A mild Thai slow cooker dinner idea. You should use a 4-quart slow cooker or larger.
1 lb. large shrimp, deveined, shells on
8 cups vegetable broth
1 cup diced carrots
3 stalks lemongrass, crushed
4 slices gingerroot
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup cubed butternut squash (1" cubes)
1-1/2 tbsp finely chopped fresh Thai basil*
1-1/2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
1-1/2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 serrano chili pepper, seeded and thinly sliced**
Freshly squeezed juice of 2 limes
1 can (14 oz.) unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 tsp sambal oelek chili paste***
6 lime wedges
* Thai basil can be found in Asian supermarkets. If you can't find it, you can substitute Italian basil.
** If you can't find a serrano pepper, you can substitute 1 tsp hot pepper flakes.
*** Sambal oelek is an Indonesian-inspired chili sauce that can be used to "heat up" any food. In many Asian countries, it is commonly offered as a condiment — even by hot dog vendors. You can find it in the Asian section of many supermarkets. Once it is opened, it's a good idea to store it in the refrigerator.
Step 1: Remove shells and tails from shrimp and reserve. Place shrimp in a bowl, cover and refrigerate.
Step 2: In slow cooker stoneware, combine shrimp shells and tails, broth, carrots, lemongrass, ginger and garlic.
Step 3: Cover and cook on low for 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours or on high for 2-3 hours, until stock is bubbling. Strain broth and return to slow cooker. (Discard solids.) Stir in squash, basil, mint, cilantro, chili pepper, lime juice, coconut milk and chili paste.
Step 4: Cover and cook on high for 25-30 minutes or until squash is tender. Add shrimp and cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until shrimp are pink and opaque.
Step 5: Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with lime wedges.
Reprinted with permission from Donna-Marie Pye's Canada's Slow Cooker Winners (2010 Robert Rose).