Instant Pot Bell Pepper & Squash Soup

Winter is here in Montréal, as I write this there is a layer of snow on the ground and the wind is bitingly cold. I love winter, I could never imagine living somewhere that didn’t have four pronounced seasons. Not only do I love the changing weather, but also the food to match. With winter comes the comfort foods that fill the chilling winter nights with warm, soft flavours to renew your energy though the deep freeze.

The inspiration for this recipe comes from our friend Michaela who brought us a delicious soup about a month ago that was primarily made with squash and bell peppers. I knew I had to try and recreate it as soon as I had my first bowl. It is made with my favourite kitchen appliance, the instant pot. It’s almost as simple as preparing all the ingredients, throwing them in, and then blending them all once cooked. To finish off the soup, we top it with tortilla chips and ricotta to add some texture, salt and fat. I hope you have a warm bowl of this in your future soon!

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 5 shallots, diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 small butternut squash, peeled & diced (~3lb total)
  • 3 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 2 tbsp orange juice (about ½ orange)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp white miso
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • Lots of freshly cracked black pepper
  • Corn tortilla chips, to top
  • Ricotta, to top

Directions

  1. Set instant pot to sauté, once the pot displays “hot” add in the olive oil, shallots and garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes with a pinch of salt and lots of freshly cracked black pepper while tossing frequently. 
  2. Turn off the instant pot and add in the following ingredients: butternut squash, bell peppers, ginger, orange zest, orange juice, turmeric, poultry seasoning, cayenne, miso, vegetable broth, bay leaves and a tsp of salt. Mix the ingredients together and set to pressure cook on high for 12 minutes. Once complete, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes before releasing the pressure using the vent. 
  3. Remove the bay leaves and blend the soup until creamy. If doing this in a traditional blender, instead of using the small interior part of the lid made of hard plastic, put a dish cloth over the top to allow steam to be released. 
  4. Taste the soup for salt. I typically add another ½ tsp of salt to the soup at this point but it will depend on the sodium content of your broth. Serve while hot and top with crushed tortilla chips and generous scoops of ricotta, enjoy and stay warm.

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