Being a student, I am often too busy to spend much time cooking for myself. As a culinary student, I find this a little upsetting because that means less time to experiment with ingredients and techniques. Luckily, the slow cooker is here to save the day.
Winter is the best time to pull out the slow cooker and infuse your kitchen with the rising aroma of a warm, home cooked meal. This simple recipe cooks on low for ten hours, rendering each ingredient incapable of holding any form. A potage is a smooth, uniformly blended soup. The best way to make a potage is low heat for several hours. Using a slow cooker means you can just toss the ingredients in the crock, set the temperature and forget about it until it is done.
It is commonly known that chili and cocoa pair well together. This combination can be found in many desserts, from spicy hot chocolate to chili chocolate tarts. Sauces like black mole and chocolate chili barbecue sauce are excellent to compliment flavours in poultry and meats. Even chili chocolate beer exists. I thought it was time to combine chili and cocoa powder with butternut squash. The deep, density of cocoa brings out the earthy qualities to butternut squash and chili always adds an incredible kick. Those combined with the nutty coconut milk makes a perfect, hearty winter meal. This recipe got me through a week’s worth of lunches (and few dinners on really busy days).
Butternut Squash Potage With Chili and Cocoa Powder
- 1 large butternut squash
- 2 cups of water
- 2 cans of coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
- ¾-1 teaspoon salt
Remove the skin from the squash and cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Cut the squash into large chunks.
Place all ingredients in a large 6.5-quart cooker and cook on low for 10 hours. I usually start my before I go to bed and forget about it until morning.
When your soup is finished cooking, it is time to turn it into a potage. Using an immersion blender, blend ingredients together until completely smooth.
Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with feta or goat cheese, paprika and cracked pepper.
There will be a lot of soup, so you may want to portion some into containers and freeze for later.
Makes 6 quarts