Spring is definitely in full swing here on the east coast with much needed rain and showers. As gloomy as it has been recently, my spirits are still high because I love rainy weather. For 38 years of my life, I grew up in Southern California where as the saying goes, it never rains. Or hardly ever rains. That saying became scarily truer in the last 20 years, where droughts became the norm, and water falling from the skies became as common as February 29th (claps hooray for the last year’s rains on the west coast, right?).
Since I’ve been spoiled/held captive at home after my surgery a couple weeks ago (separate post about that coming!), I’ve come to appreciate the real comforts of home, and how so many of those comforts come in the simplest forms. It could be staying warm under a favorite blanket, which I’ve enjoyed quite a bit recently. Or it could be rediscovering those exotic teas you bought months ago and have sat in the back of the dark cupboard just waiting for that momentous day that you would remember them and joyously and quietly steep them in that hot water from the tea kettle you remember you had which whistles just like a cartoon.
On this rainy April day, my small comfort was this creamy and explosively flavorful butternut squash soup in the slow cooker. What’s more comforting than throwing ingredients together minimal prep, relaxing for a few hours and then having your soup magically ready for you? I truly LOOOOVE the slow cooker… it’s like there are tiny little invisible chefs hard at work in there for hours, preparing an amazingly tender, balanced, juicy or creamy little something, all waiting for you to enjoy with baited breath like five-star restaurant staff waiting on your every whim!
I had a last small winter butternut squash patiently sitting on the countertop, standing by for it’s time to shine, and yesterday was that day. This recipe is a bit of an evolution and medley of a few different recipes I’ve had in various cookbooks. The beauty of this soup is that it is nearly full-proof, and extremely versatile. You can make it dairy-free and fully vegetarian easily without compromising the delicate and vibrant flavors.
Below is my current version of this recipe. I say ‘current’ because who knows how I’ll experiment with it in the next iterations I experiment with. But for now, here is the recipe, from garden to golden state (see what I did there?) 🙃
Slow Cooker Butternut Squash
- 4 TB unsalted butter
- 1 small brown or yellow sweet onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, diced
- 1-2 jalapenos, diced (optional)
- 1 medium butternut squash, seeded and cubed into 1″ pieces
- 2 c chicken broth (veg variation: 2 c vegetable broth; optional 1 c chicken broth + 1 c vegetable broth)
- 2 TB extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground pepper
- 1 TB ground sage
- 1 TB ground turmeric
- 1 TB dried oregano
- sour cream to taste (optional)
- fresh thyme sprigs to taste (optional)
- Melt butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat until melted. Add diced onion, garlic and jalapeno to butter and sauté until softened, approximately 3 minutes.
- Remove vegetables from heat and toss into slow cooker. Add cubed butternut squash to slow cooker. Pour broth into vegetable mixture. Season with olive oil, salt, pepper, sage, turmeric and oregano.
- Turn slow cooker on HIGH, cover and cook for 2.5 hours.
- Using either an immersion blender or after transferring ingredients into a traditional blender, blend cooked ingredients for 1 minute until creamy.
- Finish with a dollop of sour cream and fresh thyme, and enjoy!
I’d love to hear your favorite ways to make this soup – please share!!
♥ – G2GS