Hi, would you like some Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup that’s super creamy, slightly sweet, and that highly resembles Panera’s autumn squash soup that I am obsessed with? YES PLEASE!
I have problem. I LOVE buying all of the winter squash – well okay, I love EATING it even more – BUT I tend to buy a bunch of it because it lasts FOREVER and oh the possibilities. Then I wind up with piles of squash on my counter and I don’t get to eating it for a long time because LIFE happens. And because well, I keep telling myself that it will last forever so I need to eat that other stuff in the fridge first. If there is a sale on squash, forget it, I’m in real trouble! Guess what happens? My squash ends up going bad – imagine that! Yes, squash does last a long time BUT it will go bad eventually – and when you have so much of it that you can’t cook it fast enough that can be a real issue. Maybe I should start writing the date of when I buy the squash on a peace of tape and stick it on the squash so I know which ones I got first and will feel a more of an urgent need to make them?! YES! JUST solved that problem! Okay OKAY, the other solution is to not buy so much squash at one time! Yes, I know, I need to start using my will power skills! BUT IT’S JUST SO GOOOOOD!
I’m really digging the CAPS today! I’m not yelling, I’m just excited!
Other solution to my squash buying problems is to actually COOK some of the squash. Enter Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup!!!!! This soup is so simple yet tasty. It’s got an entire butternut squash plus an onion, garlic, a few carrots, and a touch of honey (or maple syrup) to bring out the sweetness of the squash. We stir in a bit of light coconut milk to thin it out and make it all rich and creamy. Then we top it off with some smoky, slightly spicy, slightly sweet crispy chickpeas – because creamy soup needs a little crunch on top – and we’ve got perfection in a bowl! Of course the crunchy chickpeas are optional, but why not make them while the soup is simmering away in your slow cooker?
Best part is that Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup is vegan and gluten free. Plus look at that beautiful orange color! Your eyes will thank you for all of that beta carotene. If I eat this soup every day for a year will it give me 20/20 vision?! In case you are wondering, I have the WORST eyes – blind as a bat without any correction. Give me ALL of the beta carotene forever and ever, please!
This Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup makes a large batch so it’s perfect for meal prepping or feeding a large crowd, it also freezes like a dream! It’s great as a side soup or an appetizer. I love to pair it with a leafy green salad and some chicken. I hope you love this soup as much as I do. And learn from me, don’t buy too much squash at once – unless of course if you make several batches of soup, then it would be okay!
P.S. If you are looking for more tasty soups for winter try my Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili, Healing Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup, Healthier Loaded Baked Potato Soup, and Slow cooker Split Pea and Ham Soup! So much goodness!
- 1 butternut squash (4 cups), cubed*
- 1 onions, chopped
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper, each
- 3 tablespoons to ¼ cup honey (or sub maple syrup or agave nectar for vegans)
- ½ can light coconut milk, shaken (could sub full fat for a richer soup)
- CRISPY CHICKPEAS
- 1 15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon chipotle powder (optional)
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 to 3 teaspoons coconut sugar
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1½ tablespoons vegetable oil
- To a slow cooker, add all of the ingredients to except for the coconut milk. Cook on low for 8 hours of on high for 4 hours, or until the squash and carrots are fork tender.
- Use an immersion blender to puree the until smooth, OR you could transfer the ingredients to a blender, working in batches so that you don't fill the blender more than half way at a time. Return the soup to the slow cooker to keep warm, if needed.
- Stir in the coconut milk and adjust taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Add more honey/maple syrup for more sweetness and more salt and pepper to bring out the flavors.
- CRISPY CHICKPEAS
- An hour before your soup is done cooking start making the chickpeas. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the drained, rinsed chickpeas on a clean kitchen towel. Pat dry with the towel, they don't need to be completely dry, but they do need to be mostly dry. Remove any skins that come off in the process.
- Transfer the chickpeas to a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the spices and the oil. Taste a chickpea and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Spread the chickpeas onto a medium sized rimmed baking sheet so that they have plenty of room. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes. The chickpeas will become a light brown and char slightly, when they are done they should be pretty crunchy. Stick with them for the last 20 minutes and stir them every 5 minutes to prevent burning. Allow to cool completely.
- To serve the soup top it with some chickpeas.
- Soup leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 7 days. Store the chickpeas in an air tight container on at room temperature. The soup also freezes really well.
Watch thisvideo for how to peel and cut a butternut squash. I also find it helpful to poke a few holes in the squash and microwave the squash on high for 1 to 2 minutes, or until it's warm to the touch but not hot. This softens the squash slightly and makes it a lot easier to cut into!