January 10, 2024
MIC DROP - MY JOB IS DONE HERE. After a mediocre at best try, I concocted a new recipe in my head for butternut squash soup. Seriously. I need to often get out of my kitchen to figure out why I didn't love a recipe. And, I know you know by now, if I don't love a recipe it does not go on my website or in a cookbook. I don't want you to waste any of your precious time. The first batch was just too much soup -- while I like big-batch cooking, I really don't want that much butternut squash soup in the house. So, I pulled back the recipe and made it for the 3 quart ... and then there was the cream factor. I wanted creamy but not dairy and absolutely not coconut milk - which other recipes call for. I hate the taste of coconut milk in anything but South Indian or Thai food. To me, it's the lazy way to make something creamy with a taste profile that just does not work. So ... cashews! What I did here is PURE Anupy magic. I'm just sayin'. It's my trick for many of my creamy soups without dairy - raw, unsalted cashews. And, I'd say kissed is the absolute perfect word for the amount of garam masala in this soup. Just enough. You are going to be so glad you waited for this one. Off the rails! Read on my loves! xoxo Anupy
Instant Pot: Garam Masala Kissed Butternut Squash Soup
Make in 3 quart or larger
Yield: 6 cups
Warm Up: 15 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Cool Down: 10 minutes natural release + manual release
Total time: 30 minutes + manual release time
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons raw, unsalted cashews (no need to soak)
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1/2 large Granny Smith green apple, cored and diced
1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced (about 4 cups)
3 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1. Place the inner pot in your Instant Pot. Select the SAUTE setting and adjust to NORMAL. When the indicator flashes HOT, add the oil. Once the oil warms, add the shallot, garlic, and cashews. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
2. Add the carrot and apple. Stir and cook for 1 minute. I don't always peel my carrots. I only did here to avoid any layers of bitterness in the soup. Up to you.
3. Add the butternut squash. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
4. Press CANCEL. Add the water and stir. Lock the lid into place and make sure the pressure release valve is set to the sealing position (upwards). Press the PRESSURE COOK button and then press the PRESSURE LEVEL button until the panel reads high. Adjust the cook time to 5 minutes. The extra 1/2 cup of water was perfect. The 5 minutes was perfect - some recipes call for 8 to 10. No need. Also, no need for stock. The water was perfectly fine.
5. Once the cooking is complete, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then release the remaining pressure manually. Press CANCEL and remove the lid. Add the salt, black pepper, and the garam masala. Stir. The extra 10 minutes gives the soup time to settle and the ingredients truly cook through.
6. Process until completely smooth and creamy in a high-powered blender like a Vita Mix. Enjoy as is or topped with salted pepitas. You can also blend with an immersion blender, but I like this soup extra creamy and feel like the blender does a better job. Up to you!
Here are four key stages. Starting from the top left photo (photo 1) is Step 5 - the cooked ingredients. Photo 2 adds the spices. Photo 3 just shows the nuggets of cashews that get you to creamy. And, photo 4 believe it or not is what this looks like once blended. What's hard to believe is the beautiful creamy light yellow color. It reminds me of a field of sunflowers. But, it's the cashews that help get it to that beautiful texture and look. I hope you'll make this recipe and love it as much as me!
And, how to peel your butternut squash? Watch my video from my YouTube channel! Spoiler alert - a simple peeler!
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