Slow Cooker Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Soup
What could be more comforting in cool weather than butternut squash soup patiently simmering away in the slow cooker? Our vegan recipe calls for a 4-hour cooking session for the squash, red pepper, carrots, onion, and a bit of cumin and maple syrup in vegetable broth. What you end up with is something nourishing and complex-tasting, the perfect centerpiece for a Sunday supper with the family. The roasted chickpea garnish adds texture and a nutritional boost.
For more, see our crockpot chicken soup recipe, or a classic, easy butternut squash soup recipe.
For the soup:
- 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeds and fibers removed, and cut into large dice
- 1 large red bell pepper, medium dice
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 large yellow onion, medium dice
- 1 quart (4 cups) vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the garnish:
- 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1Place the squash, bell pepper, carrots, and onion in the crock of a slow cooker. Add the vegetable broth, cumin, and maple syrup. Cook on high until the vegetables are soft and beginning to dissolve into the liquid, about 4 hours.
2Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels. Rinse the canned chickpeas and let them drain in a strainer for up to an hour, to remove as much water as possible. Lay them out on the lined baking sheet and dry out for about 3 hours, while the soup is cooking.
3An hour before the soup is done, heat your oven to 400°F. Coat a baking sheet with the vegetable oil and spread out the chickpeas. Shake the baking sheet until the chickpeas are evenly coated in oil. Sprinkle with the cumin, cayenne, paprika, and measured salt and shake again to coat. Roast until nice and crispy, about 40 to 50 minutes, carefully shaking the baking sheet every 10 minutes to redistribute so the chickpeas around the edges don’t brown too soon. Set aside when done.
4Purée the soup, using an immersion blender or carefully transferring it in batches to a regular blender. Stop when you get the consistency you like (we prefer it a little chunky). Season with black pepper and salt to taste (there may be enough salt from the vegetable broth alone, so season with caution).
5Ladle into warmed bowls and garnish with the roasted chickpeas.
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