Smooth, creamy and delicious! The black and red pepper give this Pressure Cooker Butternut Squash Soup a little bit of heat and the half and half gives it great body and beautiful color.
My sweet friend Bonnie, City Home/Country Home, posted this Butternut Squash Soup recipe last fall, but I didn’t get around to making it until recently. I was at the Indoor Farmers Market and the farmer talked me into buying butternut squash for the first time. Since I’d been wanting to try this soup, it wasn’t a tough sale.
I was a bit concerned about how my kids would like the soup, but I didn’t need to worry, the whole family loved it. The black pepper and red pepper flakes give it a little bit of heat and the squash just gives it great body and beautiful color.
Their one complaint about the soup was that it didn’t have anything in it. Since it’s pureed smooth, they didn’t think it was filling enough for dinner. My youngest suggested adding orzo, which I thought was a brillant idea.
So I decided to make it again and this time I added orzo and diced chicken. Now it was hearty, but still smooth, creamy and delicious. My oldest son said it reminded him of a chowder.
Making it in the pressure cooker didn’t save tons of time, but it’s so nice not to have to stir it or worry about it while it’s on the stove. I based my cooking time on the Cuisinart tomato soup recipe which uses a natural release. One day I’ll try a quick release which would really speed up the process.
This is a great soup recipe. I hope you’ll give it a try. Visit Bonnie for the stove top cooking directions and to check out all her other fabulous recipes. Thanks for sharing this one Bonnie!
Butternut Squash Soup with Chicken and Orzo
- 1 1/2 lbs. of fresh baked butternut squash (peeled, and cubed)*
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup green onions, diced
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 1/2 cup carrots, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 14.5 oz. cans chicken broth
- 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 cup orzo, cooked
- 1 cup chicken, cooked and diced (I used rotisserie chicken)
- 1 to 1/2 cup half and half
- Green onion tops, sliced very thin (save for garnish)
Melt butter in pressure cooker pot. Sauté onions, celery, and carrots. Add garlic, stir briefly and add chicken stock, tomatoes and squash. Add Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, pepper and nutmeg.
Select high pressure and 10 minutes cook time. When beep sounds turn pressure cooker off, wait 10 minutes and then use a Quick Pressure Release to release pressure.
When valve drops carefully remove lid, tilting away from you to allow steam to disperse.
Puree until mixture is very smooth. (I used my immersion blender and pureed it in the pressure cooker pot.)
Select Simmer and add chicken, orzo, and half and half and heat until chicken is heated.
Serve garnished with thinly sliced green tops of onions and a swirl of half and half.
*You can also peel and cube the squash and brown it in the pressure cooker instead of baking it.
Update: Since posting this recipe, this soup has become one of my family’s favorites. I make it often. Sometimes I roast the butternut squash in the oven, and sometimes when I’m in a hurry or just don’t want to turn on the oven, I do what a reader suggested and cube the squash, brown it in the pressure cooker with a little butter or oil, until it gets a nice caramelized coating on it. Taking the time to roast or brown the squash really does make a richer flavored soup.
Did you know that Costco sells cubed, ready to use butternut squash now that would be perfect for this recipe.