I have more than a touch of the blues when it comes to the end of the summer. I just love the feeling of the sun on my skin and feeling warm to my bones. Apart from Christmas, summer is truly the happiest time of the year for me and come autumn as the temperature drops and the nights draw in, well darkness befalls my mood as well as my living room. But not this year, I’m determined to find the light and making my Carrot, Squash & Harissa Soup in my Instant Pot instantly lifts my spirits!
As Hungry Hubby is a ginger, I have a totally biased love of all things orange and this soup is no exception. Look at that glorious orange colour – so rich and vivid with that brick red swirl of harissa, how could you fail not to be cheered by it? You may love your comfort food in the form of plain, beige carbs and plenty of them (I do, but rarely) but I love a lick of fire to warm my soul. I add a little curry powder to the carrots and butternut as it cooks in my Instant Pot and add harissa to taste when it’s cooked. Do note that jars of harissa can vary a lot in heat, the one I use is very fiery so 2 tsp is enough with a little extra to serve in each bowl for me. The soup is done in 10 minutes thanks to doing it in the pressure cooker and with no evaporation out of the pot, it is packed full of flavour and I really do prefer it to making it on the hob. Now work from home, I can easily whip up a big batch and eat it well in my lunch hour. I’d not turn my nose up to a flask of this silky smooth Carrot Squash & Harissa Soup either. A chunk of well buttered bread and I am one happy smiley JoJo, who doesn’t mind the drizzle and grey skies quite so much after all.
- 2 ribs of celery roughly chopped
- 1 onion peeled and roughly chopped
- 4 medium-large carrots chopped into 1 inch chunks
- 1/2 a small butternut about 500g, chopped into 1 inch chunks
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger minced or grated
- 3 cloves of garlic crushed
- 1 rounded tsp hot Madras curry powder
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 1 litre boiling water
- 2 tsp harissa plus more to serve if liked
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Set the Instant Pot to sauteé and add the oil then tumble in all of the prepared veg.
Cook briefly, allowing to catch and caramelise a little before adding the ginger, garlic, curry powder and ground coriander.
Dissolve the stock cube in the boiling water and add to the pot. Turn off the sauté function. Place the lid on and set the valve to "sealing".
Turn the pot onto Manual and set to 10 minutes. When the timer sounds to signal end of cooking, allow the pressure to come down naturally for 10-15 minutes. I set my alarm on my phone for 20 minutes and walk away until it's done and ready to blend.
Stir in the harissa (note some can be super hot so add a little taste for heat level) and use an immersion blender to purée the soup until smooth. You can add a little more boiling water if you like it thinner at this point.
Serve with plenty of cracked black pepper and a swirl of harissa for the fire eaters amongst you!
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