This brilliant orange Instant Pot butternut squash soup is so uplifting on a cold day. It includes a mixture of butternut squash, carrots, aromatic ingredients, spices, and broth, that cook into a smooth creamy blend. For a unique twist on a classic butternut squash soup, this is served with nutritious quinoa.
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How to Make Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup
This butternut squash soup is modeled off of my stovetop Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup recipe. It pretty well uses the same ingredients, except that it is prepared in a pressure cooker rather than on the stove.
To start making this soup, simply combine squash cubes, carrots, onions, garlic cloves, broth, salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, and cayenne in the bowl of an Instant Pot. The vegetables can be in relatively large chunks as the pressure cooker will cook them thoroughly. I like to add the garlic cloves whole, quarter the onion, and cut the squash into large chunks or cubes.
For the broth, you can use vegetable broth or chicken broth. Steer clear of beef broth, though, as it has an overly robust flavour that may take over the other components of your soup.
PIP - Pot-In-Pot Method
A great part of this recipe is that you can cook your quinoa at the same time that you make your soup, and in the same pressure cooker. Simply place your Instant Pot trivet inside the bowl so that it sits on top of your soup ingredients.
Then, mix the dry quinoa, water or broth, and salt in a heatproof bowl, such as metal, and set it on top of the trivet. At this point, you close the Instant Pot while ensuring the valve is in the sealing position, and pressure cook it for 4 minutes. Just to note, while the cooking time is short, the Instant Pot will take approximately 20 minutes to come to pressure.
Finishing the Soup
Once the 4 minutes elapse, you can use the quick-release method to release the pressure. To be extra safe, you can turn the valve from sealing to unsealed a few times, which is extra good if a lot of steam and liquid shoots out. I recommend wearing a pair of oven mitts or protecting your hand with a kitchen towel when you do this as well.
The next step is to pull the quinoa out of the Instant Pot and fluff it with a fork. Afterward, to finish the soup, you add some olive oil to the butternut mixture before blending it until smooth with an immersion blender or upright blender. The mixture will become the most gorgeous orange blend and perfect for serving with your quinoa.
To serve the soup, I like to scoop some of the quinoa into individual serving bowls before ladling the soup over the top. An extra drizzle of olive oil adds some richness while cilantro and pumpkin seeds add some vibrancy, colour, and crunch.
Using some olive oil for blending or topping the soup is great for enhancing the soup flavors. Furthermore, it increases the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
How to Serve Instant Pot Butternut Soup
With the addition of protein-rich quinoa, you can eat this butternut squash soup as it is for lunch or dinner. However, feel free to round out your meal with slices of freshly baked bread or a tossed green salad if desired.
If you love a hint of something smoky in your squash soup, you could add some cooked crumbled bacon for garnish as well. Additionally, if you prefer something else to olive oil, you could swirl some plain yogurt, heavy cream, or milk into the soup. Even coconut milk is excellent if you have some leftover in your fridge that you need to use up. The possibilities are endless when you have a sweet and savoury soup like this one!
Can You Freeze Butternut Squash Soup?
Yes, you absolutely can! In fact, this Instant Pot soup freezes extremely well. This is ideal if you would like to make meals to take you through some busier times or simply won't be able to get through the soup in an appropriate amount of time.
To store the soup for the freezer, you should let it cool completely. Next, you can ladle it between sealable containers, while leaving 1-inch at the top to accommodate its expansion during freezing. This soup should sufficiently keep in the freezer for between 2 and 3 months. Any longer and the soup just might not taste as fresh.
Once you are ready to eat your frozen soup, you can pull it out of the freezer and refrigerate it while it thaws. Once it is thawed, you can gently reheat it in a saucepan on the stove as you might do with canned soups. Alternatively, you can remove your frozen soup from the container to a saucepan, and gently reheat it over very low heat until melted and heated through.
Pressure Cooker I Use
Other Soup Recipes You'll Love:
Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup
- 1.5 lbs butternut squash cubes
- 1 lb carrots peeled & cut into large chunks
- 1 small onion quartered
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- 4 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ⅛-1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder (adjust to your heat preference)
PIP - In separate bowl on trivet
- ¾ cup quinoa
- 1 cup water or vegetable broth
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- drizzle of olive oil
- roasted pumpkin seeds
- chopped cilantro
- To the inner liner (the pot) of your pressure cooker, add butternut squash cubes, carrot chunks, onion quarters, garlic cloves, together with vegetable broth, salt, pepper, paprika, cumin and optional cayenne pepper.
- If you want to cook quinoa at the same time using the PIP method (pot-in-pot), place a trivet on top of the vegetables. In a smaller pressure cooker safe bowl (stainless steel, glass, or ceramic) combine quinoa with water/broth and salt. Set the bowl on the trivet.
- Close the lid and turn the pressure valve to sealing. Set the pressure cooker to cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. (After about 20 minutes of pressurizing time the timer will start to count down).
- When the cook time is up, you can quick release (QR) the pressure. For extra safety or if any liquid is escaping along with the steam, do a staggered release. Turn the valve to vent for a short burst, then return to sealing position and wait a moment before repeating until all pressure is released and the pin drops.
- Open the Instant Pot lid. Using silicone gloves or tongs remove the small pot of cooked quinoa and trivet. Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Drizzle about ½ tablespoon of olive oil over the cooked butternut squash mix.
- Blend the butternut squash soup with an immersion blender until smooth. Alternatively you can carefully fill all ingredients to a blender jug and blend.
- For serving add about ½ cup cooked quinoa to each bowl before topping with the butternut squash cream soup. Top with roasted pumpkin seeds and chopped cilantro. Drizzle with a little extra olive oil or some (coconut) cream if desired.
Yes, peeling butternut squash is necessary for soup. The skin can be tough and affects the smooth texture of the soup.
Either method works, but roasting enhances the squash's flavor, adding a caramelized touch to the soup.
Butternut squash is rich in vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, contributing to overall health and immune support.
To thicken butternut soup, blend in cream, coconut milk, or add a roux for a creamy texture.
The soup function on an Instant Pot typically takes about 30-40 minutes, excluding the time for pressurization.
When using the soup setting on an Instant Pot, make sure the venting knob is set to sealing to allow pressure cooking.
If your butternut squash soup isn't smooth, try blending it longer or using an immersion blender for a smoother texture.