Slow Cooker Pumpkin Soup

From Our Kitchen to Yours
Pumpkin Season is here! Put this yummy goodness together mid-day for a warm, comforting dinner. Serve with crusty bread or a green salad. Enjoy!
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Soup
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
3 tablespoons grated ginger
4 cloves garlic, diced
2 dried bay leaves
2 15-ounce cans pumpkin purée
1 15-oz can coconut milk, shaken
2 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth (plus up to one cup more, to taste)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Hot chili powder, to serve (optional)
Chopped fresh cilantro, to serve (optional)
Coconut milk yogurt, to serve (optional)
Special Equipment:
Sauté the vegetables: Heat a skillet over medium-high heat & warm the EVOO. Add the carrot, onion & celery & sauté until the onions start to become translucent. Stir often to avoid browning. Add the ginger, garlic & bay leaves & sauté for two minutes.
Combine the sautéed veggies, pumpkin puree, coconut milk, vegetable broth & salt in a 3-quart or larger slow cooker. Cook on low for 4 1/2 hours or on high for 3 hours.
Remove bay leaves & use an immersion blender to purée the soup. If you prefer a thinner soup, add extra stock.
Serve with a sprinkle of hot Thai chili powder, fresh cilantro & swirl in some coconut milk yogurt.