 pound) butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 large sweet onions, chopped
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sherry
  • ½ cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 6 slices sourdough bread
  • 6 teaspoons butter, softened
  • 6 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese


Prep:30 mCook:35 mReady:1 h 5 m
  1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add onion and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is tender but not browned, about 10 minutes.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high. Stir in tomato paste. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture begins to caramelize and brown, about 2 minutes. Add squash, chicken broth, remaining kosher salt, and cayenne pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until squash is very tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Reduce heat to low.
  3. Using an immersion blender, blend squash mixture until smooth. (Or transfer mixture, in batches if needed, to a blender or food processor. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Return to pot.) Stir in cream and maple syrup.
  4. Ladle soup into wide shallow bowls. Serve with French Onion Toast Toppers and top with parsley. French Onion Toast Toppers:
  5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  6. Heat butter and olive oil in a very large skillet over medium-low heat until butter is melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add sweet onions, shallot, salt, and pepper. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender, 12 to 14 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, until onions are golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in sherry and cook 2 minutes more. Add low-sodium beef stock and fresh thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced and onions are very tender, about 5 minutes. Remove thyme and discard.
  8. Meanwhile, arrange sourdough bread slices on a large baking sheet. Spread each slice with 1 teaspoon softened butter. Bake, turning once halfway through, until light brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Preheat the oven's broiler.
  9. Top bread slices with caramelized onion mixture and shredded Gruyère cheese. Broil until cheese is melted, about 2 minutes.

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