What is the perfect lunch on a warm, sunny July day? I'm sure soup came to mind straight away... yeah, right. Actually, when cooked in the slow cooker, it doesn't heat up the kitchen and it was very quick to get started before heading to church this morning with only a few steps to finish off when we returned home.
A Real Cost Savings
I'm sure it's no surprise to you that making your own soup is very inexpensive. Even using convenient, frozen butternut squash and onion, this recipe probably cost about £2 to make. Sure you could open a tin or two of soup for the same price, but it would never be this thick, creamy and fresh - plus, I'm always weary of the amount of sodium in tinned soup. On occasion I'll buy a carton of New Covent Garden soup on sale for about £1.25-£1.50 each, but to feed a family of 4, I'd need two cartons and there may not be any leftovers. Again, we had a large bowl each - the girls ate up their kiddy-sized portions - and there's some leftover for my lunch tomorrow! I just LOVE stretching our pennies!
The original recipe is from Peasandcrayons.com and calls for almond milk, which I didn't have on hand. I was planning to use plain 'ol normal milk when I remembered there was a small pot of double cream in the fridge that I didn't have any plans for (I needed less cream for a recipe I made yesterday than I thought); waste not, want not, I used probably a third to half a cup of cream in place of the milk.
Recipe - serves 4-6
16oz/ 4-5 C. of butternut squash, cubed (I used a bag of frozen bns)
6-8 large carrots - I definitely didn't peel them - less work, extra nutrients in the peel
1/4 C. chopped onion - frozen onion is my new best friend!
2 C. vegetable broth - I dissolved a chicken stock cube in 2 C. boiling water
a drizzle of olive oil - if you roast your veg first, like I did, but that's optional
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 C. almond milk - again, I chose to use up some double cream
If you choose to roast bns and carrots for a little extra flavour, lay it all out on a sheet pan, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and season with a little salt. Bang in it in the oven for about 30 minutes at about 200 degrees C, or until the veg is golden brown... but just make sure you don't burn it! Ick!
Place all of the veg, including the onion, and all of the juice on the sheet pan if you roasted your veg into the slow cooker... add in the stock and paprika... lid on.
Let the slow cooker do it's thing for 6-8 hours on LOW or 3-4 hours on HIGH, which is what I did. Turn off the slow cooker and puree with an immersion blender or use a blender or food processor in batches to puree to the desired consistency. Add in your milk of choice and serve.
The original recipe suggests serving the soup with toppings such as crumbled bacon, pumpkin seeds (pepitas), sesame seeds and/or cinnamon... but I didn't.
We enjoyed ours with some leftover toasted buns spread with margarine or herbed cream cheese.