Savory bacons bits and chopped chipotle pepper add a spicy kick to the sweet and earthy seasonal veggies in this instant pot butternut squash recipe. Made with only 10 ingredients without too much hands on prep! | Gluten Free + Dairy Free
What’s to love about this instant pot butternut squash soup?
How about the:
✔salty bacon pieces
✔spicy chipotle pepper
✔colorful seasonal veggies
Sautéd and simmered in an electric pressure cooker then blended into a rich and creamy texture.
It’s comfort food that’s as nourishing and it is satisfying – perfect for this time of year when the weather starts to cool! What’s not to love?
How to Make this Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup
Thanks to the instant pot, this soup comes together easily without too much hands on time. Broken down into simple terms, the soup comes together in a few basic steps:
- Fry the bacon. Add the chopped bacon bits to the pot and fry on the sauté function until crispy.
- Sauté the aromatics and veggies. After removing the bacon from the pot, layer in the vegetables and spices by cooking in stages.
- Add liquids, cover and cook until fork tender. Pour your chosen chicken stock/ veggie broth into the pot. Cover the veggies and stir everything together. Cover, seal and set the pressure cook button to cook for 12 minutes.
- Blend and enjoy! Allow the pot the depressurise then blend into a thick, creamy soup. Taste and season as you see fit and enjoy.
- Bacon – chop up a few slices
- Aromatics – onion, carrot, celery and garlic
- Butternut Squash – peeled with seeds removed (save and roast as you would pumpkin seeds to cut down on waste!)
- Herbs – fresh or dried thyme
- Apple – peeled and deseeded
- Chipotle in Adobo – use chipotle paste if you can’t find canned/jarred chipotle
- Stock – chicken broth or vegetable broth
Pressure Cooker Butternut Squash Soup: Step-By-Step
Bacon Prep: Set the saute function on the pot and fry the bacon bits until crispy, about 5-6 minutes.
Once the bacon pieces crisp up fully, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the pot then set them aside until you’re ready to blend everything together.
If needed, deglaze the bottom of the pan by adding a couple of tablespoons water to the pot. The water will loosen up burnt on bits and the heat will evaporate the water.
Aromatics and Veggies
Add a bit more oil to the pot, then toss in the chopped onion, carrot and celery. Gently fry the veggies about 5 minutes to soften, then add the garlic, chipotle and thyme. Stir and cook another minutes or two, then add the squash and apple.
Note about cooking the chipotle:
When the pepper makes contact with the heat of the pressure cooker, it will likely release capsaicin fumes (spicy clouds). Minimise the effect of the capsaicin by opening a window or setting up the pot under/near the exhaust hood in your kitchen.
Simmer & Blend
Finally, cover the veggies with stock and stir everything together. Cover then seal the pot. Set cooking time to 12 minutes.
Quick Pressure Release or Natural Release?
- It doesn’t really matter here. If you’re busy as the time goes off you can just let it depressurise naturally otherwise you can start venting right away with a quick release. For quick release, place a kitchen towel over the valve as the steam lets out to reduce the steam sputtering everywhere.
- Immersion Blender: If possible, use an immersion blender (hand blender) and blend right in the pot.
- StandBlender or Food Processor: If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can blend up the soup in batches using a regular blender or food processor. Secure the blender lid before you press go and blend. Make sure to wait a bit for the hot liquid to cool down before transferring it to another container.
- Just make sure to be careful when removing the lid and open away from your face and body. The soup will be hot and steamy and I can speak from experience when I say that you don’t want that coming at you full force!
Storage and Freezer Tips
In the fridge: Let cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container and keep refrigerated. Enjoy within 5-6 days.
In the freezer: Butternut squash soup will keep well three to four months. It’s still safe after four months but it won’t taste as strong. Make sure to choose a freeze safe container or bag. Save space with a freezer bag by freezing the soup flat on a baking sheet until solid.
Enjoy as a light lunch/dinner or serve it as a healthy side dish to a fuller meal.
You can’t go wrong serving with a side of crusty bread (gluten free bread, of course!) or sweet potato crackers for dipping. I made some homemade croutons with leftover stale bread to top my soup pictured here.
As for toppings – play around with what you like! This soup can be a bit spicy so you might enjoy it with a dollop of sour cream or yoghurt on top. If you have any leftover bacon bits, sprinkle some on top for an extra salty crunch.
As always finish off with a pinch of salt and a sprinkling of black pepper and you’re good to go!
- 6 slices bacon (90 g) sliced into small pieces
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 chipotle in adobo sauce, chopped (see notes for substitutes)
- 1 butternut squash, peeled & deseeded (about 2 pounds)
- 1 tart apple, peeled, cored and diced
- 5 cups chicken stock (1.2 litres)
- more bacon bits
- sour cream or yoghurt
- In a 6-quart instant pot: add the bacon pieces to the instant pot. Press 'Sauté' and cook the bacon about 5-6 minutes until crisp, stirring frequently. Remove the bacon from the pot and set aside until you're ready to blend.
- Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pot, then add the onion, carrot and celery. Sauté about 5 minutes to soften the onions.
- Add the garlic, chipotle and thyme to the pot. Mix well into the veggies.
- Stir in the squash and apple, then add the stock.
- Secure the lid on the instant pot and make sure the dial on top is set to 'sealing'. Switch to cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. (Press 'Manual' or 'Pressure Cook' and set the timer to 10 minutes.)
- After the time is up the Instant Pot will automatically switch the keep warm. Let it keep warm for 10 depressurising on its own before releasing the steam valve.
- Add the bacon back to the pot. Use an immersion blender to process and blend until smooth.
- Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed. Serve with your desired toppings and enjoy.
- If you don't own a stick blender you can blend up the soup in batches using a regular blender or food processor. Wait for the soup to cool down until it's easy to handle. Also Just sure to be careful when removing the blender lid and open away from your body.
- Chipotle in adobo substitute: Use 1-2 tablespoons chipotle paste instead OR add 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika and 1 teaspoon mixed chili powder. It won't taste quite the same, but it will add a slightly spicy/smokey flavor.
- Cook and prep time does not include the time needed for the pot to come up to pressure.