With a combination of fresh butternut squash, sweet potato, ginger, a hint of thyme and nutmeg, this soup is bursting with goodness the minute in comes out of your Instant Pot. This wonderful cornucopia of ingredients comes together to make hearty, delicious and vibrant homemade soup.
What is Butternut Squash?
Butternut squash is a winter squash that has a sweet, nutty flavor. The inside has a rich orange color and it becomes sweeter the riper it becomes. They’re available year round, but naturally in the fall you’ll find them in abundance, along with the other winter squash such as pumpkins, acorn squash and more. They can be roasted, mashed, and served in a variety of ways. Have you ever tried butternut squash ravioli? It’s awesome! For this recipe, we’re gonna use our butternut squash and the main ingredient in a wonderful soup which we’ll make in our Instant Pot pressure cooker.
How to Cut Butternut Squash?
Cutting a butternut squash is actually quite easy. We’ll need about 4 cups of it for this recipe which is about the size of 1 medium sized squash. You’ll always want to start with a sharp knife! This is so important and makes the job much easier and much safer too. Cut the ends off the top and bottom of the squash, then cut it in half, right where the narrow part of the squash meets the larger base. Then take a peeler and peel the skin off of both sections. Next, take the base part, sit it upright and cut it down the center. You’ll then have two halves with the seeds and pulp. Use a spoon to scoop out all of the seeds and pulp. It should scoop out quite easily. Clean and save the seeds if you wish. They are great roasted or raw and can be used as garnish on the soup. Take the halves and cut into strips, then dice into cubes of about 1 inch in size. You’ll do the same with the top portion of the butternut squash, without the seeds and pulp. There you have it. You’ve cut up your butternut squash!
Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash are the Perfect Combination
The other main ingredient in our soup is sweet potato. The flavor combination of sweet potato and butternut squash is absolutely perfect. Similar in color and flavor profile, they accentuate each other perfectly while creating a rich and creamy texture. We don’t use any cream in this recipe. We get all that awesome texture from this combination of ingredients.
Start with A Simple Base of Celery, Onion and Carrot
Many soups use a base called a mirepoix, which is a combination of celery, onion and carrot. When sauteed, these ingredients provide a savory flavor base that will fill out the flavors of the soup. With an Instant Pot, we can saute right in the pot. If your particular Instant Pot has adjustable saute settings, I like to use a medium setting. We don’t want to brown the vegetables, we just want to saute them enough to where the onions become translucent. This should take about 5 minutes. Keep stirring with a wooden spoon during this process.
Parsley, Thyme, Nutmeg and Ginger
We’ll use a combination of herbs including dried parsley, thyme and nutmeg to season our soup. Nutmeg has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor that naturally lends itself to the flavors of butternut squash and sweet potatoes. And then we have the ginger. Fresh ginger is an ingredient I absolutely love using in so many wonderful recipes. For this recipe, the ginger brings a vibrance to our soup. It has a sweet, warm, zesty bite that provides our soup with a nice, deep flavor profile. It gives our soup with that “ahhh!!” factor. How much ginger do we use? Well, I have the recipe written out to use 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger. But, you can really use as much as 2 tablespoons if you want.
Blend to Perfect Consistency
Once our Instant Pot is done doing it’s magic, we’ll use an immersion blender to blend to soup to a nice and smooth consistency. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you still have a couple of options. You can use a hand mixer. Or, carefully scoop/pour the soup, in batches, into a standard blender. You can actually mash it up pretty well yourself by hand first. And if you don’t have an immersion blender, I highly recommend one. They are so useful for a variety of recipes, especially soups!