Best Ever Butternut Squash Soup


Ali, who blogs on her site, “Gimme Some Oven”, shares this delicious soup with its many serving suggestions. You’ll notice she gives us directions for making it on the stovetop or in a slow cooker.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6-8
Ingredients:
2 cups Vegetable stock
4 cloves Garlic, peeled and minced
1 Carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 Granny Smith Apple, cored and roughly chopped
1 medium (about 3–4 pounds) Butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
1 white Onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 sprig fresh Sage
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground Black pepper
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
pinch of ground Cinnamon and Nutmeg
1/2 cup canned (unsweetened) Coconut milk (or Heavy cream)
Optional garnishes: extra Coconut milk, smoked Paprika, or Pepitas
Have fun with toppings: So many toppings can pair well with butternut squash soup! Some favorites include:
Cheese (grated sharp cheddar, or crumbled feta, goat or blue cheese are all delicious)
Nuts (toasted almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, pepitas, or candied pecans are some faves)
Herbs (fresh cilantro, thyme, sage, chives, etc.)
Crispy bacon or prosciutto
Greens (Ali loves adding a handful of fresh baby arugula as a topping)
Croutons
Directions:
Slow Cooker Instructions:
1. Add vegetable stock, garlic, carrot, apple, butternut squash, sage, onion, salt, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon and nutmeg to a small (4-quart) slow cooker or large (6-quart) slow cooker.  Toss to combine.
2. Cook for 6-8 hours on low, or 3-4 hours on high, or until the squash is completely tender and mashes easily with a fork.  Remove and discard the sage.  Stir in the coconut milk.
3. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth.  (Or you can transfer the soup in two batches into a traditional blender and puree until smooth, being extremely careful not to fill the blender too full with a hot liquid.)  Taste, and season with additional salt and pepper as needed.
4. Serve warm, topped with your desired garnishes.
Stovetop Instructions:
1. Add vegetable stock, garlic*, carrot, apple, butternut squash, sage, onion*, salt, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon and nutmeg a large stockpot.  Toss to combine.
2. Cook on medium-high until the mixture reaches a simmer.  Then cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are all tender and mash easily with a fork.
3. Remove and discard the sage.  Stir in the coconut milk.
4. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth.  (Or you can transfer the soup in two batches into a traditional blender and puree until smooth, being extremely careful not to fill the blender too full with a hot liquid.)
5. Taste, and season with additional salt and pepper as needed.
6. Serve warm, topped with your desired garnishes.
Notes:
*For extra flavor, Ali recommends sautéing the garlic and onion before adding the remaining ingredients.  Just heat 1 Tablespoon oil over medium-high heat.  Add diced onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.  Next add minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 additional minutes until fragrant, stirring occasionally.  Then add the remaining ingredients and continue on with the recipe.

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