32ouncesfrozen butternut squash cubes (about 6 to 7 cups)
1/2teaspoonsaltplus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepperto taste
2cupschicken broth OR vegetable broth
1cupunsweetened apple juice
Sour creamfor 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).