One-Pot Wonders

Butternut Squash & Red Lentil Soup - Instant Pot

April 28, 2022
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Photo by Darlene Calderone PN1 CPT VGFI
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • serves 8
Author Notes

The best soups are rich, flavourful, earthy and make you feel like you're right at home.

This savoury and sweet butternut squash soup does just that.
The natural sweetness of the squash and the sweet potato is enhanced by adding just one pear. For this recipe I used a ripe bosc - you can use whatever you find in season - or if pears aren't your thing feel free to add an apple and see what kind of flavour that gets you.

When developing this recipe I realized that I wanted to add some protein so you could easily have this as your main dish.

Butternut Squash
One cup of raw butternut squash typically has 63 calories, packs plenty of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium.

Lentils are an excellent meat alternative with approximately 17.9g of protein per cup. Full of phytochemicals (plant compounds) to help the body protect itself against chronic diseases, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Lentils are an excellent source of fibre, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc.

—Darlene Calderone Pn1, BCS, CPT, VGFI —Darlene Calderone Pn1 BCS CPT VGFI

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup water
  • 2.5 pounds butternut squash, cut into quarters pieces, stem and seeds removed
  • 1 medium pear, peeled, cored, diced
  • 2 small sweet potatoes (around half a pound) cut into quarters
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • .25 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg or ground nutmeg
  • 1.5 cups dry split red lentils
  • 6 cups low sodium vegetable stock (hot)
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  1. Place a trivet in the inner pot of the instant pot. Add water. Arrange the squash and sweet potato in the pot.
  2. Close lid on the Instant Pot. Select Manual setting Secure the lid on your Instant Pot and select manual setting, high pressure - 7 minutes. Allow to natural release.
  3. Carefully open the pot and use a large spoon or some tongs to remove the sweet potato and the squash, set aside until cool enough to handle.
  4. Carefully remove trivet, discard water from the metal pot. Give it a quick rinse and dry the outside of the pot before placing it back inside the Instant Pot.
  5. Select the sauté setting. Once it's hot, add oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, add onion, seasoning with salt and pepper. Sauté onion for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Should the onions start to stick, pour a splash of the stock in the pan and stir.
  6. In the meantime, carefully scoop flesh from the butternut squash. The flesh from the sweet potato should peel off easily. Discard the peels.
  7. Add garlic, sage, and nutmeg into the pot, stir until fragrant - about 30 seconds - continuously stir to prevent burning. Slowly add approximately 1/4 the stock to deglaze. With a wooden spoon work away any stuck bits from the bottom of the pot. Press cancel to stop the sauté function.
  8. Add pears and lentils to the pot, stir to combine before adding the squash and sweet potato flesh and finally the rest of the stock.
  9. Replace the lid to the Instant Pot, seal and press the soup setting set to 10 minutes. Allow to natural release for at least 10 minutes.
  10. Carefully open the Instant Pot, stir to combine, break up any large pieces that remained, if any. This soup is meant to be thick and hearty like a stew - but if you like it thinner feel free to add more stock to your liking.
  11. Divide into serving bowls, garnish with a touch more grated nutmeg, salt and pepper. Beautiful to serve on it's own or with a salad, or your favourite crusty bread.

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