I think my love for fall grows every year. Hopefully that’s not a sign of aging, but this year I especially feel excited for a new season. I love cleaning up the yard and “tucking” it in for the coming winter. I also love harvest: not only watching it happen in the fields around my farm, but also harvesting all my fall vegetables and squash.
I seriously never get tired of winter squash. There are so many uses and if nothing else, the no-fail staple of a roasted squash with olive oil, salt and pepper is just delicious. My favorite way to use squash marries two things I cannot get enough of: squash and soup! I have made about every variation I can think of, but for some reason never made my soup in a slow cooker. Um, let me tell you: this is now what I’ll be doing all the time. Throw everything in the cooker, set the timer and go to work. Or stay at home and smell it all day long!
- 1 3/4 pounds winter squash (butternut, buttercup, kobocha)
- 2 stalks celery (1 cup chopped)
- 2 medium carrots (3/4 cup chopped)
- 1 cup diced onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 apples
- 2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
- 1 15-ounce can coconut milk
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- Clean squash by removing the ends and cutting down the middle lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and peel and dice the squash into 1/2-inch pieces. Place in slow cooker.
- Add the celery, carrots, diced onion and smashed garlic cloves.
- Remove the core from the apples and cut into 1/2-inch pieces, The peel can be left on for added texture or removed if desired.
- Prepare the ginger by peeling with a spoon and finely mince using a microplane.
- Add to the slow cooker with the curry, cinnamon, salt, pepper, pumpkin puree, coconut milk and chicken stock.
- Cover with the lid and set on high for 6-8 hours.
- When finished, a knife should pierce the squash and apples with no resistance.
- Use an immersion blender and puree the soup, leaving a little texture. Alternatively the soup can be pureed in a blender in batches.
- Stir in the vinegar before serving to wake up the flavors. This can be served with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a few cilantro leaves as garnish.
Video and images by The Gray Boxwood