Wednesday, December 30, 2009
2 Butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 Onion, diced
6 c. Chicken broth, low sodium
2 Bay leaves
2 Cinnamon sticks (~ 3-4 in. long)
1-2 pkg Cream cheese, light
Place all the ingredients, except for the cream cheese, into the slowcooker. Ensure the broth is covering the squash but do not fill it up too high because you will need to save room for the cream cheese.
Cook for 10 hours.
Discard the Bay leaves and cinnamon sticks.
Puree the soup and the cream cheese together using a blender or food processor. You can add 1-2 packages of cream cheese, depending on how creamy you want your soup to be.
Transfer the soup back into the slowcooker to keep warm. Do not boil. (Alternatively, you can warm up the soup on the stovetop.)
I've made the Brandy-laced Squash Soup several times and I love it but I am ready to try a different squash soup recipe this year. I found a really easy squash soup recipe with great reviews and thought I'd run with it for our Christmas dinner...except for 2 small problems: 1) I don't have all the ingredients at home on Christmas Eve when I started the preparation and 2) I was feeling really lazy.
First off - Laziness was my main motivation to change my squash soup recipe because I really didn't feel like roasting my squash for an hour. So there was no way I was going to cook my soup on the stove and have to feel like I need to slave over it for hours. Also, I have no time to cook soup on Christmas Day, not with everything else going on, so I needed to improvise. Thank goodness for the slowcooker because it was a beautiful solution to my problem.
As for the lack of ingredients, well, that was my own fault for not checking the cupboards before heading to the grocery store. I could've sworn that I have both marjoram and cayenne peppers at home but I didn't. So I resorted to flavouring this squash soup with ingredients from the old recipe and turned this into a beautiful, delicious holiday soup. Everyone loved the soup...my father-in-law even asked me for the recipe and he told me he doesn't normally like squash.
The thing I've always found with squash soup is that it always tastes better the next day. However, our fridge was so full this year that I couldn't possibly prepare the soup the day before and store it overnight. This is where the slowcooker came in: I put the soup on for 10 hours the night before, then puree the next day and keep the soup warm in the slowcooker. :) My only complain about this soup was that I added too much creamcheese (2 packages); next time, I'll cut it down to 1 package and that should be plenty rich.