I first found this recipe several years ago when I received a butternut squash through a CSA and had absolutely no idea what to do with it. I’m not the biggest fan of squashes, unless it comes in pumpkin pie form, so I was at a loss. Compound that with a dairy sensitivity in our family that renders most butternut squash recipes unacceptable, and that squash must’ve sat in our pantry for three weeks before I finally stumbled on the original recipe on Eat Nourishing.
Ever since, it has been one of B’s favorite meals and C followed in her big brother’s footsteps. I usually try to make it for lunch at least once a week or once every two weeks during the colder months, but when we added school into our daily routine, this became more difficult as it took me about 30 minutes (after chopping and sauteeing onions) to cook the squash so it was soft enough to blend.
Because of this, one of the first recipes I converted to pressure cooking after I got my Instant Pot was this one. There are really only a few changes, mainly the cooking time is much shorter at only about 10 minutes. I also don’t bother chopping the squash into little chunks, but just opt for good-sized slices. The IP still manages to make them nice and tender. All in all, it takes only about 20-30 minutes now versus the 45 minutes it used to take.
For us, this soup supplies two days’ worth of lunches as it makes quite a bit and the kids like to slurp it up cold in straws the second day. If you don’t have an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker and want to try this recipe, the original one works beautifully. However, if you have joined the wonderful cult of IP, you can find a modified version below.
Simple Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup (Dairy-Free, Grain-Free)
- 4 tbsp fat of your choice (I use butter - you could also use ghee or coconut oil)
- 1 onion peeled and sliced
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 4 cups chicken stock/water combination ideally you want half and half, but if you have to supplement more water, that works too
- 1 butternut squash peeled, halved, seeded, and sliced
- Turn on the Saute function of your Instant Pot and melt the butter.
- Saute the onion slices in the melted butter with the salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, stirring every so often, until the onion is soft - about 5 minutes.
- While the onion is in the Instant Pot, peel, seed, and slice your squash. (A melon baller works very well to get the seeds out.)
- Add the chicken stock/water combination and the squash slices. Stir to combine.
- Cancel the Saute function, put the lid on your Instant Pot and turn it to the lock position. Make sure the valve is set to Sealing and push the Manual button. Adjust the time to 10 minutes (using the - and + buttons) and let it cook.
- When the ten minutes is up and the Instant Pot beeps, manually release the pressure by canceling the warm setting and turning the valve (be careful as HOT steam will come out at this point) to Venting. Wait until it is completely vented and the red Float Valve has gone back down, indicating that it is no longer under pressure.
- Remove the lid. You can also take the pot out and set it on a trivet, though this is not necessary. You can also let it cool for a bit before you blend it, but I don't normally do this.
- Use your immersion blender to blend the soup to the desired consistency (my kids like it a little lumpy). You can serve it immediately or wait a bit to cool it off. I usually stick an ice cube in the bowls of soup I serve to my kids so it cools off faster.