Crockpot Creations

‘Tis the season for crockpot cooking. The days are short, the night comes early, and there are few things better than arriving home after to work to discover that, oh yeah, the soup you started at 8 in the morning is done and ready to be devoured. Dinner is served. It’s the greatest.

The potato-leek soup I made a while back was so easy and successful that I have made a couple more crockpot soups since then, and plan to do more in the near future. All you need is a simple salad and nice hunk of bread and you have a full meal that basically makes itself while you’re out living your life. Of the two soups listed below, I would say that the broccoli soup required a little less extra labor, but both were delicious and the butternut squash is definitely still worth the bit of extra effort. What’s nice about this butternut squash is that while unlike most butternut squash soups it doesn’t use any cream, it is still a nice, thick soup, and it is so flavorful.

Enjoy!

~C.

{Both recipes courtesy of Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook}

Slow Cooked Broccoli Soup with Garlic and Olive Oil

What you’ll need:

  • Two bunches of broccoli
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 8 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 2 tsps chopped fresh thyme or marjoram, or 1/2 tsp dried
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Toasted slices of french bread for serving
  • Freshly grated Parmesan for serving

What you’ll do:

  • Prepare broccoli by cutting off florets and chopping them. Trim bottom 2 inches off each stem, then peel remaining stem and thinly slice.
  • Combine broccoli, oil, garlic, thyme, broth, wine and lemon juice in slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours.
  • After cooking, use the back of a large spoon to mash the broccoli against the sides of the cooker. Soup should be chunky.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve with bread and Parmesan.

 

Butternut Squash Soup

What you’ll need:

  • 1 butternut squash that will fit in your slow cooker (with the lid on)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil or unsalted butter
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Sour cream or plain yogurt for serving
  • Pinch of cumin seeds, toasted in dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant (optional, we didn’t use this)

What you’ll do:

  • Wash and dry squash and place in slow cooker. Add the 2 tbsp of water and cover and cook on low until squash is tender, 7-9 hours. When squash is done, allow it to cool before moving on to the next step. NOTE: Do not discard the liquid in the slow cooker.
  • While squash is cooking, peel and chop the onion. Heat in skillet in oil over medium heat until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  • Slice squash in half lengthwise and discard the seeds and strings. Scoop out the cooked flesh and discard the shell (this can be tough if your squash is super tender).
  • In a blender, puree half the squash with half the onion and about 2 cups of broth.
  • Pour puree back into slow cooker and stir to dissolve any caramelized squash juices that have stuck to the bottom.
  • Puree remaining squash and onion with remaining 2 cups of broth and add that to the slow cooker.
  • Add brown sugar and season with salt and pepper.
  • Cover and cook on high until the soup is hot, about an hour.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
  • Serve hot with a scoop of sour cream or yogurt.

 

 

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