A few years ago my mom was espousing the benefits of a Crock Pot. I’ll be honest. I didn’t really get it in part because whenever my mom broke out the Crock Pot, she usually made enough food to feed the small army that is our immediate family. So as an adult with one other roommate and a very large, 7 qt slow cooker at our disposal, I thought, really, what can I possibly make in that thing that I will still want to eat 10 days from now? Because in my mind, Crock Pot = obscene amount of food.
But after my family stayed with me the past couple of winters and finding my “Barbie” kitchen insufficiently equipped, a new, cuter Crock Pot arrived on the scene. It’s red! It’s not humongous!! Maybe there is a future for me in slow cooking after all.
And so, last weekend, in time for the first snowfall, I decided to break out the Crock Pot to make this delightful Squash Soup. It’s adapted from a recipe from November issue of Better Homes and Gardens that calls for butternut squash. Not having any butternut squash on hand, but rather copious amounts of acorn squash, I substituted. My mom warned me that using acorn squash would prove to be a hassle because it’s not easy to peel. As with the benefits of slow-cooking, once again, she was right. It took forever to finally get all the squash prepped, but once I did, this turned out to be a very, very good recipe. Mom – if you’re reading this, I highly recommend getting out the Crock Pot and putting Dad to work peeling (then the peeling wouldn’t be as arduous for you! See, I’m so smart!). You’ll have a delicious, easy-to-make dinner in just a few short hours!
Slow Cooker Squash Soup with Thai Gremolata
2 lb. squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces.
2 c. vegetable broth
1 14oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. Asian chili sauce
2 Tbsp. lime juice
Stir squash, broth, coconut milk, onion, brown sugar, soy sauce and chili sauce together in 3 – 4 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 2 – 2/12 hours or on low for 4 – 5 hours.
Blend the soup until completely smooth using an immersion blender or food processor. Stir in lime juice.
Serve soup and top with Thai Gremolata.
1/2 c. chopped basil or cilantro
1/2 c. chopped peanuts (I substituted cashews here)
1 Tbsp. finely shredded lime peel (optional)
Stir together all of the above ingredients.