I love squash. Butternut, acorn, delicata, spaghetti- you name it- I love it. My husband on the other hand, is less than enthusiastic when the bags of produce keep rolling into my house. I load up on squash, sweet potatoes, pears, brussels sprouts, big leafy greens- I wait ALL YEAR for this produce to arrive!
One of my favorite, fast, weeknight meals is butternut squash soup. It's loaded with vitamins, relatively low calorie, and keeps you warm on a cold winter night! This particular soup can be made vegan with the substitution of mushroom or vegetable stock rather than the chicken I had on hand. It would be delicious either way. I finished the soup with some cashew cream, but if REAL cream is okay for you, go for it! This soup contains all sorts of fall bounty. I added a butternut squash, an acorn squash, onions, garlic, and an apple for a touch of sweetness to balance out that smoky spiciness from the chipotle. The best part about it? It's made in the slow cooker! So you can peel, chop, and dice your heart out, dump it all in and head out for the day. When you come home you will be greeted by not only the wonderful aroma of fall, but a tasty and satisfying meal!
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 acorn squash
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 apple, diced (no need to peel)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 quart of stock (I used chicken because I had it on hand)
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- 1 chipotle in adobo sauce, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds (for garnish)
- 1 cup cashews
- 1.5 cups water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp lemon juice
(Soak cashews for at least 3 hours in the water. Drain, rinse, and add to a mini food processor bowl or blender. Add salt and lemon juice and pulse until creamy and smooth)
Peel and deseed your squash. I find it easiest to cut the butternut in quarters and use my chef's knife for this. If you're more comfortable with a vegetable peeler- use that.
Cut the squash pieces into one inch cubes.
Tie the thyme stems with a small piece of twine (so it's easier to fish out the woody stems when the soup is cooked). Finish cutting the remaining ingredients and all them all to your slow cooker. Add the spices and stock and cover.
Cook for 6 hours. When you check the vegetables, they should be fork tender. Working in batches, scoop ladles into a blender and blend until smooth. (Alternatively, you could use an immersion blender in the actual slow cooker and save yourself washing the blender and a second bowl...)
Ladle some into a bowl. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and cashew cream. Enjoy! xo