How does that old saying go? “Necessity is the mother of invention?” Or something like that. Well, that about sums up the inspiration for this soup.
It was Friday morning before my family and I headed out of town on a week long vacation. I was desperately trying to clean out the fridge and pantry so that nothing went to waste (because organic real food is too damn pricey to go to the trash can!). Dinner needed to be planned before I headed off to work, or else we would (inevitably) end up eating out and Project: Clean Out The Kitchen would be delayed. I looked over at the ingredients that needed to be used. A butternut squash and a few apples stared back at me. Hmmmmm. There was possibility there. I opened the fridge. A few big mason jars of chicken bone broth I had made rattled on the door of the fridge. I had planned on sticking them in the freezer before we left, but I had a much better idea now. I got out my slow cooker and got to work….before I had to go to work.
What I came home to was a beautiful soup, bubbling away in my slow cooker. Simple, healthy, flavorful, and delicious. And cooked completely in my oh-so-awesome slow cooker, so that’s an extra bonus….I love anything I can make in my slow cooker a little bit more than other recipes.
This Slow Cooker Butternut Squash + Apple Soup is just the perfect blend of sweet and savory. It reminds me a lot of the falls of my childhood in Maine, yet apples and butternut squash are available for a good chunk of the year (especially if you are spoiled and live in San Diego like me), so this soup can be enjoyed pretty much any time of year that soup strikes your fancy!
This soup is naturally paleo, gluten free, nut free, dairy free, Whole30 compliant (assuming you use program compliant broth), and naturally vegan/vegetarian when vegetable broth is used! It can fit a variety of eating styles and preferences while still bringing the real food quality to the table with ease.
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed (about 4-5 cups)
- 2 large apples (just use your favorite)
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/2 a yellow onion, peeled and minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 4 cups broth (I used homemade chicken bone broth but vegetable broth would work too)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon OR 3 cinnamon sticks
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- Combine all ingredients except coconut milk in slow cooker. Give it a stir to mix everything, cover, and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours.
- Once the soup is done cooking, remove bay leaves and cinnamon sticks (if using).
- Using a immersion blender, blend the soup until it is very smooth and all of the apple and butternut squash pieces are pureed. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can also puree the soup in your blender in batches. Just be very careful when transferring the soup to blender, as it will be very hot.
- Add the coconut milk to the soup, blending or stirring for a minute or two to combine.
- Enjoy immediately garnished with a little olive oil and/or additional salt and pepper
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