There's a reason why slow cooker recipes are wildly popular. We want convenience, and we want—and need—it now. The slow cooker delivers just that, working hard for us while we're hard at work, welcoming us home to a fragrant dinner that's just waiting to be enjoyed. This simple appliance works miracles with tough, inexpensive cuts of meat, coaxing out incredible flavor and turning out meltingly tender results. Through its low, slow cooking, it melds and marries flavors; it brings ingredients together in delicious harmony. And it offers up a few surprises: appetizers, sides, and drinks that simmer to perfection—hands-free.
Butternut Squash-Parsnip Soup
When you combine earthy parsnips, tart Granny Smith apples, and nutty-sweet butternut squash in the slow cooker, greatness awaits you. This combination cooks until buttery soft, then gets pureed in a blender for a creamy, smooth, comforting pot of gorgeous golden-hued soup. You'll end up with a lot of soup; it will keep for up to four days in the refrigerator. Reheat gently over medium-low heat, and whisk to bring the texture back to creamy perfection. Serve with an elevated grilled cheese sandwich (think multigrain bread with Gruyère or Comté cheese) for a fantastic soup-and-sandwich night.