Lemongrass-Ginger Kabocha Squash Soup


  • 1 1/2 tbsp grapeseed oil or other neutral high-heat cooking oil
  • 1 Kabocha squash
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2- inch piece fresh ginger
  • 3 Thai green chile peppers
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 large Fuji apples
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 13.5 ounce full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp reduced- sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 pieces lemongrass stalks
  • 1 to 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • roasted peanuts
  • Sautéed shiitake mushrooms
  • fresh cilantro
  • Using a large, sharp knife, halve the squash through the stem and cut off the stem. You may need to microwave the whole squash for 2 to 3 minutes to soften it and make it easier to slice. Once halved, use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds and gunk. Cut each half into 3 or 4 wedges, lay each wedge flat on its side, and use a knife to cut the peel off. Then, cut the squash into 1 1/2-inch chunks. You should end up with about 5 cups of squash.
  • Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and, after a few minutes, add the oil. Once the display reads “HOT,” add the onion and carrots and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to brown.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, and chiles (if using) and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  • Pour in the vegetable broth to deglaze the pan and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the kabocha squash, apples, salt, coconut milk, tamari, and lemongrass. Stir to combine well. Select the Cancel setting.
  • 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.
  • Once the 12-minute timer has completed and beeps, allow a natural pressure release for 5 minutes and then switch the Pressure Release knob from Sealing to Venting to release any remaining steam.
  • Open the pot and discard the lemongrass stalks. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup for a few minutes until you have a thick and creamy soup. (Alternatively, blend the soup in batches in a high-powered blender. Be sure to remove the center cap from the blender lid to vent steam, but cover the hole with a kitchen towel.)
  • Stir in 1 tsp lime juice and taste. Add another tsp of lime juice, if desired, and adjust the seasonings accordingly. Transfer the soup to bowls and garnish as desired.
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