Fast & Easy Paleo Butternut Squash Soup!
If you’re anything like me, nothing makes you feel more at home than a nice bowl of steaming hot soup. I especially love veggie soups that are rich and creamy, but I don’t ALWAYS want the accompanying tummy ache or calories that come with some of those DELICIOUS soups (trust me, sometimes I don’t mind!). When I was making the menu for the Yoga Retreat I cooked for in Big Bear, I knew that the girls would go crazy over my paleo butternut squash soup, made with coconut milk instead of heavy cream. That being said, I was prepping so many different meals and was in a bit of a time crunch. That’s when I remembered the best gift I received last year. Enter, the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.
Ta-da! I love this thing! If pressure cookers scare the crap outta you (they scared me for a long time!), this guy will become your best friend. It is SO easy to use, so approachable, and so damn efficient! It’s as easy as using a crock pot (and who is nervous using a crock pot? NO ONE, that’s who). There are no intimidating screws to clamp town, no science-y pressure gauge that you aren’t even really sure how to read, and you don’t get the gut wrenching feeling that you assembled it wrong and the whole contraption might just blow up in your face. It’s just incredibly friendly and gets the job done! I can’t recommend it enough.
So, back to our soup. I tossed the ingredients into the pressure cooker, and voila! This recipe has never come out better (OR quicker!). You don’t even notice that it’s healthy because the flavors are so intensified and the coconut milk add’s such a creaminess to it. Without further ado:
Fast & Easy Paleo Butternut Squash Soup!
Yield: about 4 qts
1 butternut squash, peeled (weight: 1#, or about 6 cups)
1 onion (about 3 cups)
3 jumbo carrots (about 3 cups)
2 cups celery
4 garlic cloves, peeled
6 cups chicken stock
2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves – picked off the stems
1/4 cup parsley leaves
1 tsp cayenne ** very spicy! use with caution, or use less if you prefer!
2 Tbsp dried oregano
3 Tbsp herbs de provence
1 can full fat coconut milk (about 1 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 Tbsp salt + more to taste
1/4 Tbsp pepper + more to taste
chives, fresh (optional)
1) Cut your butternut squash in half so you have two, smaller, more manageable pieces to work with. Using your Kuhn-Rikon peeler, peel the butternut squash. Once it’s peeled, trim the ends. The bottom half of the butternut squash is where the seeds are. Scoop the seeds out with a spoon and discard (unless you want to save them for later to roast! yum!).
2) Cut the peeled butternut squash into a large dice of about the same size.
3) Prep your other veggies – peel the onion and cut into a large dice, peel the carrots and cut into large pieces, wash the celery and cut into large pieces, peel the garlic cloves.
4) Place the butternut squash, carrots, onions, celery, and garlic into your pressure cooker (we love our Instant Pot!). Add the thyme and parsley leaves. Cover with the chicken stock, and then add the salt and pepper.
* If you do not have a pressure cooker, you can very easily make this recipe in a regular stock pot. You’ll follow all of the same steps, except instead of putting the ingredients in your pressure cooker in step 4, you’ll add them to a stock pot. Then, you’ll bring the soup to a boil, on high heat. Once at a boil, reduce the heat to medium and keep at a simmer. Place a lid on the stock pot and simmer for about 45 minutes. It may take slightly longer, you’ll just want to make sure the butternut squash is completely cooked. Then, you’ll just follow the remaining steps of the recipe starting at Step 7! *
5) Close the lid on your pressure cooker and start cooking! On the Instant Pot, you can use the “Soup” function. If you have a manual pressure cooker, you’ll want to set it to “high pressure” and cook for about 30 minutes, once it’s reached pressure.
6) Once your time is up, release the pressure from your pressure cooker. Be careful not to burn yourself on the steam!
8) Season with cayenne, dried oregano, and herbs de provence. Add in the coconut milk and stir to combine.
9) Taste for seasoning. Does it need more salt? More pepper? Do you want it spicier? Make any seasoning adjustments you may need.
10) Garnish with fresh chives to make it extra pretty, and enjoy your fast AND easy butternut squash soup!
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