Recipe for butternut squash soup
Last week, I couldn't resist buying what I believe to be the world's largest butternut squash, the size (and weight) of a baseball bat or maybe a small dugout canoe. At this time of year in New England, the farm stand at our local orchard sells apples, pears and squash from cold storage; soon the winter's root vegetables and hard squash will make room for tender spears of asparagus, fiddleheads and ramps, so this might be my last butternut squash soup of the season. I'll freeze some to turn into a wonderful cold soup a few months from now.
Butternut squash soup
This recipe is a slow-cooker adaptation of a stove top recipe that first appeared on The Perfect Pantry. Make it vegan by substituting vegetable broth or water for the chicken broth. Serves 6-8; recipe can be halved for a smaller slow cooker.
3 lbs butternut squash, more or less, peeled and diced (or 2 lbs squash and 1 lb sweet potato)
1 medium onion, diced
2 small tart apples, cored (but skin left on), diced
2 tsp sweet curry powder
1 heaping tsp ras el hanout (or vadouvan or garam masala)
Pinch of cayenne pepper
4 cups chicken stock (homemade or low-sodium store-bought), vegetable broth or water
2 Tbsp agave nectar or honey
Juice of 1 lemon
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Tabasco sauce, to taste (optional, but really good)
In a 6- or 7-quart slow cooker, place squash, onion, apples, curry powder, ras el hanout, cayenne, and stock or water. Set cooker to HIGH and cook for 3 hours, or until the squash is extremely tender.
Carefully puree with an immersion blender (or puree in batches in a blender or food processor) until smooth. Season to taste with agave, lemon juice, salt and black pepper and, if you want some heat, add a few drops of Tabasco sauce. Continue cooking on LOW for 30 minutes (if you'd like a thicker soup, leave the slow cooker lid partially open; for a thinner soup, add stock or water). Serve hot, or allow to cool completely and freeze in airtight containers.