Recipe: Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Cauliflower Soup

I

'm just going to say it: I like winter — I do! I enjoy snuggling up with the girls on chilly days and not sweating for once, snow days where my children let me sleep in for an extra two minutes — but my favorite thing about winter is all the extra cooking I get to do. 

Sundays are my big cooking days. I will roast whole chickens with herbs and lemon until the skin is crispy and pot roasts with potatoes, carrots and gravy, meatloaf full of veggies, beef stew — you name it. 

I am always looking for new recipes to try, and my favorite thing I have made this winter is sweet potato cauliflower soup. I stumbled across the recipe from the blog on peasandcrayons.com and fell in love with it. It was simple to make, and the velvety texture of the sweet potatoes was amazing. (PS If you're unsure about cauliflower, you don't even know it's in there.) It stored well in the refrigerator afterwards, and like all soup, got better the longer it sat. I'd like to tell you it freezes well, and I'm sure it would, but I ate it all. 

You can doctor this soup up however you like after it's done to suit your taste: crispy bacon, red pepper flakes, hot sauce, sour cream, green onions or all of the above. 

Spring is coming, my crocuses promised me, but as I write this, the weatherman is calling for snow overnight. Before the warm weather sets in and most of your dinner comes from the grill, you should give this soup a try. You won't be sorry!

Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 5 hours
Total time: 5 hours 5 mins
Makes: 4 quarts

Ingredients:
2 lbs. fresh cauliflower, roughly chopped
2 lbs. sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 quart vegetable broth
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, peeled
4 stalks of green onion, chopped
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. paprika
½-1 tsp. red pepper flakes
¼ tsp. salt, or to taste
2 c. milk
2 oz. cream cheese

Topping options:
• crumbled bacon
• chopped green onions
• freshly grated or shredded cheese
• homemade croutons or garlic bread
• red pepper flakes [for a kick!]
• hot sauce [for even more kick!]
• salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Set your 5 or 6 quart slow cooker to high and add cauliflower, sweet potato, veggie broth, onion, garlic, green onion, thyme, paprika, red pepper flakes, and salt.

NOTE: If the broth you're using is on the saltier side, feel free to skip the salt and simply add it in later, to taste. Same goes for the red pepper flakes - if you want a super mild soup you can always sneak some in later. I added a teaspoon of RPF to mine and it gave the soup a delightful little zing.

Cover and cook for 4-5 hours on high.

Once the veggies are fabulously tender, turn off the slow cooker and add your milk and cream cheese. Blend using an immersion blender [my favorite space-saving appliance ever!] and you're good to go!

Ladle soup into bowls and enjoy right away with a mountain of your favorite toppings, then store the remaining soup in your fridge or freezer. As written, the recipe will yield around 4 quarts of soup which equates to 16 eight-ounce cups or 8 hearty bowls. It tastes great the first day and even better the next!

This soup will keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator and freeze marvelously for 2-3 months! Simply store the soup sans-toppings and add all your goodies upon reheating. Easy peasy!

Author: Jenn Laughlin of Peas and Crayons