Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup

My version of Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup gets some extra heat from red pepper flakes and a great spice from cumin and turmeric. I found some awesome multi-colored carrots at the farmers market, so a purple carrot gave the soup its wonderful deep color. 

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I actually love winter. Breathing chilly air, wearing cozy sweaters, and expanding my scarf collection are some of my favorite things. Winter also falls squarely into soup season — that magical time of year from October to March.

This year, soup season also aligned with me learning how to use an Instant Pot. (<– this is the one I use!) I’ve used it for making batches of rice and beans, quick chicken stock, and now this super easy butternut squash soup.

Vegetables - so pretty!

One of the things I love most about the Instant Pot is that you don’t have to abandon cooking best practices in order to have convenience. The “Saute” function lets you get a good sear on a piece of meat, or in this case, some caramelization on some vegetables. This helps to build layers of flavor and add complexity to your dish. When using only a few ingredients, like with this butternut squash soup, this technique is especially important.

Of course, everyone doesn’t have an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, so I’ve also included stovetop instructions for this butternut squash soup recipe. The technique remains the same — get a slight caramelization on the vegetables before adding the stock. Don’t stir too much, or you won’t get the little brown bits of flavor. But, keep an eye on it for a few minutes so it doesn’t go from slightly browned to burnt.

One of my favorite things about butternut squash soup is that the topping options are endless. Goat cheese? Sure! Fresh herbs? Yeah! Toasted seeds? Go for it! Today, I went with some crumbled goat cheese and chopped parsley.

Here are a few helpful tools for making this recipe:

Instant Pot: This versatile pot makes this recipe a snap. While the soup is cooking away, I’m cleaning up the kitchen and preparing my toppings.

Immersion Blender: This makes blending the butternut squash soup a snap! Easy cleanup + safer pureeing = win.

Y-Peeler: The butternut squash can be a tricky thing to peel. I have this peeler, and it’s the perfect tool for the job.

(note: contains affiliate links)

Butternut Squash Soup

Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup

Course: Soup
Type: American
Servings: 8 cups
Calories: 120 kcal

My version of Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup gets some extra heat from red pepper flakes and a great spice from cumin and turmeric. I found some awesome multi-colored carrots at the farmers market, so a purple carrot gave the soup its wonderful deep color. It hits the spot on a cold winter night! 

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What You'll Need

  • 2 lb butternut squash peeled, seeded, and large diced
  • 3 large carrots peeled and chopped into large pieces
  • 2 apples cored and chopped into large pieces
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Spice Blend:

  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes adjust to your liking — if you love spicy food, add more!

Optional toppings:

  • Goat cheese
  • Parsely
  • Croutons
  • Toasted Pepitas

What to Do

Instant Pot Instructions:

  1. In an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker, turn on the “Saute” function. When the Instant pot reads “hot” on the display, add the olive oil.
  2. Add the squash, carrots, apples, and onion. Saute in olive oil 4-6 minutes, until slightly softened and some of the edges are slightly caramelized. Stir occasionally, but not too much - caramelization happens when veggies sit still!
  3. Add the spice blend and stir to coat. Saute for 2-4 minutes more, allowing the spice blend to toast slightly and giving time for more caramelization happens. This builds flavor!
  4. Add the chicken stock, stirring up any browned bits from the bottom of the Instant Pot.
  5. Press the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” button, and set the timer to 8 minutes. Put the lid on, and make sure the valve is set to “sealing”. When the timer is done, manually release the pressure. Turn the Instant Pot off.
  6. Using an immersion blender or (carefully!) working in batches with a regular blender, puree the soup until smooth. If you’re using an immersion blender, this step can be done directly in the pot. Test the soup and adjust seasoning as needed.
  7. Serve in bowls with your favorite toppings. I chose goat cheese and parsley!

Stovetop Instructions:

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers.
  2. Add the squash, carrots, apples, and onion. Saute in olive oil 4-6 minutes, until slightly softened and some of the edges are slightly caramelized. Stir occasionally, but not too much - caramelization happens when veggies sit still!
  3. Add the spice blend and stir to coat. Saute for 2-4 minutes more, allowing the spice blend to toast slightly and giving time for more caramelization happens. This builds flavor!
  4. Add the chicken stock, stirring up any browned bits from the bottom pot.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and continue to simmer, covered, for 25-35 minutes, until the vegetables are very soft. Turn off the heat.
  6. Using an immersion blender or (carefully!) working in batches with a regular blender, puree the soup until smooth. If you’re using an immersion blender, this step can be done directly in the pot. Test the soup and adjust seasoning as needed.
  7. Serve in bowls with your favorite toppings.

One Comment

  1. Like the goat cheese!

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