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Butternut Squash Bisque with Pumpkin Butter

Mar 31, 2014 11:41AM ● By Cate Reynolds
By Kimberly Cooper // Photos by Tony Lewis, Jr.

Treaty of Paris
16 Church Circle, Annapolis
410-216-6340 (reservations)

If you dine in Annapolis, you’re likely familiar with the Treaty of Paris restaurant. It’s an iconic dining establishment, infused with a rich history and boasting fine cuisine. Executive Chef Tim Johnson spends his days in the kitchen, creating culinary masterpieces for his diners. He shares with us his culinary thoughts as well as Treaty of Paris’ recipe for luxurious butternut squash bisque. Traditionally used in hearty, “cold-weather” dishes, butternut squash remains in season through March; perfect for warming up to spring.
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Tell us a little bit about Treaty of Paris. How did you come to work there?
The Treaty of Paris restaurant is steeped in the heritage of our country. We actually acquired our name from the peace treaty of 1783, which ended the Revolutionary War. My experience actually originated in Annapolis with my first hotel experience at the Annapolis Ramada Inn, which is now the Sheraton Hotel as a banquet cook under Executive Chef Jim Erickson who's currently at Annapolis Marriott Hotel. After a stint of working in Washington, D.C. for 15 years with various food management organizations such as Hilton Hotels, The Washington Terrace, and Compass Group, I had the opportunity to venture back home to Annapolis where I originally started.

What, to you, is more important: local or organic foods?
What’s most important to me is locally grown products which we do incorporate into a lot of our menu items. By doing so we are giving back to our local economy by using product provided by local farms and fisheries.

Where do you find inspiration for your dishes?
From the creative aspect and the overall guest satisfaction of the final product.

How often do you change the menu at Treaty of Paris?
Our menus at the Treaty of Paris change on a seasonal basis, which adds a certain contrast of the product that we provide.

If you had to choose your favorite food, what would it be?
My favorite food would be Sea Bass. I love the texture and overall flavor of this product.

What is the most important tool in your kitchen?
My hands and having a creative mind are my most important tools in the kitchen. Training my culinary team—the basic aspect of teaching new ideas and working alongside them—is also very rewarding because I feel as though I've taught them something that they may not have known previously.

Butternut Squash Bisque with Pumpkin Butter
Image titleIngredients

Vegetable oil spray
12-pound butternut squash (cut in half lengthwise)
2 cups of low sodium chicken broth
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground marjoram
½ teaspoon dried thyme
Pinch of grated nutmeg
1 cup of half and half
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 jar of pumpkin butter
Chopped pistachio nuts


Preheat Oven to 375F degrees. Spray a 9” x 13” baking dish with vegetable oil spray. Place the squash halves, cut side down, in the prepared dish. Pierce the skin sides several times with a fork. Bake until the squash is tender, about 45 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle.

Using a large spoon, scrape the flesh from the cooked squash into a food processor. Discard the skins. Add 1 ½ cups of the chicken broth, cinnamon, marjoram, thyme, and nutmeg and puree until smooth. Transfer the puree to a large sauce pan. Whisk the half and half into the soup over medium heat.

If you prefer a thinner consistency, add the remaining broth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Top with a dollop of pumpkin butter and sprinkle with chopped pistachios before serving.