The weather is cooling down and getting nice and crisp in NYC! Cooler Kitchen loves cruising the NYC Greenmarket at Union Square this time of year and enjoying the bountiful selection of squash. I really enjoy using my slow cooker on busy weekends when we want a nice Sunday dinner with leftovers to spare for the week ahead. This recipe for butternut squash soup hits the spot!
First, I peeled, seeded and chopped a large butternut squash and threw it into the slow cooker pan with one chopped apple, chopped carrots and celery, onion, and garlic. Sage is usually the go-to herb for butternut squash in most recipes, but I already knew that I already had thyme (my favorite and perhaps the most versatile of fresh herbs) at home so I tied a few strands together with kitchen twine and added it to the pot along with two bay leaves. Then came stock (chicken or vegetable is fine), and then seasoning with salt, pepper, and a tiny bit of cayenne to make things exciting.
I set it to cook for 8 hours on low heat, and left home for most of the day. When I returned home several later, all I needed to do next was remove the thyme and bay leaves, purée the soup with an immersion blender, and stir in coconut cream for smooth and lightly sweet finish.
Beautiful and tasty! The rich nuttiness of the squash, paired with the tartness of the apple and the kick of cayenne really brought this soup to another level. I cannot sing the praises enough of the slow cooker, too. So many people have them and don’t use them- if that’s you, take the opportunity of the changing seasons to motivate you to try it out with this recipe! Oh, and here’s the fun part if you feel like going a little crazy with the coconut cream…
Creamy Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
- 1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
- Small bunch of herbs, tied with twine (use fresh herbs like sage, thyme, and/or rosemary)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 medium onion, diced
- ½ teaspoon salt, or more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup canned coconut milk, plus extra for garnish to taste
- Add butternut squash, stock, garlic, carrot, apple, herbs, bay leaves, onion, salt, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon and nutmeg to a slow cooker. Toss to combine.
- Cook for 6-8 hours on low, or 3-4 hours on high, or until the squash is completely tender.
- Remove herbs and bay leaves. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until completely smooth, then stir in the coconut milk. Serve warm, with extra coconut milk and black pepper as a garnish.