Slow-Cooker Acorn Squash and Apple Soup for #SundaySupper

After a busy summer, and a short blogging vacation last month, I am finally back to #SundaySupper for this weeks Slow-Cooker event hosted by Christie of A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures and Heather of Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks. The recipes being shared this week range from soups to desserts and everything in between, including a few I never would think to make in the slow-cooker!

I’ve been receiving a lot of squash from my CSA in the past few weeks, and some of it I had never cooked before, like acorn squash. I was determined to use something from my CSA loot for today’s recipe, seeing as how I’ve been really bad about using all that produce (I know, horrible!) and can’t even find time to freeze it, or I remember it at midnight and really don’t feel like it. This Acorn Squash and Apple Soup uses two medium-sized acorn squash and sweet Gala apples, with a little sweet onion for extra zing.

After chopping up the acorn squash and apples, along with the sweet onion, chopped carrots, and garlic, I put them in the slow-cooker and covered them with chicken broth;

Squash and Apple Soup in the Slow Cooker

and stirred in just a little bit of pepper. Set the slow-cooker to HIGH and let the soup simmer for about 5 hours. Then I pureed it with my new immersion blender (my old one broke a few weeks ago, if you remember my mentioning my pure sadness over it), stirred in a half cup of milk and was ready to serve.

This soup is creamy, slightly sweet and peppery, and reminds me of the Pumpkin Soup I make every Thanksgiving, only sweeter. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not overly sweet, just the perfect balance!

Slow-Cooker-Acorn-Squash-and-Apple-Soup

 

I hope you enjoy this soup as much as we did, and find many other great recipes after this one at the bottom of this post.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Slow-Cooker Acorn Squash and Apple Soup for #SundaySupper
 
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Savory acorn squash and sweet apples blended together with a creamy finish, made completely in the slow-cooker.
Author:
Recipe type: Slow Cooker/Soup
Serves: about 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 medium acorn squash (about 2 pounds)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (or water for a vegetarian version)
  • 2 cups chopped, peeled Gala or other sweet red apples
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced (about ¼ cup)
  • ½ cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ cup milk or light cream
  • fresh parsley, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Using a very sharp knife, make a large slit in the tops of both acorn squashes. Place in the microwave on high for 3 minutes, turning after a minute and a half. Alternate: Place in boiling water for 2 minutes. Carefully remove. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and pulp, and then cut into wedges about 1-inch thick. Cut off the skins, getting as close to the skin as you can. Once the skins and any remaining pulp are removed, cut the squash into cubes between 1-2 inches thick.
  2. Place the cubed squash, chopped apples, carrot, onion, and garlic into the slow cooker, pour in chicken broth or water, then stir in the white pepper.
  3. Set the slow cooker on HIGH and cook for 4-6 hours, or on LOW for 8 hours, until squash is completely tender. Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth. Stir in milk, ladle into bowls and garnish with parsley.

 

 

Satiating Soups

Scrumptious Mains (Breakfast and Dinner)

Satisfying Sides

Scintillating Sweets

Savory Baking

Sips and Spreads

Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.
To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.



Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Slow Cooker Sticky Chicken -Guest Post from It’s a Keeper

Slow Cooker Sticky Chicken

Today I’m more grateful than every for my summer guest posters! My friend Christina is here today with a great recipe for Sticky Chicken made in the slow cooker, but before I hand you off to her do you want a quick run-down of this past week? I’ll make it short, I promise!

On Friday night my daughter graduated pre-school. It was at 6 PM so I just made grilled cheese for dinner. Here she is at graduation with my sister.

Preschool-Graduation

 

On Saturday we had a cookout for her and my best friend’s daughter, who also graduated pre-school on Friday. It was just hamburgers and hotdogs, along with my Mozzarella Tomato and Artichoke Salad. Then, that night, my daughter got sick with a fever, headache, and belly ache. She has been sick since, and is just starting to feel better tonight. So, basically I haven’t been cooking and wouldn’t have had anything new to share. Luckily for us all, Christina is here to save the day!

Hi there! I’m Christina from It’s a Keeper, a food and cooking blog where I test recipes to see if they’re (you guessed it…) keepers! Bernadette has graciously let me take over her blog today and share one of my favorite summer recipes with you.

Some of the most popular recipes on my blog, It’s a Keeper, are slow cooker recipe. It’s no wonder. They are easy to make and you don’t have to spend time fussing over them.

I love using my slow cooker – especially during the summer months. Who wants to be inside cooking when it’s so nice outside?! Not me!

This recipe for Slow Cooker Sticky Chicken is one of my family’s favorites. I love it because it uses fresh ginger and I L-O-V-E fresh ginger! It really adds a great flavor to recipes. If you’ve never used it, you should give it a try.

Don’t be scared by this gnarly root-looking. Just use a vegetable peeler (or even the back of a spoon) to peel away the outer layer and you’ll find a bright, fresh and super fragrant flesh.

You can mince it very finely with a knife or use a rasp to finely grate it. I prefer to grate it. If you’re still not convinced to try fresh ginger (or you don’t have any on hand), you can use ground ginger — about a teaspoon should do ya.

Now, back to the chicken…you may be tempted to skip the broiling part of the recipe, but DON’T!  This final step is what makes the recipe.

If you love slow cooker recipes, you have to check out my new Slow Cookin’ Summer series. Each week there will be one or two new slow cooker recipes posted to give you inspiration and help build your collection of easy crock pot recipes.  There’s everything from healthy easy dinner recipes to quick easy dessert recipes to crock pot breakfast recipes.  You can get them all here, all summer long!

So what are you waiting for? You know you want to make these short ribs! Here’s the recipe:

 

Slow Cooker Sticky Chicken -Guest Post from It's a Keeper
 
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Delicious Sticky Chicken cooked in the slow cooker and finished under the broiler for a delicious, crispy finish.
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of minced ginger
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 3 lbs chicken, breast, thighs, legs, etc.
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
Instructions
  1. Combine ¼ cup sugar,  2 tablespoon soy sauce , ginger, garlic, and cayenne pepper. Add chicken and toss to coat.
  2. Place in a slow cooker and cook on low for about 4 hours or until done.
  3. When done place chicken in a broiler proof dish.  Combine remaining ½ cup sugar, water, and tomato paste, and remaining soy sauce. Brush on chicken and cook under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until chicken is slightly crisp.  Keep a close watch on the chicken under the broiler.
Notes
Recipe courtesy of Christina at It's A Keeper

 

Slow Cooker Braised Beef and Mushroom Soup

Awhile back I was approached by Dorot’s, a food and spice company that specializes in frozen herbs and seasonings, to see if I would be interested in making a recipe with and reviewing their line of Pop and Cook frozen herbs and seasonings. I usually freeze the herbs we have planted in the garden at the end of the summer (this year we decided to dry them), and the tons of garlic we plant every year, but I decided to try them out.

Disclaimer: Dorot’s provided me with free products for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

They sent me garlic, red chili peppers, ginger, basil, and cilantro. They come packaged in plastic containers that make it easy to pop the frozen herb or seasoning right out, 1 teaspoon worth at a time, and just seemed perfect for soups to me!

popandcook

Like I said before, I have been freezing my own herbs for years, but I don’t freeze them in any measured amount, and I freeze my garlic cloves whole, so I still have to take out what I need and chop them up before adding them to a recipe. The pre-measured cubes are convenient if you don’t have a lot of time to prep dinner.

Garlic, mild red chili pepper, and ginger

Garlic, mild red chili pepper, and ginger

You can get these nifty cubes at most Walmart’s for $1.98. Be sure to check out their Facebook page too!

beefmushroomsouprice

Slow Cooker Braised Beef and Mushroom Soup

1.25 pounds beef eye round steak, cut into thin strips

2 cups chopped shiitake mushrooms

32 ounce carton beef stock

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/8 cup thinly sliced scallions

1 cube ( 1 tsp) Pop & Cook mild chopped chili

2 cubes ( 2 tsp) Pop & Cook crushed ginger

2 cubes ( 2 tsp) Pop & Cook crushed garlic

cooked noodles or jasmine rice, to serve

Directions:

Slice the beef into thin, short strips, and place in slow cooker along with the chopped mushrooms. Add the beef stock, soy sauce, sliced scallions, and cubes of chopped chili, crushed garlic, and crushed ginger. Cover and cook on HIGH for 6 hours, stirring after 1 hour in order to equally distribute the flavors.

My husband wanted noodles with his soup, but I thought jasmine rice would be better with it, so I did both on the side and then just added the noodles and rice to the bowls of soup.

beefmushroomwithnoodles

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast and Gravy

We had a heat wave here in Northeast PA last week. I absolutely love hot weather and swimming with my daughter. It does mean that I don’t do much cooking, though, until I decided to prepare a turkey breast almost like I would for Thanksgiving, but cooking it in my slow cooker instead. I admit I usually prefer dark meat turkey, but cooking the turkey breast in the slow cooker makes it moist and delicious!

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast 

4-6 pound whole turkey breast

1 large carrot, peeled and chopped

1 large stalk celery, chopped

4 cloves garlic, peeled

1 small onion, cut in 4

2 cups chicken or turkey stock

olive oil

Salt and pepper

4 Tablespoons cornstarch

Directions:

Thaw turkey breast for 2-3 days in refrigerator, if using frozen.

Rinse the breast inside and out under cold water, and pat dry. Place in the slow cooker, sprinkle inside and out with salt and pepper.

Place some of the carrot, celery, onion, and garlic inside the turkey. Scatter remaining vegetables (whatever doesn’t fit inside the turkey) around the breast.

slowcookerturkeybreast1

Pour 2 cups chicken or turkey stock in the slow cooker, then brush the turkey breast with olive oil well.

slowcookerturkeybreast2

Cover and cook on HIGH 4-6 hours, until turkey breast reaches 180*F.

Once the turkey reaches 180*F, you have two choices, You can remove it from the slow cooker ( do so carefully, it may fall apart), allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes, remove the skin, then slice and serve. If you are like me and want a crispy skin, then you will want to turn your oven on to BROIL, remove the turkey from the slow cooker to a roasting pan, and broil for 6-8 minutes.  Broiling the turkey does make it a little drier, though, so if you want a moist turkey you might want to stick with removing the skin.

While the turkey is resting, drain the broth left in the slow cooker to a gravy separator/strainer (if you don’t own one, I highly suggest you get one!). Let it cool slightly so the fat rises to the top, I usually just put mine in the freezer for 10 minutes! Then pour the broth carefully into a saucepan, allowing the fat and solids to remain in the strainer. Taste and adjust seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, etc).

Mix 4 tablespoons cornstarch with enough cold or room temperature chicken or turkey stock to be able to pour. Bring the broth to a boil, then pour in the cornstarch mixture, and stir constantly for 1 minutes to prevent lumps. Serve the gravy on the side.

platedslowcookerturkeybreast

See in the right-hand corner of the picture, the bacon wrapped goodness? Those are the Bacon Wrapped Cauliflower with Dark Chocolate I made the other day, and they are delicious!

Taco Soup ( and a few things)

I had every intention of my next post being a review of an eggplant parmesan recipe I used to love to make, and has quite an interesting story about it. Only this time I didn’t love making it, it was good but not as good as I remember, and I got distracted by just not having enough time to write it, babysitting, and just life. Then yesterday our cat had to be put to sleep :( . I was miserable. She was my husband’s cat long before I meet him, and his baby. She was the runt of a litter from a stray, born under his front porch, and he had to bottle fed her. She hated me when we first started dating, but before long I was her Mommy and she wanted me more than him.

After all of this I wanted to make something I love for dinner tonight, something warm and comforting. We didn’t really eat yesterday, just some frozen chicken patty sandwiches (well, ok I microwaved them first). So, on to tonight’s dinner, taco soup!

Until maybe a year ago I don’t think I had even heard of taco soup. Then one of my friend’s mentioned that another friend of hers made a really good taco soup. I love tacos! There are so many different ways you can make them, from regular ground beef, to chicken ( I make a really good crock pot salsa chicken for this, but the recipe is unfortunately not my idea.), to fish, veggie, breakfast….I could go on forever! But, taco soup? This is a brand new world!

IMG_1414-2

Ok, to be honest it’s not a brand new world, I’ve made it at least 5 times since I discovered it. I haven’t searched for every recipe ever for taco soup, but I have to say the version I make is a bit different from any I’ve seen so far. Of course, I could be wrong. Want the recipe?

5.0 from 1 reviews
Taco Soup ( and a few things)
 
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Tacos in soup form! Filled with ground beef, salsa, black beans, a hearty and warming soup!
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican/American
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 lbs lean ground beef
  • ½ cup chopped red onion ( I usually use yellow but we had some red that grew in our garden over the winter after not growing last summer. I don’t know, don’t ask me!)
  • 16 oz jar salsa ( I used Newman’s Own Medium)
  • 2 15.5 oz cans black beans, undrained
  • 32 oz carton beef broth
  • 2 1.25 oz packets taco seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon dried cilantro
  • Toppings (optional):
  • sour cream
  • shredded cheese
  • scallions
  • diced avocado
Instructions
  1. Brown ground beef with the chopped onion over medium high heat, drain. Mix in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Normally after browning the beef I put it in a crock pot, add the remaining ingredients, and cook on high for 4 hours. It comes out great either way!
  3. Garnish with sour cream, cheddar, Mexican or taco shredded cheese, scallions, and diced avocado
Notes
Cook time depends on cooking method used.

 

This recipe is now featured on http://www.wifeofthecolonel.blogspot.com and http://www.foodiefriendsfriday.com.