This Crock-Pot butternut squash soup recipe is easy, comforting, delicious, and vegan to boot. The crispy roasted chickpeas are a perfect garnish, but there are a lot of ways to go with this.
The recipe comes from former Chowhound photographer Chris Rochelle, who originally cooked this up for the Slow Cooker Sunday series. Here’s how he introduced it:
This week I was going to attempt a hard-core chili (no beans, no veg) but I haven’t nailed the spices yet, plus requests for a vegetarian Slow Cooker Sunday have been echoing down the pipeline. I hear you—the meatball sandwiches from Chef Huw Thornton we all devoured in the CHOW Test Kitchen were fantastic (stay tuned for Huw’s recipe post), but that was the final meaty straw. Time to slow down with a delicious vegan soup. The roasted chickpea garnish is an improved version of one of my earlier recipes, revised with Chowhound input. – Chris Rochelle, 2014
This remains a perfect fall recipe, whether you stick to making it on a Sunday night or let it burble away during the work day so dinner’s ready when you are. If you don’t have a slow cooker but do have an Instant Pot, here’s how to use your Instant Pot as a slow cooker when you’re not in a hurry.
All-Clad Immersion Blender, $99.95 from Williams Sonoma
You'll need an immersion blender for this recipe too.
What You Need to Make Slow Cooker Red Pepper Butternut Squash Soup with Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
Makes 6 servings
For the soup:
- 1 large butternut squash
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 4 medium carrots
- 1 large yellow onion
- 1 quart (4 cups) vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- Sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the roasted chickpea garnish:
- 2 cans chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Steps to Making Slow Cooker Red Pepper Butternut Squash Soup with Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
1. Peel the squash and cut into roughly 1-inch cubes.
2. Remove the stem and seeds from the bell pepper and dice.
3. Slice the carrots.
4. Peel and dice the onion.
5. Add all vegetables to the slow cooker along with the vegetable broth, cumin, and maple syrup. Cook for 4 hours on high.
6. Meanwhile, rinse the canned chickpeas and get them as dry as possible by letting them sit in the strainer. Then lay them out on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Let them dry out for about 3 hours, while the soup is cooking.
7. About an hour before the soup is done turn on the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat a baking sheet with the canola oil and then dump the dry chickpeas on top. Shake the baking sheet back and forth until the chickpeas are all coated with oil. Evenly sprinkle all the seasonings over the chickpeas and shake the pan again to coat.
8. Roast for 40 to 50 minutes. Every 10 minutes open the oven and shake the pan to evenly distribute the chickpeas. They should be nice and crispy!
9. After cooking for 4 hours, the soup is ready to purée. Use a hand blender to get the consistency you like. Add black pepper and salt to taste (the vegetable broth usually provides all the salt I need).
10. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with the roasted chickpeas. Enjoy!
- Feel free to add some additional seasonings if you like things a bit spicier or smokier (a pinch of cayenne or smoked paprika, for instance, or just some garlic powder or thyme).
- Try topping this with roasted pumpkin seeds, crisp fried shallots, homemade croutons, herb crackers, or savory granola.
- If you don’t need this to be vegan, add a swirl of sour cream, yogurt, or crème fraîche on top for a little extra richness.
- Make easy drop biscuits to sop up the last drops of soup in your bowl!
Photos and styling by Chris Rochelle