Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Butternut Squash and Carrot Cream Soup

I have a confession: I don't bake or cook nearly as much as I did before I became a mommy.  Perhaps it's because I spend so much of my time cleaning up after our small tornado, that the thought of cleaning up a mess of my own making isn't as appealing as I'd like it to be.
Perhaps it's because a nap trumps browsing Pinterest for fancy dinners.
Perhaps it's because I've learned that my daughter and husband are perfectly content eating whatever concoction of chicken I've thrown together for that evening.

But it's safe to say that I also want to keep our recipes varied and healthy.  Lately, my goal has been to eat more vegetables.  So, when I went to our local grocery store, I loaded up on veggies galore, not knowing for sure what to do with all of them, but darn it, I had veggies in my cart, so I looked like a health nut.  Winning.

And just like a New Years Resolution, those veggies sat unused last week....and the rot clock was ticking.

I managed to throw most of them in a chili, but there was this giant butternut squash that looked very forlorn in our fruit and vegetable basket and I decided to tackle the task of figuring out a recipe that would use it before it went bad that we would actually eat.
Crock pots were also a plus.

So, a-googling I went.  Nothing sounded particularly tasty, and then I stumbled upon this recipe for a butternut squash soup.  I tweaked it a bit and here is what I came up with:

Butternut Squash and Carrot Cream Soup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons margarine
1 large onion, chopped
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
5-6 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup water
2 cups chicken broth
dried marjoram, to taste
dried parsley, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 1/2 packages (approx 10-12 ounces) cream cheese

Directions

1. Chop your onion
I have a confession, I hate chopping onion

A dear friend gave us the "Chop Wizard" as a wedding gift.

Best. Gift. Ever.

2. In a pan, melt the margarine and saute the chopped onion until cooked
Note: Use a bigger pan than I did.....

3. While the onion was cooking, I went to peeling and chopping my butternut squash


mmmm, butternut squash.
But seriously, have you ever peeled one of these suckers? Not as easy as I thought it'd be....

Poor, naked butternut squash....

I made my cubes about 1 inch each

4. Repeat with the carrots
5. Mix everything except the cream cheese in a large crockpot/slow cooker
I promise it's tasty....

Now comes the hard part

6. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours
or....if you're like me, you have a "OH CRAP" moment and realize you started dinner at 1....so on high for 4 hours is okay too

 7. After your waiting period, divide the crock pot concoction up into thirds and blend each third in the blender until smooth.  Once you're done with each, pour back into the crock pot.

Note: It's HOT so be careful!

This is me not making a mess in my kitchen...

You can see the blended mixture in the purple bowl

8.  Stir in the cream cheese.  I used two packages because I like things particularly creamy and artery-clogging
mmmmm, cheese....

9. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes to one hour.  Beat together with a whisk to make sure all lumps are out

oh hi, pink KitchenAid

10.  Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley.  Serve with crackers or toasted cibatta bread.

See? You can eat your veggies and enjoy it!

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