Gamekeeper Butternut Bisque

  • Servings: 1 gallon
  • Difficulty: fool your friends with fake fancy
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Do y’all remember that bangin’ little farm to table restaurant that I told you about in Boone, NC? The Gamekeeper? Yeah, well they keep getting better and more creative but they shared with me, their classic Butternut Squash Bisque recipe. It’s a staple that has been on and off their menu for years and I’m telling you, it’ll rock your world.

It’s funny because people think good food, fancy food, is hard to make. It isn’t. It just takes an extra step or two and a little creativity to get it right but boy does it pay off in dividends! The recipe Chef Ken Gordon shared with me makes 14 gallons of soup. But don’t worry, I reduced it down to a gallon. Freeze it, share it with friends, serve a soup and salad themed dinner because hey, it’s 2019 and you should be healthier.

This is one of many teasers to come for their 2020 cookbook that will highlight the last 20 years of tasting everything and building a love story around their food and community. Have you planned your trip to the High Country yet to visit them?


  • I used a yellow onion in place of Vidalias simply because I am lazy and didn’t want to go back to the store.
  • I substituted turkey broth for vegetable broth so my vegan sister would be more tempted to taste my food (She did. She loved it and questioned her veganhood. Not really, but she did love it.)
  • Splurge and get the white pepper. The flavor is actually a little different and it makes for a prettier soup.
  • Buy the pre-cut butternut squash. They sell them in 32 oz containers at Harris Teeter. That’s 32 oz of sanity. Do it.
  • Hand whip up some extra cream and plop it on top of your soup with some thyme for presentation.
  • The Vitamix is key here. If you don’t have one, I’m really sorry. I don’t either which is why I made it at my parents’ house. But it takes it from blended smoothie texture to butter velvet texture. Just being honest, you won’t have the same soup without one.
    • Yes, that sucks.


  • 27 oz Butternut Squash, cubed (just use the whole 32, it’s ok)
  • 18 oz Sweet Potato, cubed (about one large potato)
  • 18 oz Vidalia Onion
  • 27 oz Celery
  • 27 oz Turkey Stock
  • 7 oz Apple Juice
  • 7 oz Apple Sauce
  • 4 oz Brown Sugar
  • 13 oz Heavy Cream
  • 4 oz Butter
  • .14 oz Vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  • White Pepper to taste


  • Cutting Board
  • Chef Knife
  • Peeler
  • Measuring Cups
  • Kitchen Scale
  • Large Stock Pot with Lid
  • Vitamix
    • You can use the immersion blender but I’m telling you it won’t be as creamy unless you want to strain and reduce to thicken (or use a slurry) and lose a lot of good stuff.
    • If anyone wants to buy me a Vitamix, email me for my address. And I’ll send you my first born child.
  • Large Wooden Spoon


  • Mise en place y’all. Cut your celery and onion down to a medium-large dice. You’ll want them to cook at about the same rate. Peel and cube your sweet potato and measure out your liquids.
  • In your stock pot, melt your butter and add your celery and onions. Cover and sweat stirring occasionally.
  • When your onions and celery are opaque, add in your stock, apple juice, apple sauce, vinegar, potatoes, and squash. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, add in your brown sugar, give it a couple of swirls, and cover.
  • Let it be.
  • Once it has simmered for about 30 minutes, check to be sure your potatoes are fork tender.
  • Once everything is tender and fragrant, working in batches, transfer to your Vitamix and crank that shit to 10.
  • Once it is all velvety and creamy, return it to the stove and add your cream.
  • Adjust your salt and pepper.
  • Eat 1 gallon of soup and share with no one.

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