I first made this soup for a little soup shooter snack alongside the meat and cheese board on the morning of Thanksgiving. I threw all the ingredients in my slow cooker before I went to bed, and woke up to some pretty incredible aromatics. On Thanksgiving, we usually skip breakfast and get straight to appetizers. I always feel like a nice hot soup loaded with vegetables is a much better alternative to a typical veggie tray at holiday get-togethers.
I must say that I got the inspiration for this soup from a vegan version of this recipe. Instead, I added some cream and chicken broth, which are more commonly found in my household than coconut milk and vegetable stock. Don’t get me wrong, I do buy those items now and then, but I always have cream and chicken broth on hand.
The most distinct ingredient that I added to the original recipe was fresh ginger. It gives the soup a spiciness that it wouldn’t otherwise have with the cayenne pepper alone. It perfumes your whole house. It’s not often that you use an entire root of ginger all at once, but it stores easily in the freezer. I like to wrap it in Glad Press ‘n’ Seal to prevent any chance of freezer burn. I also added a good dose of turmeric to this soup, which gives an extra added boost of vibrancy.
Learned lesson: Do not use a red onion as a substitute in butternut squash soup! I only had red onions on hand the first time I made this and the color was a darker maroon instead of the much-preferred bright golden yellow. It still tasted just as delicious, but looked less appealing. As an option, I included the frozen white pearl onions in my recipe because I generally do not buy white onions. I prefer buying red onions because they have cardiovascular health benefits. For me, the grocery store isn’t just down the street, so it’s nice to have freezer items available instead of making an unnecessary trip to the store. Besides that, no one likes to bundle their kids up in the dead of winter and head to the store when it’s only five degrees out. As I post this to my blog, it is currently 14 degrees Fahrenheit with a low of four degrees. Stay warm!
SLOW COOKER BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
- 1 white onion, roughly chopped (or 1 cup of frozen white pearl onions)
- 1 carrot, peeled and sliced (or 1 cup of frozen sliced carrots)
- 1 uncooked medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced into 1-2 inch chunks
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 sprig of fresh sage (or ½ teaspoon of dried sage leaves)
- 1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 dashes of cinnamon
- 3 dashes of nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 cups chicken broth
- ½ cup heavy cream
Put all ingredients except for heavy cream into slow cooker. Stir to combine and cook on low for eight hours or on high for four hours. After the eight hours (or four hours depending on your preference), add heavy cream. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. If the consistency is slightly thicker than desired, add a little more chicken broth.