Instant Pot Cajun Butternut Squash Soup
Cajun butternut squash soup made in the instant pot. This recipe uses cajun flavors along with butternut squash to create a silky, smooth soup. Top it off with my homemade garlic croutons!
Creamy, cozy, comforting. Cajun butternut squash soup.
Okay, first thing first. I admit I have no idea if it’s cajun. My knowledge of Cajun or Creole cuisine is as tiny as my New Orleans trip a few years ago. Well, that and the stuff I’ve seen Emeril making. But what I do know is that the holy trinity is involved, and there are tomatoes and cajun/creole seasoning and when it cooks up altogether the air is thick with the smell of homemade comfort food.
And guess what? It’s quick enough to get on the table for dinner tonight using our handy-dandy kitchen workhorse, the instant pot (affiliate link).
In addition to being the creamiest, most velvety smooth soup, it’s also nutritionally dense. We’re packing in all the veggies and using a hint of cream to give our cajun butternut squash that little touch of luxury. And if that wasn’t enough, we’ll top it off with homemade fried garlic croutons just for good measure.
Oh my Lanta!
When Anees and I first got married, every fall a plump butternut squash would find it’s way into my grocery bag with the sole intent of becoming a roasted butternut squash soup. It was a long and sometimes tedious process. After battling with the butternut squash, you’d roast it with a couple of apples and onions then let it slow simmer in broth. Finally, at the end of a long day, you’d be left with a small vessel of that scrumptious golden elixir. Over the years, pre-prepped butternut squash became readily available, and I gladly swapped out my long, laborious process for a slow cooker version, and we enjoyed butternut squash soup more than just once in the fall.
This year, I wanted to change up the flavor (you know, a little variety and whatnot) and make it in the instant pot. Those of us that would happily dine on butternut squash soup every week can finally jump with joy! Speaking of, it’s the perfect soup to meal prep, pop into transportable containers, and take along with you to work for a luxurious, snug desk lunch.
The thing about cajun butternut squash soup is that the flavor intensifies as it sits so make it on Sunday. Tuesday’s lunch is going to be extra delicious.
There’s not much for me to say about how you’d make homemade cajun butternut squash soup. It’s just the holy trinity (onions, celery, and bell peppers) chopped up and added to the slow cooker along with garlic, two pounds of peeled and diced butternut squash, a small can of tomato sauce, a couple of bay leaves, broth, and cajun seasoning. Let it all cook up on high pressure for 30 minutes. Then just blend it all up using a hand blender or traditional blender and drizzle in some cream.
While we’re talking about the cream, I’d like to mention we’re using just 1/2 a cup, which I get, it sounds like a lot. But then factor in that this soup makes enough to serve 8. That comes down to just a tablespoon of cream per serving. We can do that. Especially since there’s zero oil in this soup. But if you’re still looking for another option, your best bet would be coconut cream. I haven’t tried it myself, but I can’t imagine it tasting anyway but good.
Also, whatever you do, don’t serve cajun butternut squash soup without homemade fried garlic croutons. It’s just a couple inches of olive oil, a hunk of day-old bread, and a few cloves of smashed garlic. First, we’ll infuse the olive oil with garlic cloves. Then fry up the bread in the oil. It’s seriously worth the 10 minutes it takes to put it together. And my favorite part is when some of those croutons soak up the soup, and you’re left it a semi-crunchy, semi soup-soaked crouton. Make a little more than you intend to consume because these guys have a way of just flying off the plate!
GAH, the best.
Toss the ingredients for this notably simple cajun butternut squash soup into a pressure cooker and let it make your daily lunches a little extra special!
You won’t regret this.
- 2 pounds of butternut squash, cleaned and diced*
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1-8 ounce can tomato sauce
- 3-4 teaspoons cajun seasoning
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or coconut cream
- garlic croutons (see notes)
- instant pot: add everything but the heavy cream into the instant pot. Start with 3 teaspoons of cajun seasoning if you want something mild-medium. Add 4 if you want it spicy. Hit the manual button and on high pressure set the time for 30 minutes. Let it all hang out in the pressure cooker for 10 minutes before venting, or vent immediately if you're in a hurry.
- slow cooker: spray a 6-quart slow cooker or larger with non-stick spray. Add in all the ingredients except heavy cream. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8. Squash is done when you can easily pierce it with a fork.
- Finish the soup: Blend the soup until smooth using an immersion blender or transfer the soup to a conventional blender and blend until smooth. Place everything back into the IP or slow cooker and stir in the cream. Adjust with additional cream or broth as desired. It was perfect for us as is!
- start with a butternut squash that's around 2 1/4 - 2 1/3 pound and you'll be left with 2 pounds worth once cleaned. Chop into 1-inch pieces for it to cook in 30 minutes (in the IP).
- garlic croutons: heat 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet with 2 smashed cloves of garlic over medium-low heat. Sometimes I toss in a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Allow garlic to sizzle for a few minutes, discard. Crank the heat up to medium and add 2 cups of diced day old french bread. Toss bread and allow to brown and crisp up on all sides. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Season with salt.