Butternut Squash Bisque
Surprisingly light (despite the cream) and quite comforting, this soup is a go-to winter indulgence, especially if you’ve got a crunchy baguette on hand (or some toast slices). When we were testing these recipes, we kept referring to this soup as “the one that’s like melted gelato.” That should tell you a lot about its texture. While you can squirrel fresh butternut squash chunks in the freezer to make this soup, you’ll need to make sure those pieces are about 1 inch each. The frozen cubes sold in bags are smaller than the fresh ones from the produce section (and so cook more quickly). One final note: This soup freezes well in small, individual containers that you can reheat for lunch or dinner
Cook Time
Cook Time
  • 2lbs frozen butternut squashpeeled, and seeded 1/2-1‑inch cubes
  • 2cups vegetable brothor chicken
  • 2tsp stemmed fresh thyme leavesor 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4tsp grated nutmegor 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2tsp table salt
  • 1cup whole or low-­fat milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy or light cream(but not “fat-­free” cream)
  • 4tbsp butter1/2 stick
  • 2tbsp all-purpose flour
  1. Stir the squash cubes, broth, thyme, nutmeg, and salt in an Instant Pot. Lock the lid onto the pot.
  2. Option 1 Max Pressure Cooker
    Press Pressure cook on Max pressure for 4 minutes with the Keep Warm setting off.
  3. Option 2 All Pressure Cookers
    Press Soup/Broth, Pressure Cook or Manual on High pressure for 5 minutes with the Keep Warm setting off. The valve must be closed.
  4. Use the quick-­release method to bring the pot’s pressure back to normal. Unlatch the lid and open the pot. Stir in the milk and cream.
  5. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup right in the pot. Or work in halves (or even thirds) to puree the soup in a covered blender. (Remove the knob from the blender’s lid and place a towel over the opening so that pressure cannot build up and spew hot soup onto you.) If necessary, return all the soup to the cooker.
  6. Press the SAUTÉ button and set it for LOW, LESS, or CUSTOM 250°F. Set the timer for 5 minutes .
  7. Bring the soup to a simmer, stirring often. Meanwhile, put the butter in a small, microwave-safe bowl or measuring container and melt it in 5-second increments on high in a microwave. Use a fork to stir in the flour to make a thin paste.
  8. When the soup is simmering, whisk (do not stir) the butter mixture into the pot. Continue whisking until the soup is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Turn off the SAUTÉ function and cool for a couple of minutes before serving.
Recipe Notes

• For an 8-quart Instant Pot, you must use 50 percent more of all the ingredients.

• We kept the herbs simple so the flavor of the soup remains a bit more straightforward. If you want more “herbiness,” sprinkle minced fresh parsley or sage leaves on each serving.

• The soup is terrific with crunchy bacon crumbled over each bowlful.

• This soup may well need a grilled cheese sandwich.
Here’s our favorite recipe: Put about 2 ounces/ucsa> sliced sharp Cheddar between two pieces of whole-wheat or rye bread.Smear a thin coating of regular or low-fat (but not fat-free) mayonnaise on the outside of both sides of the sandwich. Lightly coat the inside of a nonstick skillet with nonstick spray, then fry the sandwich over mediumheat, turning once, until crisp, 3–4 minutes.