Slow cooker spicy tomato and squash soup

When I cook, I enjoy colour, combinations of textures and experimenting with flavours and spices to make nutritious, feel good food. I am well into my comfort food now and it is definitely the season to get the slow cooker out to make stews, curries, chilli and soups.

During the winter months I cook a lot with squash. I find it really versatile, I enjoy it roasted in salads (yes, I still eat salads in winter) together with chilli, greens and seeds. In soup, squash works really well with coconut, ginger, red lentils and chilli.

Most Sundays, I take the time to batch cook and I have been getting the slow cooker out to be efficient on time and make up dishes for the week. For this post, I wanted to share a recent soup recipe I made which was inspired by The Holt’s Sopa Di Mani recipe in the Sheffield Cook Book – Second helpings made with chilli, peanut butter, tomatoes and potatoes. And also Anna Jones’ recipe for a 4 ingredient pumpkin soup which was featured in a recent edition of the Guardian Cook supplement.

For my soup, I also took on Anna’s tip to use the seeds from the squash and I sautéed them in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil, paprika, sea salt and fennel seeds. They worked a treat scattered on the the soup and the leftovers I used as a salad topping.

Toasted squash seeds

Spicy tomato and squash soup (serves 4)

Ingredients

1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
1 onion chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
700g butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and chopped
1 x 400g tinned tomatoes
500ml vegetable stock
2 tablespoon crunchy peanut butter
Salt and pepper

Optional: toasted seeds and fresh coriander to serve

Method

Heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion together with the chilli, cumin and fennel seeds for 10 minutes, until the onion is translucent and soft.

Add the onion and spices to the slow cooker together with the squash, red pepper, tinned tomatoes, stock and seasoning.

picy tomato and squash soup

Cook for 5 hours and in the final 5 minutes of cooking add the peanut butter. With a hand blender blend the soup until smooth and serve with a garnish of coriander and toasted seeds.

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