As the leaves begin to turn and the air takes on a crisp edge, there's nothing quite like the warm embrace of a hearty soup to bring comfort to your soul. Butternut squash soup, with its vibrant color and naturally sweet flavor, is a fall favorite that melds perfectly with the gentle spices of the season.
This Instant Pot version offers all the depth and richness of traditional stovetop preparations but in a fraction of the time. The symphony of ingredients, including the surprising addition of apple, provides a delicate sweetness and a depth of flavor that's sure to please. Whether served as a cozy starter or a main dish, this soup promises warmth, comfort, and culinary delight in every spoonful.
1 medium butternut squash (about 2-3 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 apple (preferably Granny Smith or Honeycrisp), peeled, cored, and chopped
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup coconut milk or heavy cream (optional)
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated (or 1/2 tsp dried ginger powder)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil or unsalted butter
1. Preparation: Turn the Instant Pot to the sauté setting. When hot, add olive oil or butter.
2. Sauté Vegetables: Add the chopped onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add the minced garlic, carrot, and celery and continue to sauté for another 3-4 minutes.
3. Add Remaining Ingredients: Add the butternut squash cubes, apple, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper to the pot. Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth, ensuring the liquid just covers the vegetables.
4. Pressure Cook: Secure the Instant Pot lid, making sure the steam release valve is set to the sealing position. Set the pot to 'Manual' or 'Pressure Cook' on high pressure for 10 minutes. The Instant Pot will take some time to come to pressure before the cooking cycle begins.
5. Natural Release: Once the cooking cycle is complete, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release pressure for about 10 minutes. After that, you can carefully release any remaining pressure manually.
6. Blending: Using an immersion blender (or you can transfer the soup to a regular blender in batches), blend the soup until it’s smooth and creamy. If the soup is too thick, you can add a bit more broth to reach your desired consistency.
7. Finishing Touches: Stir in the coconut milk or heavy cream if you’re using it. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
8. Serve: Pour the soup into bowls and garnish with your chosen toppings.
Enjoy your delicious and comforting Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup!