Fall is finally making its way to the Sonoran Desert and I couldn't be happier. There are so many things I love about fall and winter, and butternut squash and hearty soups are definitely two of them. When I saw this recipe that combined both of those loves, I marked it immediately. Even better, it uses a slow cooker. Bonus!
I both really liked this soup. It was filling, but didn't weigh me down. Served with some homemade whole wheat pita, it was a low-maintenance meal that scored very high for flavor and ease of preparation.
Slow Cooker Squash Stew
adapted from "Food Network Magazine", October 2010
2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
3 TBSP tomato paste
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 TBSP dried cumin
1 1/2 dried chickpeas, rinsed
1 lb. butternut squash, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 bunch Swiss chard, leaves and stems separated and roughly chopped
1 piece Parmesan cheese rind, plus grated cheese for garnish
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 dried bay leaves
4 c. vegetable broth
4 c. water
1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and golden brown, four to five minutes.
2. Stir in the tomato paste, red pepper flakes, paprika, and cumin and cook one minute. Stir in 1/2 c. broth and scrape up an brown bits. Transfer contents of skillet to the slow cooker.
3. Add the remaining ingredients (except chard leaves) to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low, eight hours.
4. Just before serving, remove the lid and stir in the chard leaves. Replace the cover and cook ten minutes more. Season with salt and pepper and stir to break up some of the squash. (I used the back of a wooden spoon to mash up some of the pieces.) Discard the Parmesan rind and bay leaves.
5. Ladle into bowls, top with grated Parmesan, and enjoy!
one year ago: pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon-bourbon frosting