Butternut Squash Soup in the Slow Cooker, Naturally Gluten-Free
Nourishing and warming Butternut Squash Soup in the Slow Cooker is naturally gluten-free.
Butternut squash is easy to cook several different ways, including the slow cooker, the stove top, the microwave or the oven. I’ve used each method in the past and found that they all have their advantages. For this recipe I focused more on the set-it-and-forget aspect of a crock pot to cook the squash while I went about doing other things for a while.
All I did before putting it in the crockpot was to halve it and seed it.
The simplicity of cooking winter squash in the slow cooker can’t be denied! Here is the raw squash, cut, seeded and ready to cook. There is a touch of oil (or butter can be used) to avoid sticking, and there is a little water to steam the squash. Optional vegetables can be added for seasoning, like celery, onion or garlic, if you like.
The slow cooker does its job of cooking, unwatched for a time. When a fork goes into the thickest part of the squash easily, it’s ready for the next step.
With a little peeling and cutting, the squash is cubed and ready to puree. I would like to mention at this point that if you don’t want to make a large pot of soup (like 8 cups or so), you can make a half recipe of the soup. Then you’ll have 2 cups or so of these butternut squash cubes to do other things with … see below for more on that. You can even freeze little packets of these nutritious cubes for use later.
But back to the soup.
Once the squash is pureed, the soup can be ready as soon as it’s reheated with the broth, water or milk that you add. If you do that in the slow cooker, you’ll have soup in about half an hour. You could do that on the stove-top if you’re in a hurry, but then you’d have another pot to wash….
There are so many good ideas for butternut squash! If you make a half recipe of soup, the rest of the cooked, cubed squash can be chilled and added to a salad of mixed greens, chopped onion, sunflower seeds and raisins. The bright orange cubes also make a healthy, flavorful addition to a stir-fry of broccoli, celery, onion and chicken.
I have also stir-fried these little cubes to make a crispy garnish for other veggies or even for a bowl of soup. There are enough ways to use the cooked butternut squash cubes that I’ve only scratched the surface. The challenge is having any leftovers at all.
This soup is so popular with my family that I should make twice as much of it!
Butternut Squash Soup, Naturally Gluten-Free
- 1 Medium Butternut Squash
- 1 Teaspoon Oil or Butter
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 1 Small Onion, optional
- 1 Stalk Celery, optional
- 1-2 Cloves Garlic, optional
- 4 Cups Gluten-Free Stock (Chicken or Vegetable), or Water, Milk, Rice Milk or Nut Milk, more or less as needed for the proper consistency
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt, to taste
- 1/4 Teaspoon Pepper, freshly ground, to taste
- ½ Teaspoon Paprika, for garnish
Cut the butternut squash in half. Scrape seeds out with a teaspoon.
Spread a teaspoon or so of oil in the slow cooker. Place the squash halves in the slow cooker cut side down.
Add a half cup of water.
Add the optional onion, celery and/or garlic, if desired.
Cover and cook according to manufacturer’s directions until the thickest part of the squash is fork-tender. I cook mine on high for about 3 hours.
Remove the squash to a platter or cutting board and allow to cool enough to handle.
Pull off the skin or use a peeler to remove it.
Cut the squash into several large chunks to make it easier to handle, and then cut each chunk into cubes so you can puree it.
Discard the optional vegetables, or puree them with the squash.
Working in batches, puree the squash in a food processor or blender until smooth.
In the slow cooker (it should still be cooking with a little broth or water in it), add the pureed squash with enough broth, water or milk to make a thick, creamy soup.
Continue cooking until heated through, about 30 minutes.
Adjust seasonings to taste.
If the soup is too thick, stir in a little water, a few tablespoons at a time.
Serve immediately. Garnish with a pinch of paprika.
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