23 October, 2018
Pumpkin Bisque with Portobello Eggplant Melt
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Warm, smooth, earthy, rustic. This bisque and sandwich combo pretty much satisfies every corner of the mouth and soul. And to top it all off, it’s vegetarian! With the weather cooling off, this is sure to keep you warm through the season. This soup and sammy combo is an Autumn staple in my home and I am delighted to share it with you. If you’ve never made a veggie bisque before, it’s pretty simple. It’s essentially just a thick, creamy soup.
*Before we get started, I suggest grabbing a hand blender if you don’t have one already because you never want to put hot soup in a blender. Trust me. Please trust me. I use the Hamilton Beach Hand Blender and it works wonderfully for this (and comes in handy way more than you’d think). It’s reasonably priced and gets the job done!
Cutting the pumpkin is the hardest part of this recipe. Pumpkin is tough, so make sure you have a super sharp knife in hand. After gutting and slicing it, use a vegetable peeler to remove the rind. That’s the easiest way to do it. Although I used vegetable broth for this recipe, you can experiment with any broth you want or have on hand. Miso broth is a surprisingly tasty option! The idea is that you want a light, creamy flavor for this bisque.
After adding your pumpkin, shallots, broth, and all the other goodies to the pot, simmer for about 25 minutes. You want the pumpkin to be soft. Use a immersion blender to blend all the contents of the pot. You definitely want more of a liquid, no chunks. The addition of heavy whipping cream is optional and meant to be added at the very end. If you add it too early, it will curdle and the texture will definitely be off. If you don’t have cream, you can sub for any kind of milk or no milk at all.
Portobello Eggplant Melt
The perfect combo for the soup has to be this heavenly vegetarian melt. With sweet red peppers, buttery brie, earthy eggplant, and portobellos, this is a 10 across the board for flavor. I used a multigrain loaf of bread for my melt because I wanted the extra texture, but you can use anything. My suggestions would be multigrain or pumpernickel. I saute my peppers in a little evoo and garlic then sear my portobello and eggplant in the skillet. I add cheese to the top and bottom bread slices so everything sticks together perfectly. Layer it all and melt it in the same skillet!
By now I think you guys know about my love affair with cheese…the nutty undertone of brie really makes this melt amazing and pairs so well with the bisque. I’ve made this with a few different cheeses but my favorite has always been brie. It brings out flavors in this dish you didn’t know were even hidden in there. Bomb dot com, y’all.
I want to strongly suggest my personal favorite pumpkin beer for this meal, Dogfish Head Punkin Ale. A full-bodied brown ale that tastes as delightful as its pumpkin pie scent. It’s not overpoweringly sweet like a lot of pumpkin brews suffer from, this beer is more of a spice driven easy drinker with a hint of sweet. I’ve used the word “earthy” a lot to describe this meal and it’s ingredients and I honestly, hands down, could not choose a better beer to compliment the flavors of the bisque or melt. It’s hard for me to put a glass of this stuff down, folks. It doesn’t stay on the shelf long so grab a sixer while you still can.
Get your hoodies out, crack open a cold one, turn on some football, and let’s get down to it!