Slow Cooker Butternut Squash & Pear Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

Creamy and smooth, the combination of winter produce and warm spices makes this Slow Cooker Butternut Squash & Pear Soup perfect anytime you’re craving something warm, simple and wholesome.

Talk about easy! This Slow Cooker Butternut Squash & Pear Soup comes together quickly and cooks along on its own with absolutely no attention required for 8 full hours. You can make the prep even faster by using pre-peeled fresh squash or frozen cubed butternut. As for the flavor, it’s slightly sweet, nicely squash-y and a welcome twist on the more typical squash-and-apple combo.

Vegetable Broth

Disclosure: We were not paid to write this post; all thoughts and the recipe are our own. Pacific Foods provided us with samples of their products only (although we were already familiar with them and have recommended them in the past).

There’s something so satisfying about a simple, pureed soup. Without a lot of texture to draw your attention, the ingredients need to stand on their own. That’s why we love Pacific Natural Foods brand broths. They are  high quality, have excellent flavor and then there’s the gluten-free aspect—lots of broths are not gluten-free, as you probably know. In this recipe I used three of the smaller 8-oz. size Pacific Organic Vegetable Broth packages (they come in a handy 4-pack). Using these gave me the exact amount I needed and no open container of leftover broth hanging out in my fridge. By the way, since we used vegetable broth and not chicken broth (which is quite common in butternut soup), the only modifications needed for a dairy-free or vegan soup are to replace the butter with oil and use soy milk instead of half-and-half.

If you’re feeling fancy, gussy up your soup with a frizzled sage garnish or a drizzle of creme fraiche if you like. We kept it easy with a simple combo of chopped chives and a dash of additional nutmeg (smoked paprika would be tasty option here as well).

Whether you serve this as a starter or a simple lunch or dinner, feel free to make it ahead—it keeps nicely for several days in the refrigerator. To freeze, leave out the cream, then stir it in when heating to serve.

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash & Pear Soup

Yield: 4 entree servings or 8 first-course servings

Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 ripe pears, any variety, cored and chopped (no need to peel)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (such as Pacific Natural Foods brand)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 2 tablespoons snipped, fresh chives (optional)

Instructions

  1. Coat the inside of the slow cooker crock with the butter (leave excess in the crock). Add the carrots and squash to the crock. Sprinkle the onions and pears on top.
  2. In a bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the broth and the spices. Pour the mixture over the vegetables and pears in the crock (do not stir).
  3. Cover and cook 8-10 hours on LOW (or 4-5 hours on HIGH).
  4. Puree the soup with an immersion blender until smooth. Alternatively, you can puree the soup in a food processor or blender (but be careful because the soup will be very hot).
  5. Add the half-and-half to the soup mixture and stir to combine.
  6. To serve, divide between bowls and garnish each portion with a sprinkling of chives, if desired.

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