Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup

There is nothing like homemade soup on a cold winter day. At this time of year, I always have soup on hand that's ready to be warmed on a moment's notice. Thanks to my new favorite cookbook, Make It Fast, Cook It Slow, most of the recipes I've tried lately are simple to prepare in a slow cooker.

from Make It Fast, Cook It Slow
by Stephanie O'Dea

The Ingredients:

1 butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 small onions, diced
2 small apples, peeled and cubed
1  1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

The Directions:
Use a 6-quart slow cooker.  Cut the squash in half lengthwise.  This is terribly hard to do, but if you microwave the entire squash for 2 to 5 minutes on high, the skin will soften a bit.  Scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp.  Brush the olive oil on the inside of the squash and roast in the oven cut side up at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until the skin peels away from the flesh.

Plug in the slow cooker and turn to high.  Add the broth, onions, and apples. Stir in the salt, pepper, and spices.  Cover to let heat.

When the squash is finished roasting, add it to the pot.  Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or on high for about 4 hours.  Mash slightly, then carefully blend with handheld immersion blender.

Our Verdict:
This soup is deliciously creamy... it's hard to believe there is no butter or milk in the recipe!  My husband and daughters thought it was perfect, but the spices seemed a little overwhelming to me. I would cut back slightly next time.

Cooking notes:
I followed the recipe exactly, but thought the microwaving and roasting of the squash made it more difficult to handle. Another time I would peel, seed, and cut up the raw squash, then add it to the slow cooker in the beginning with the apples and onions.


Staci said...

Great suggestion and one that I will be sure to follow. I have some Butternut squash and this sounds easy and delicious!!

Vivienne said...

Just added to my google reader, so I won't miss any tasty recipes. Like this one!

JoAnn said...

Staci - This recipe will be even easier if you don't roast the squash first ... you may want to go a little lighter on the spices, too.

Vivienne - So glad you'll be cooking with us!!

Trish said...

Keep these slow cooker recipes coming! I only use mine for pot roast and know I'm just wasting the valuable appliance away.

Still scared of the squash, though. How do you know you're picking a good one up at the grocery?

JoAnn said...

Trish - You NEED this cookbook! The recipes couldn't be easier and we've liked almost every one we've tried.

I have no idea how you know if it's a good squash. Just try to get one that doesn't have any strange bumps or spots, or one that looks better than the rest ;-)

Michelle said...

butternut squash always looks so good. i can't say that I have ever had it though. This seems really delicious with the apples and the deep spices. This is a must try.

JoAnn said...

Michelle - Butternut squash is a favorite fall/winter food around here. Hope you like the soup!

Uniflame said...

I never ate butternut squash before. I have no idea if I can even get my hands on it. Does it taste like pumpkin?

JoAnn said...

Uniflame - It is along the same line as pumpkin and I'll bet pumpkin would work in this recipe, too.