Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup

published Jan 3, 2021
halloween
Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash, sage, and apple join forces in this easy Instant Pot soup that celebrates all the flavors of winter and fall.

Serves8

MakesAbout 3 quarts

Prep10 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook30 minutes

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Credit: Joe Lingeman

A smooth and creamy butternut squash soup is one of those winter wonders that brightens any cold day. It’s sunny and welcoming, nourishing and filling without being too heavy, and can easily be made vegetarian or even vegan. It can be a light meal any night of the week, or an elegant start to a fancier dinner or holiday feast.

With the help of an Instant Pot, this sage- and apple-scented soup comes together in a snap and makes enough to stash away in the freezer for a quick lunch. Here’s how to do it.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

One of my favorite things about this soup is how flexible it is. If you want to keep the chopping and prep to a minimum, grab some pre-cut squash on your next grocery store run to make it come together even faster. Make sure you pick through the pieces and cut down any ones that are larger than an inch so that all the squash are the right size to cook for the prescribed amount of time.

Want to keep it vegan? Skip the butter and use olive or even coconut oil, pour in vegetable broth, and finish with coconut milk rather than cream. I love the wintry flavor that fresh sage brings, but you can also use dried sage in its place. 

Sauté, then Pressure Cook

This soup starts by using the Sauté function for just a few minutes to soften up some onion and apple. Then toss in a box of broth and the butternut and cook under high pressure for 10 minutes. Stir in some cream at the end and blend directly in the cooker if you have an immersion blender until super-smooth. I like it garnished with some toasted pumpkin seeds, a drizzle of cream, and some coarsely ground black pepper, but the spiced pumpkin seeds from this fall salad would be amazing here too.

This makes a generous amount of soup, but it freezes really well and can even double as a pasta sauce (just stir in a generous handful of Parmesan cheese). I remember my daughter loving this soup when she was a baby, but I still make it to this day — especially when we need a soothing lunch.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash, sage, and apple join forces in this easy Instant Pot soup that celebrates all the flavors of winter and fall.

Prep time 10 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes

Makes About 3 quarts

Serves 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds

    whole butternut squash (2 medium or 4 small), or 3 to 3 1/4 pounds cut butternut squash

  • 1

    large Granny Smith apple (about 8 ounces)

  • 1

    medium yellow onion

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive or coconut oil, or unsalted butter

  • 10

    fresh sage leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried sage

  • 1 (32-ounce) box

    low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

  • 2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

  • 1/3 cup

    heavy cream or full-fat coconut milk, plus more for serving

  • 1/2 cup

    toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Trim and peel 4 pounds whole butternut squash. Halve, remove the seeds, and cut the flesh into 1-inch chunks (about 3 1/4 pounds). If using pre-cut butternut squash, use 3 to 3 1/4 pounds and cut down any pieces that are larger than 1-inch. Peel, core and dice 1 large Granny Smith apple. Dice 1 medium yellow onion.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or oil of choice in a 6-quart or larger Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker on the highest Sauté setting. Add the apple, onion, and 10 fresh sage leaves or 1 teaspoon dried sage. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is starting to soften, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add the butternut squash, 1 box vegetable or chicken broth, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Lock the lid on and make sure the valve is sealed. Cook under HIGH pressure for 10 minutes. It will take about 15 minutes to come up to pressure.

  4. When the cook time is up, quick release the pressure. Stir in 1/3 cup heavy cream or coconut milk. Blend directly in the pot with an immersion blender until smooth, or blend in batches in a stand blender. If the soup is too thick, add water or more broth to thin out as needed.

  5. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed. Serve garnished with toasted pumpkin seeds, a drizzle of cream or coconut milk, and coarsely cracked black pepper if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 4 days. The soup can also be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw and whisk to recombine, and add more water or broth to thin out if needed.