There’s nothing better to warm the soul that a great bowl of soup. Yesterday, as I stared at the fabulous looking butternut squash and apples I purchased, I dreamed of all the things I could do with it. With dinner fast approaching, I needed something quick. A pressure cooker (of which I have many different kinds) is a great tool for fast, delicious soups in a hurry.
I tweaked the recipe below that I found in my endless quantities of recipes and it was a big hit with the family. (They aren’t big butternut squash fans, but I think I have some converts!). If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you’ll need to vary the time it takes to make this recipe. (I’ve made notes in each step, where appropriate).
Indian-Style Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 4 to 6
2 Small Butternut or Acorn Squash, halved, seeded
1/2 Cup Water
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Medium Onion, peeled, chopped
3 Celery Ribs, peeled, chopped
3 Small Carrots, peeled, chopped
1 Tablespoon Mild Curry Paste (Indian-Curry style) – (to 1 1/2)
2 Cups Chicken Stock – (to 3)
2 Tart Apples, Like Granny Smith, sliced
Oil, as needed
Butter, as needed
Plain Yogurt, for serving
1. Place trivet in bottom of 5-quart or larger pressure cooker. Add squash and water. (If you don’t have a pressure cooker, place the squash in a large dutch oven with the same amount of water).
2. Close lid and bring pressure to second red ring (15 pounds pressure) over high heat. Adjust heat to stabilize pressure at second red ring. Cook for 10 minutes. (Alternative: bring to boil, lower heat and simmer, covered for about 1 hour or until soft).
3. Remove from heat and use Natural Release Method. (Alternative: Remove squash from dutch oven and set aside to cool).
4. When squash is cool, scoop it from its skin with a spoon.
5. While squash is cooling, saute apple slices in butter until carmelized.
6. Remove liquid from pressure cooker (or dutch oven) and saute the onion, celery and carrots in a small amount of oil, until soft but not brown.
7. Add the curry paste (use your taste here…), squash, carmelized apples, and stock and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
8. Close lid and bring pressure to first red ring (8 pounds pressure) over high heat. Adjust heat to stabilize pressure at first red ring. Cook for 10 minutes. (Alternative: bring soup to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes).
9. Remove from heat and use Natural Release Method. (Alternative: remove dutch oven from heat and cool slightly).
10. Puree the soup in the pressure cooker (or dutch oven) using a hand blender. Add additional stock if a thinner consistency is desired. (If you don’t own a hand blender, use your regular blender and blend in batches. Be sure to not cover the blender completely and use a towel over it to avoid a massive mess).
11. Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper, to taste. (If you’re like me and love indian food, you can add some curry powder and ground cumin for additional pizzaz!). Top individual soup portions with a tablespoon of yogurt and serve.