I’m all about using fresh, seasonal produce when I cook, and this Instant Pot butternut squash soup recipe satisfies that need and so much more. I want food that’s full of flavor and tastes like Mom made it, and sometimes I want it fairly quickly and without much hassle. That’s where this soup comes in to save the day.
If you’re new to the Instant Pot pressure cooker, well let me just tell you it’s a wonderful thing! A lot of people ask me about the Instant Pot and whether it’s worth the purchase.
Let me first say that I was late to the game with the Instant Pot. Honestly, I have more time than maybe most people to cook so it’s not like I was desperate for some gadget to speed up dinner for me. I also really enjoy cooking and do a lot of home cooking, so I wasn’t looking for something to help me avoid fast food or takeout.
What I will admit to is that I like the idea of being a bit “carefree” when I cook and being able to walk away from a pot of food and watch a show on tv without having to worry about the liquid in my pot simmering away to nothing, leaving me with scorched food.
The Instant Pot gives me that peace of mind. It is also very useful for cooking French stews like beef bourguignon in less than half the time.
If you’re wondering what size to get, I recommend the 6 quart to cook for anywhere from two people to six people. If your family is larger than that or you’re planning to cook for more people, then I’d go with the 8 quart. I’d only buy the 3 quart size if you are planning to use it for one person or specific uses (i.e. only make yogurt in it or only make rice, etc.).
For this particular Instant Pot recipe, speed isn’t necessary the advantage of using the pressure cooker over a normal pot on the stove. The truth is that they both take about the same time when you consider that the pressure cooker needs a little time to actually come to pressure.
For me, the appeal of this Instant Pot butternut squash soup recipe is the convenience of being able to speedily put together a soup and keep it warm for as long as I need.
Unlike a slow cooker, the veggies are cooked in just under 20 minutes (including the time it takes for the cooker to come to pressure), allowing me to also quickly purée the soup in a blender right after. With a slow cooker, you’d have to wait several hours until you could purée the contents of the soup.
Once the butternut squash soup is puréed, I simply pour the soup back into the Instant Pot and keep it warm for as long as I need, sometimes all day.
As for the soup itself, I can’t rave more about how simple yet delicious this butternut squash soup truly is. I found the recipe in Mireille Guiliano’s book “French Women Don’t Get Fat,” and was inspired by Guiliano’s enthusiasm for cooking seasonal dishes like this soup.
The book inspired me to pay more attention to what ingredients I was purchasing at the grocery store and make the extra effort to purchase fruits and vegetables that would be at their finest. And it just so happens that right now, butternut squash happens to be at its finest!
Butternut squash during this time of the year is lovely; it’s a vegetable that pairs quite well with fall spices like nutmeg and earthy herbs like thyme and sage. This butternut squash soup epitomizes the best of fall.
While butternut squash may not look like something you’d want to bite into at first glance, once it’s cooked, it becomes tender and delicately sweet, very much like a sweet potato.
To save time and effort, you can pick up pre-cut and peeled butternut squash from your local market. Otherwise, a really good Swiss peeler like this one makes peeling butternut squash a breeze.
This Instant Pot butternut squash soup recipe has become one of my favorite, easy pressure cooker recipes to turn to during the fall. Among the squash in the soup, you’ll find a granny smith apple and carrots, as well as sprigs of thyme and sage to be stewed.
To compliment the soup and provide a little more texture to the meal, I toast baguette slices and top them with gruyere and thyme leaves. Some of the leftover sage leaves are chopped up and fried in a little bit of butter, before the crispy leaves are added to the soup with a drizzle of olive oil.
The result is a warm and hearty meal that captures the best of fall and what this season has to offer.
Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
Creamy butternut squash soup paired with homemade gruyere croutons.
for the soup
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 a large onion diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 2 leaves sage
- 1 butternut squash peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 small to medium carrots peeled and roughy chopped
- 1/2 a large granny smith apple peeled, cored, and chopped
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp salt
for the gruyere croutons
- 8 slices French baguette
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 oz shredded gruyere
- thyme leaves for garnish
- small pinch of salt and pepper
for the crispy sage
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 4-5 sage leaves chopped
To the Instant Pot (or a regular large pot), heat the olive oil and butter using the sauté feature (or just medium heat on the stove). Cook the onion until it's translucent - a few minutes - then add the garlic. Add the nutmeg and salt, stir to combine and cook for another minute, stirring often.
Add in the cubed squash, carrots, and apple; stir everything to combine. Top the mixture with the thyme sprigs and sage leaves, then pour in the chicken broth. Secure the Instant Pot's lid on and turn the knob to sealing. Manual cook for 15 minutes. If using a regular pot on the stove, bring the liquid to a boil, then lower the heat and cover the pot, cooking the soup for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
Once the pot beeps, give it a few minutes to naturally release pressure, then throw a towel over the sealing knob and twist it to venting to release the rest of the pressure. Remove the thyme sprigs and sage leaves from the soup. Transfer the entire contents of the pot (including little onion bits and liquid) to a large blender to purée. Purée until smooth.
Transfer the soup back into the pot and serve the soup warm with a couple of croutons and a few pieces of crispy sage on top.
To make the croutons
Meanwhile, create the croutons by rubbing one side of all the baguette slices with 1/2 a tablespoon of butter. Lay the slices on a sheet pan, with the buttered sides facing up, and broil the slices in the oven until they’re golden and crisp along the edges. Remove the baguette slices and flip them over. Top with the shredded cheese, some thyme leaves, and a small pinch of salt and pepper. Place back in the oven under the broiler until cheese has melted.
To make the crispy sage
For the crispy sage topping, fry the chopped sage in some heated butter over the stove. Cook until the sage is crisp and slightly golden along the edges.