Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup
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  1. 1 medium butternut squash
  2. 6 sprig fresh thyme
  3. 4 sprig fresh sage
  4. 2 tbsp. small sage leaves
  5. ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  6. ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  7. ½ tsp. salt and pepper
  8. 1 large onion
  9. 2 medium carrots
  10. 1 stalk celery
  11. 1 tsp. olive oil
  12. ¼ tsp. paprika
  13. sour cream
  1. Peel the squash. Cut 1/2 inch off the bottom and top and discard.
  2. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and reserve in a small bowl. Cut the squash into 2-inch pieces.
  3. Using kitchen twine, tie the thyme and sage sprigs together.
  4. In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, whisk together the cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 5 cups water, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add the squash, herbs, onion, carrots, and celery and mix to combine.
  5. Cook, covered, until the vegetables are very tender, 6 to 7 hours on low or 4 to 5 hours on high.
  6. Meanwhile, rinse the squash seeds, removing any pulp. Place them on a paper towel and let dry until ready to use.
  7. Ten minutes before serving, heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the seeds and cook, tossing, for 3 minutes. Sprinkle with the paprika and a pinch cinnamon. Add the sage leaves to the skillet and cook, tossing, until the seeds are toasted, about 2 minutes.
  8. Remove the herbs from the soup.
  9. Using a handheld immersion blender (or a standard blender in batches), purée the soup.
  10. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the spiced seeds and sage. Dollop with sour cream, if desired.
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