The Cottage Smallholder


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The slow cooker chef: Sweet potato and acorn squash soup recipe, topped with red Romano pepper, spinach and sweet corn

squash nd sweet potato soupI had the whole weekend off – the first for weeks. Mainly catching up and tackling a few jobs that have been crying out for months.

This afternoon, I lolled in the luxury of a few hours to experiment and make the soup for next week’s lunches. By chance the theme was orange. I made an intense carrot and coriander (cilantro) using an Italian recipe as a starting point and also a sweet potato and acorn squash soup. The latter was inspired by a post on a great blog that I have recently discovered. Clare sometimes comments on the Cottage Smallholder site but modestly does not leave a link to her site. Clare’s writing is superb and the Sehenswurdigkeiten blog well worth a visit.

I was especially pleased with the sweet potato soup and took a teaspoonful to the Director of Tasting.
“It’s sweet!”
“Yes. But do you like the soup?”
“Yes. No. I don’t know. It’s just a surprise that it is sweet when I would expect a soup to be savoury.”
I added some Cajun spice and padded upstairs teaspoon in hand.
“Better. But it’s still sweet.”

Initially my unspoken reaction was that Danny was being ridiculous. The soup was sweet but it was delicious. After a bowl or two he would get used to it. A couple of hours later when I was drilling the floor of our grain bin to allow sweaty condensation to drain out and not spoil the chicken feed I reckoned that he had a point. Left alone with a bowl of “sweet soup” he might speed down to Newmarket and the welcoming arms of KFC.

I want my soup to be totally seductive.

So I nipped back to the cottage and trawled Google. Within minutes I had found this recipe. The squash soup was cooked as a base and then finely chopped vegetables, beans and bacon were added.

I had some pancetta, red Romano peppers and cooked spinach in the fridge. In the larder I found a small can of sweet corn.

Although I had some beans to hand I left these out along with the carrots. They could party together in the larder whilst I added the other ingredients.

The spinach took the edge off the sweetness, the pancetta added soul. The Romano peppers gave a crunch and piquancy and the sweet corn was the final good fairy – a different type of sweetness and texture. I barely heated them through before rushing upstairs to the Rat Room with a dessert spoonful.

“Amazing…What did you do?”

Thank you Clare and Sher. The soup is wonderful and I couldn’t have made it without your help.

Sweet potato and acorn squash soup recipe, topped with red Romano pepper, spinach and sweet corn

I started this recipe in the slow cooker and finished it off on the hob.

Ingredients:

The base soup:

  • 200g of onions, peeled and chopped
  • 600g of sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 800gof acorn squash, peeled and sliced
  • 1.5 litres of boiling vegetable stock
  • 0.5 tsp of Cajun spice

The vegetable topping:

  • 2 red Romano peppers, washed, deseeded and chopped small
  • 1 x 165 ml can of sweet corn – fresh hulled sweet corn would be better
  • 100g of chopped pancetta
  • 250g of fresh cooked chopped spinach

Method:

Throw all the base ingredients into the slow cooker (this means no browning of onions), switched it to auto and leave it for about 4 hours. On the hob you would have to experiment. I’d say that the vegetables would be cooked in about 30 minutes but you might not have the deep, rich flavour unless you turn your dial to the lowest possible setting (the occasional bubble brushing the surface) for about 2 hours.

Liquidised the base soup with a stick blender
and added a quarter teaspoon of Cajun spice (I have to tread softly here as D’s not a spice fiend).

Gently brown the pancetta in a big saucepan and addthe base soup. When it is simmering add the chopped peppers, sweet corn and spinach. When these have warmed through (max 2 minutes) remove the pan from the heat.

Serve the soup in warm deep bowls with fresh crusty bread.


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13 Comments

  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Scots Mary

    I’d forgotten all about this recipe so thanks for the nudge.

    I’m using the slow cooker more and more for soup these days.

  2. Scots Mary

    Hi Fiona

    Thanks so much for this great soup – put it into the slow cooker overnight(used a timer) can’t wait to have some for lunch today

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Kate(uk)

    Good move.

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