Sunday, January 24, 2021

Butternut and Delicata Squash Soup in the Instant Pot

The food section of our local newspaper comes out on Wednesday. Lately they have been have lots of good recipes. One that sounded promising was this soup, but it was made by roasting the squash for a long time, then doing the rest in a soup pot. I was sure that making it in the Instant Pot would work well and take far less time...and I was right. Since I've only used the appliance four times in my whole life, I still feel hesitant about how things will turn out, but the only way to get more comfortable is to use it.

For starters, the original recipe said to cut the squash in half, remove the seeds and roast in a hot oven on a lined baking sheet. The first thing I changed was to use two kinds of squash...mostly because I only had one smallish butternut squash and the recipe called for 2-3. To use the Instant Pot I needed to remove the ends, peel the squash, cut in half to remove the seeds, then cut the squash (both kinds) into large cubes - 1 to 1.5 inches. 

The original recipe had one sautéing the onion and carrot and garlic in a soup pot, but I used the sauté feature on the Instant Pot to do it there, then added the rest of the ingredients except for the squash and combined them, then added the uncooked squash and stirred it to coat. I only used 2 cups of broth. You don't lose moisture when using the Instant Pot so less was needed, but I also left the extra broth out because I wanted my soup to be fairly thick and I decided I could add more broth after the soup had been blended and the creamer had been added. The only thing I would do differently in this part would be to grate the ginger as they asked. I did a fine dice, but that still left tiny chunks of ginger once pureed, which isn't as nice as having the ginger sort of melt into the soup as grated ginger would.

I didn't have cashew butter, nor do I care for cashews, so I just left that part out.

This soup is amazing! I ended up adding a full cup of creamer(to tame the ginger heat a bit more) and no additional broth and the texture was just beautiful. Lots of flavor from the squash and the other ingredients, especially ginger, but a bit of a kick from the cayenne, too. The color is a deep gold and just lovely. There are lots of garnishes you can add, including chopped parsley or cilantro, a swirl or yogurt or sour cream, a few bacon crumbles, some toasted, chopped walnuts and a swirl or walnut get the idea.

If you use vegetable broth and, as I did, non-dairy creamer (soy in my case) this is a lovely vegan soup.

Ginger Butternut and Delicata Squash Soup

 2-3 small butternut squash (halved and seeded) OR
 2-3 small butternut and/or delicata squash, peeled, seeded, cut into cubes if using Instant Pot version

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 yellow onion, peeled and diced

1-2 carrots, peeled and roughly cut

2 cloves garlic, peeled and diced

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated

6 cups veg or chicken broth, homemade if possible (I used 2 cups for Instant Pot version)

1/4 cup cashew butter (I omitted this ingredient)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne (or more to taste)

pinch cinnamon and nutmeg

1/2 cup coconut milk, cream, soy creamer (I used 1 cup soy creamer)

Roasted and Stove Top Version 
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut squash in half, remove the seeds, and roast, cut side down, for 45 minutes. 

Meanwhile, heat the oil and saute' onions and carrots until soft (5-7 minutes) in a soup pot. Add garlic and ginger and cook another minute until fragrant.

 When the squash has cooled a bit after being removed from oven  scoop the flesh into a Vitamix or high-powered blender, along with the sautéed veggies, stock, cashew butter, salt, pepper and spices.
Blend until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste. Alternately, put the ingredients in a large soup pot, stir, and puree' with an immersion blender until very smooth.

 Heat before serving and add coconut milk, cream, or soy creamer for richness. 

Garnish with chopped parsley and, if desired, a sprinkle of cayenne, swirl or yogurt or sour cream, sprinkle of crisp cooked and crumbled bacon.

Instant Pot Version:
Heat the oil and saute' onions and carrots until soft (5-7 minutes) in the Instant Pot pot, using the saute' setting. Add garlic and ginger and cook another minute until fragrant.

Add the 2 cups broth, salt, pepper, cayenne, pinch cinnamon and nutmeg to the pot and stir together with the onion, carrot, garlic, ginger. Add the uncooked squash chunks and stir to coat. Affix Instant Pot lid, seal the vent, set to high pressure and 8 minutes. Cook the time it takes to build pressure plus the 8 minutes. 

Vent the steam slowly. When fully vented, remove the lid and use a stick blender to blend until very smooth, OR ladle carefully (probably two batches, but maybe three) into a Vitamix or high powered blender and blend until smooth. Return to Instant Pot pot and if serving at once, stir in the soy creamer, cream or coconut milk, stirring well to thoroughly blend. Adjust seasonings to taste. Let sit at Keep Warm setting up to 30 minutes. If serving later, reheat the soup, then add the creamer and stir to blend.

Garnish with chopped parsley and, if desired, a sprinkle of cayenne, swirl or yogurt or sour cream, sprinkle of crisp cooked and crumbled bacon.

Kickin' back with hot soup


  1. I've been using butternut as a base in mac and cheese and it's making me feel less guilty about the amount of that I've been eating! It makes it sweet and nutty, and caramelizing onions goes really well with it.

    I don't yet have an instant pot. I'm trying SO HARD not to have one, or an air fryer, but my birthday is coming, and I have sisters DETERMINED to bring me into the fold... oy.

  2. I fought against the Instant Pot for daughter was an early adopter...but decided that the pandemic blahs could be conquered by trying new cooking techniques. Still have only dipped my toe in the water, so to speak, but it sure does a quick job of cooking squash. I love the idea of mixing butternut with mac and cheese and caramelized onions. Throw in some fresh really sparked this soup.