With its sweet, earthy taste, butternut squash soup is a favorite for Thanksgiving. Here, we prepare the soup in a slow cooker, which helps to deepen and meld the flavors. It also frees up valuable space on your stovetop. For added convenience, we use a stick blender to puree the soup directly in the slow cooker. A slow cooker is handy not just for Thanksgiving dinner but whenever you are entertaining and stovetop and oven space are at a premium. You can prepare a dish hours in advance, be it a soup, stew or braised meat, and let the food cook unattended. Then the cooker keeps the nished dish warm until serving time. This appliance is also ideal for cooking weeknight meals for the family.