Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup is silky and delicious, packed with vitamins, and as effortless as tossing frozen butternut squash cubes into the crock pot!
Well, friends, Thanksgiving week is finally upon us, and I’m assuming y’all are all set on your Turkey Day menu by now? (If not, it’s never too late to check out all of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes…hurryhurryhurry!) I’m also assuming that you’re going to do enough grocery shopping and cooking and dish washing to earn you a kitchen break once the chaos of the holiday weekend subsides. And finally, as the Thanksgiving leftovers wane, you might be craving something a little lighter and less decadent than the traditional extravagance of holiday mealtime.
If any or all of the above happens to be the case, then I’ve got the perfect recipe for you: Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup!
How to Make (Frozen!) Butternut Squash Soup
First off, it is so easy, it’s almost laughable. Start with a couple bags of frozen butternut squash cubes — no need to exert the energy to peel and slice a whole butternut squash here — and just toss ’em in the crock pot. Add some cooking liquids and some spices, pop on the lid, and spend your day watching football or putting up the Christmas tree or Black Friday shopping…or taking a well-deserved nap.
As far as post-holiday cravings for lighter dishes, while this soup turns out thick and silky and luxurious, that’s because the cooked squash is pureed…not because the soup is loaded with butter and cream. I do like to stir in a skosh of half-and-half at the end to lend a little creaminess, but you could substitute milk if you prefer or just leave it out altogether.
Tweaking the Flavors
Now here’s the thing about this recipe…I want you to use it as a guide and tweak the spices to your liking! I think that the natural sweetness of butternut squash really lends itself to warm spices like curry powder, ground ginger, and cinnamon, so that’s what we’re starting with here. In small amounts, they blend into the background and aren’t predominant enough to stand out individually. However, after your soup is done, give it a taste and decide if you’d like to taste more curry or ginger or cinnamon…or if you’re happy with things just the way they are. I added an additional 1/4 teaspoon ginger and it went over well with my family, but if you’re into curry, feel free to go that direction instead.
Also, you will almost certainly need to add more salt at the end (for me, the ideal amount was a total of 1 teaspoon). This soup tastes bland until you achieve just the right amount of salt, and then the flavors magically pop. As for heat, I’m happy with a generous grind of fresh black pepper, but cayenne would also be delicious if you fancy a little spice. And finally, if you prefer a squash soup that’s on the sweeter side, feel free to stir in a couple of tablespoons of pure maple syrup.
I often make tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for weekend lunches during the fall and winter months, but I was excited to add this Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup into the rotation. I think it’s particularly good accompanying a grilled cheese made with a smoky (smoked provolone) or spicy (pepperjack) cheese. But it’s also perfectly yummy on it’s own…no sandwich required!
So if you’re looking for a post-Thanksgiving recipe that’s nutritious and delicious, warm and filling, and — well — downright effortless, this Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup fits the bill!
Until then, HAPPY THANKSGIVING, everyone! As I count my blessings this year, I’m genuinely grateful for y’all, my wonderful readers. Thank you, as always, for your loyalty and support. I wouldn’t be here on the interwebs without you. 🙂
Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup
- 32 ounces frozen butternut squash cubes (about 6 to 7 cups)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 cups chicken broth (OR vegetable broth)
- 1 cup unsweetened apple juice
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- Sour cream, for serving (optional)
- Pour frozen squash into the bottom of a large slow cooker. Sprinkle with fresh minced garlic, curry powder, ground ginger, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Pour chicken broth and apple juice over the top and stir well. Cover and cook for 6 to 8 hours on LOW or 3 to 4 hours on HIGH, or until squash is tender
- Use an immersion blender to puree cooked squash until smooth. Stir in half-and-half, and adjust seasonings, adding more salt and pepper as needed, and more curry, ginger, and/or cinnamon, if desired. Cover and cook for a few more minutes until heated through. Serve topped with sour cream, if desired.
- For a spicier soup, you may use ground cayenne pepper in place of freshly ground black pepper. Start with 1/8 teaspoon and work your way up.
- If you don't have an immersion blender, you may allow the soup to slightly cool and then puree it in a blender. Just be sure to crack the lid to allow steam to escape while holding it in place with a kitchen towel.
- For a vegan version, use vegetable broth instead of chicken stock, increase the amount to 2 1/2 cups, and omit the half-and-half (and optional sour cream).
More Comforting Soups
- Easy White Bean, Kale, & Sausage Soup
- Macaroni & Cheese Soup
- Perfect Chicken & Dumplings
Slow Cooker Loaded Baked Potato Soup