Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup

 

Nothing is more appetizing than a creamy soup on a crisp, fall day. This butternut squash soup is easy and just begging to be prepared on a lazy weekend with a fireplace crackling and pumpkins on the porch. Not only does this recipe require minimal ingredients, it is loaded with health benefits as well. Butternut squash, once known as the “apple of God”, is jam-packed with fiber, potassium, and magnesium. Both the butternut squash and carrots contain beta-carotene, a compound that has antioxidant activity and can help protect cells from damage. Beta-carotene can help keep skin and eyes healthy and strengthen the immune system. The compound is eventually converted to Vitamin A, an essential nutrient for our diet. Adults, children, and babies alike can enjoy this healthful dish. This recipe is gluten-free and can be altered to be vegan, as well.

 

Ingredients

1 package of frozen chopped butternut squash, thawed (can use fresh butternut squash, either 1/2 of a small squash or 16 ounces)

1-2 cups baby carrots

1 small white onion, chopped

2 cups vegetable stock

Fresh, grated ginger to taste (or ginger powder)

Fresh, grated garlic to taste (or garlic powder)

Pinch of nutmeg

Salt and pepper to taste

1 package of low-fat cream cheese (or substitute with about 3/4 cups coconut milk if vegan recipe preferred)

Directions

Place squash, carrots, onion, and seasoning in slow cooker and cook on high for about 4 hours or low for 8 hours. Vegetables should be soft and easily cut. Once the vegetables are cooked, add either cream cheese or coconut milk  to make the soup creamy. Chop the cream cheese into smaller pieces and place in crock pot (or add the coconut milk if preferred). Using an immersion blender, or transferring batches to a regular blender, blend everything until smooth and creamy. Additional broth may added to adjust the consistency to your liking. Garnish with pumpkin seeds or coconut milk.

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