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Friday, November 19, 2021

Butternut Squash Red Lentil Soup- Instant Pot Version

Pumpkin Cream Soup, Meal, Soup, Delicate

This is one of my favorite soup recipes. 
It is spicy, rich in flavor, filling and easy to make.

Butternut Squash, Butternut, Squash

Combined with red lentils, butternut squash makes a hearty fall and winter weather soup that is filling, comforting, and delicious. The savory flavors in this soup come from tomatoes, peppers, onions, chiles, potatoes and cumin (see my notes at the bottom of the page for my shortcuts).

Pumpkin Soup, Soup, Pumpkin, Fall, Plate

Most Yellow Vegetables Can Be Interchangeable in this soup.
The yellow vegetables such as butternut squash, carrots, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes are pretty much able to be substituted in this soup. All four have similar flavors, with sweet potatoes being the sweetest and having the heaviest texture. My first choice for this soup is still the butternut squash for the best flavor, however I frequently use carrots when I can't get the squash.

Background, Food, Fruit, Bowl

Make it in the Instant Pot 
Although this recipe could also be made on the stove top, I make this version in the Instant Pot. It's fast and easy, especially if you buy pre-cut up containers of butternut squash to avoid having to peel, clean out the seeds, and chop the firm squash.

cubes of butternut squash

Set To Pressure Cook for 11 Minutes
I added all the ingredients to the Instant Pot, set the pressure cooker for 11 minutes, walked away and came back when I heard the beeper signal me. EASY!

butternut squash and excellent peeler
I love this peeler- this one (affiliate link)
Get yourself a good efficient peeler that peels with ease.
I like this one (affiliate link) and it makes a huge difference if you need to peel your butternut squash.

Are you still holding out getting an Instant Pot? 
I find that I use my Instant Pot for everything, and I really depend on it and love it. This (affiliate Link) is the one I use.

One great advantage is that clean up is a snap too with the IP. Initially I thought it might just be another appliance that would sit on the counter taking up space- NOT SO! I use my Instant almost everyday. I make the basics such as  any kind of grain, pasta, almost any vegetable, and all kinds of soups. 

No spills and no burning : 
There are never any spills on the stove top to clean up. I only need to clean the insert of the IP which cleans in a snap.

Of course there are additional interesting recipes you can make in the IP such as cake, lasagna, and meat and chicken dishes if you so indulge. etc.

Back to this soup recipe: 
When the soup is done, I partially puree it and intentionally leave some chunks of vegetables in it. I don't care for the texture of super smooth soup, but you might- so you decide how much to puree.

My husband and I enjoy this soup for lunch with some gluten-free crackers. The red lentils added protein to an otherwise vegetable based soup. With generous amounts of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and protein, this delicious soup is an all around winner. 

I'm thinking this could be a good choice for Thanksgiving made with  pumpkin and pumpkin spices.

1 cup of chopped onion
2 cups of chopped tomatoes (or see notes at bottom of page)
1 cup of chopped green or red peppers
1 jalapeƱo pepper, seeded and chopped (or less to your own taste)
You can speed up the prep by substituting a jar of chunky salsa 
for the 4 ingredients above which is basically the same ingredients.

2 cups of butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 cup of red lentils, washed well 
2 cups of diced potatoes
4 cups of vegetable broth (I like Tabatchnicks)
4 cups of water 
1 teaspoon or more to taste of ground cumin
Cracked black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lime per bowl 

Add all ingredients to the Instant Pot. Cover and set to pressure cook for 11 minutes. When done, allow to sit or about 5-10 minutes and then manually release the steam according to the manufacturers directions. When all the steam has been released, carefully remove the lid and partially blend with an immersion blender. 

Notes and Time Savers for This Recipe 
Shortcuts for making this soup. 
1. Use pre-cut butternut squash cubes from the supermarket
2. Substitute 2 cups of chunky organic mild or medium salsa from a jar for the onions, tomatoes, peppers, and chiles. (I get my salsa at Whole Foods or Aldi)

Like a sweeter not savory butternut squash soup? 
 Try my (recipe link) sweet butternut squash soup made with apples or pears.  

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Shared on Weekend Cooking where anyone can share a food related post. 

Shared on Souper Sunday where anyone can share a soup, salad, or sammie recipe.


  1. Is there anything better than a bowl of soup for supper on a chilly night? This sounds wonderful!

    1. Jenna,
      I'm with you- soup is soothing, filling, and comforting on a chilly night.

  2. This is so creamy and comforting! I have been eating lots of butternut squash lately and lots of warming soups too.

    1. I eat soup all year long and especially now in the cooler weather. Butternut squash is kind of a new addition for me.

  3. I would love this soup, as butternut is one of my favourite flavours. I don't have an instant pot so I do everything on my stove top of in the oven.

    1. I was really happy the way this soup turned out with butternut squash. A lovely flavor and a hearty soup

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Margaret for stopping by and thanks for commenting

  5. This sounds warming and hearty -- I love my pressure cookers (both stove-top and Instant Pot), and so happy to find yours and Marg's recipes today.

    1. Yes, I am always happy to find new ideas to use my pressure cooker. Marg's pasta recipe sounds intriguing and worth a try.

  6. We are so excited to find gluten-free crackers that are almost like Premium Plus salted crackers. Absolutely perfect for soups!
    I have been adding red lentil pasta, gluten-free, to my soups lately. It is really good.

    1. I have been eating lentil pasta lately and although it took me a while to get used to it, I do like it a lot now. I find there are a good variety of gluten free crackers available.

  7. I just bought a 25 pound bag of red lentils to share with my hens, but this soup sounds like a real possibility for our table, thanks!

    1. Wow! 25 pounds of red lentils would last me 2 years! I'm glad the hens will be sharing it with you.

  8. I havent tried squash and Red Rentil combination before. This recipe is so new for us. And soup looks really so delicious. Happy weekend.

    1. Sometimes I put carrots and sometimes butternut squash- both give a similar taste.

  9. We haven't really made much soup in our pressure cooker yet. We are enjoying trying lots of new things in it though

    1. Funny, I make mostly soup in our pressure cooker and I'm going to try your pasta recipe.

  10. I like the pairing of the squash and red lentils--yum! Thanks for sharing with Souper Sundays this week.

    1. Yes butternut squash tends to be a good match for red lentils. I always enjoy joining Souper Sunday.

  11. I like the idea of a savory butternut soup. Also, your heart cut-out cutting board is adorable, and the autumn-wreathed bowl is so lovely. The oranges are an unexpected treat! :)

    1. Thank you. I do like the butternut squash in the soup. I feel that it adds some extra nutritional and fiber.


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