Yesterday I used my slow cooker to make Butternut Squash Chowder. I was a little skeptical, honestly. The last time I made a butternut squash soup it was tasteless. But I had leftover butternut squash (from the Make Ahead Veggie casserole) and saw the recipe in my Slow Cooker Revolution and figured I’d try it.
I had to start midday because the cooking time was 4 – 6 hours. No biggie. I cooked up some minced bacon, added the onion, and then was pleased to find I was actually making a roux, using the bacon fat. YUMMY. Sure, it took some time to chop up the onions and garlic and sauté the bacon, but it wasn’t any more time than I usually spend on dinner. After creating the roux, I dumped it along with the other ingredients into the slow cooker. Thirty minutes before eating, I added kale. A final addition of some cream and sage and then we dove in.
Oh my! This soup was AMAZING. I mean, the flavor was so deep and yummy. The bacon fat added so much deliciousness without any grease. How? I don’t know. The flour in the roux perhaps? Looking at the soup is not impressive: a pale yellow broth with chunks of kale and squash. But then you take a bite and you just keep on going.
This is one the things I love the most about America’s Test Kitchen recipes: there’s so much flavor – it’s not just salty or sweet food. This chowder tasted meaty and rich, and of course it did have chicken stock and bacon in it. But it didn’t taste like salt, or bacon. It just tasted good. Hearty, healthy, filling. This is a winning recipe I will make over and over again.