Proof that vegan, gluten-free food can be really damn easy? Chef Nisha Vora’s Instant Pot spicy thai butternut squash soup. The author of The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook: Wholesome, Indulgent Plant-Based Recipes (in stores June 2019) says the hardest part of making the recipe is chopping the butternut squash. Quick tip: microwaving the squash for 3 minutes will soften it and make it much easier to cut. And zero judgment if you want to buy the pre-chopped stuff. This recipe is all about big flavor for little work.
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1½ tablespoons refined coconut oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
¼ cup red curry paste
One 2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated or finely minced
4 cloves garlic cloves, minced
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and roughly chopped (about 4½ cups)
One 13.5-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
¼ cup natural cashew butter or almond butter
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari
1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave nectar
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnishing
Coconut yogurt, scallions, roasted peanuts and sesame seeds, for serving
1. Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot, and after a few minutes, add the coconut oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion with a pinch of salt and cook until starting to brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the curry paste, ginger and garlic; cook until very fragrant, stirring frequently, about 1 minute.
2. Pour in the broth and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the butternut squash, coconut milk, cashew butter, tamari, maple syrup and salt. Stir to combine well.
3. Secure the lid and set the pressure release to Sealing. Select the Soup setting at high pressure and set the cook time to 12 minutes.
4. Once the timer goes off, allow a natural pressure release for 5 minutes and then perform a quick pressure release.
5. Open the pot and stir in the lime juice. Using an immersion blender, blend until you have a smooth and creamy soup. Alternatively, you can transfer the soup in batches to a blender, using a dish towel to cover the blender cap to prevent steam from expanding.
6. Once the soup is pureed, stir in the chopped cilantro. If desired, garnish with coconut yogurt, scallions, peanuts and sesame seeds.