Monday, November 13, 2017

Instant Pot: Butternut Squash & Apple Soup

How often do you make soup? I've found myself making soup more often due to the cold temps where we are. It's a great way to sneak in more vegetables into our diet. Usually when I have family and friends over for dinner, I'll have salad as a first course. But with the cold weather, soup seemed more appropriate. Now I feel like I've overlooked how great soup is as a starter, if not a meal in itself. The most recent soup I made was this Butternut Squash & Apple Soup. Who knew making this was as simple as combining butternut squash puree, apple slices, chicken broth and some aromatics, then giving it all a good whiz with an immersion blender?...

The weather warrants a steaming bowl of this delicious warmth. This was a perfectly balanced soup with both the sweet and savory notes throughout. You could blend the soup as smooth as you'd like but I left some small bits of apple for additional texture. The original recipe called for blending the soup with the creme fraiche but I opted to dollop each serving with some so that folks could swirl it in as they ate. It also offered a nice color contrast and presentation to have the creme fraiche unblended. If you have difficult finding creme fraiche in your area, no worries - substitute it with some sour cream or even Greek yogurt.


Butternut Squash & Apple Soup
recipe adapted from Williams Sonoma


Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound diced butternut squash
  • Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored & thinly sliced
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • fresh chives for garnish


In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place

Press SAUTE and melt the butter. Add the onion and cook until soft but not browned.

Add the butternut squash, apple, broth, bay leaves and salt and stir to combine. 


Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 20 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 20 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.


When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 20 minutes, turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).

Remove the bay leaves and discard. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup directly in the IP until smooth.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish with a dollop of creme fraiche and fresh chives.