Growing up my parent’s had the tradition of making a nice family dinner on Sunday nights. We would usually eat out Friday and Saturday night for dinner, but Sunday was always at home. Sunday afternoon we would go out and do something fun as a family, then on the way home we would stop at the local market, Harvest Ranch, and pick up groceries to make a delicious meal. We often picked up a Marie Callendar’s pie for dessert at it was next door to the market, too!
My parents weren’t big cooks, but they loved to grill. We lived in San Diego, so the weather was pretty grill-friendly year around. Some of the family favorites were BBQ chicken, steaks, and hamburgers. I enjoyed helping them prepare the meals and assist in the kitchen. Perhaps this tradition helped to spark the love of cooking I have today!
As I grew older and moved away from home, I continued the Sunday dinner tradition. I especially enjoyed this tradition when Josh came into the picture. A few years ago, Josh made a request to put a twist on the Sunday night tradition. He wanted to make Sunday night dinner soup night. To persuade me, he gifted me the book, Mr. Sunday Soups. I tried out a bunch of recipes from the book and really started to like the soup tradition. We put the soups on hold during the summer - just too hot for soup. However, each fall we tend to bring it back.
This week when I was talking to Josh about how I wanted to share a recipe this week, he suggested I do soup. I asked what soup he thought I ought to share and he suggested this one, which happens to be my favorite. The only problem is that it’s a bit more time consuming than I would like - too much standing at the stovetop. Now that I have a baby, I need meals that are quick and easy. So, I did something I’ve never done before and I am quite proud of the results: I converted the recipe to be for the crockpot!
I love butternut squash, and this chowder is filling and a great introduction back into the fall season. The potatoes add a nice creaminess, and the bacon to top it off! We served this with some crusty, toasted baguette for dipping.
Now, sit down with your family and/or friends and enjoy some time together over dinner!
Butternut Squash Chowder Soup
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped
- 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
- 6 white potatoes, cut in half (roughly 12 oz)
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 4 slices bacon strips cut into pieces
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped sage, extra for garnish
- 1/4 cup half & half (or cream)
Place everything - except the chopped sage, bacon, and half and half - into the crockpot and give it a good stir. Cook on low for 6 hours.
While the crockpot is going, cook up the bacon pieces on the stovetop until nice and crisp. Put aside for topping the soup later.
When the crockpot is done cooking the veggies, place the chopped sage and half and half into the pot. Then blend with a hand blender (or do batches in a blender). I didn’t blend until smooth, but kept some of the lumps from the potatoes to have a chowder like texture.
Ladle into bowls and serve warm! Enjoy this together as a family. :)
- I used a 3.5 quart crockpot
- Recipe adapted from Mr. Sunday Soups