Hello and happy squash and soup season! I’m already head over heels for every member of the winter squash family. Delicata, acorn, butternut, kabocha – gimme it all! I went a little overboard at Trader Joe’s over the weekend and bought 9 lbs worth of squash. Mind you, I cook for two people. Not an army.
It’s a shame the integrity of the Trader Joe’s brown paper bags couldn’t handle my winter squash obsession, as the bottoms ended up giving out as I was walking to my car and I watched in terror as my squashes started rolling around the parking lot in a state of chaos. I managed to salvage all but one that rolled underneath a massive truck, and your girl doesn’t play that stop, drop and roll game. RIP squash.Anyway, this is the perfect weekday recipe to prepare in the morning and let sit in your slow cooker for the day. You will be welcomed home by the most fantastic aromas that will make you slip into the ultimate state of comfort. I paired this soup with a crusty baguette for dunking and a spinach salad on the side and I can easily say it’s been one of my favorite meals of the season.
This soup is low in calories and PACKED with protein – a whopping 18 grams per serving! It’s also filled to the brim with vitamins, minerals and important nutrients, especially Vitamins A, C, fiber and folate. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that is especially important for your immune system this time of year when colds spread like wild fire. You will get 100% of your daily recommended dose in one bowl of this soup.
And trust me, it tastes MUCH better than Airborne or any other immune “booster”.You have plenty of room to play around with this recipe and add other ingredients of choice. I debated adding mushrooms and/or beans because I thought they would compliment the other flavors deliciously. You could sub the quinoa for barley, farro or brown rice if you don’t have on hand.
Slow Cooker Turkey Sausage, Squash and Quinoa Soup
- 1 lb turkey sausage casings removed
- 3 cups winter squash butternut, acorn or delicata, cubed
- 4 handfuls of chopped kale
- 1 cup quinoa rinsed
- 6 cups reduced sodium chicken stock
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- Black pepper to taste
- Cook turkey sausage in a large skillet over medium heat until browned (~5 minutes), breaking into small pieces with the end of a spatula. Add garlic and saute for an additional minute, until aromatic. Transfer to slow cooker.
- Add squash, quinoa, kale, chicken stock, herbs and spices to slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 hours (or 3-4 hours on high).
- Spoon into bowls, top with shredded parmesan (optional) and serve.