Instant Pot Squash and Red Lentil Soup with Pesto Grilled Cheese

Instant Pot Squash and Red Lentil Soup with Pesto Grilled Cheese | The Mother Cooker

Instant pot I hear you say? Yes, I’ve had one for nearly a year now I believe and I am yet to share a recipe using it. I remember that I promised my cousin I would, and I failed. So hopefully this season I can make up for it. Don’t know what an Instant pot is? The small kitchen appliance is a versatile multi-cooker. It can do the job of a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, and more. I was honestly a bit overwhelmed when we got ours, but it saves SO much time. You can cook an entire butternut squash in ten minutes, crazy. The main thing I love though, is that you can just walk away. You don’t have to stand over the hob and keep stirring. Anyway, in the season of slow cookers and hearty, warm food, here we are. Of course you can cook this on the hob like normal if you don’t have one, works just the same.

To add to the delicious squash soup, I’ve included a grilled cheese. I mean, I don’t know about you, but I can’t really eat soup without some kind of bread. It just feels against the soup laws in my opinion. The pesto in this elevates it just a touch and I even stir a spoonful in to my soup, but that’s just my personal choice. Hot, melty grilled cheese and bone warming soup? Count me in this autumn! Find more squash recipes here.

Instant pot squash and red lentil soup with pesto grilled cheese

Soup serves: 4-6
Prep time: 12 mins (make the pesto ahead to save time)
Cook time: 26 mins
Total time: 38 mins

  • SOUP:
  • 1 large squash (I used butternut)
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 brown onion
  • 100g red lentils
  • Cream of coconut from 400g tin of coconut milk (TIP: place the can in the fridge so the cream rises and sets to the top)
  • 1 litre veg stock
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • Bunch of fresh basil
  • Bunch of curly kale
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 40g Parmesan cheese
  • 40g pine nuts (or any nuts to hand)
  • 2 slices of bread
  • Butter
  • 2 slices of Gouda (or chosen) cheese
  1. Roughly chop onion, carrots, garlic. Peel and chop squash, make up veg stock using hot water.
  2. Set instant pot to saute, once ready add oil, onion, garlic, carrots, lentils and squash, saute for 6 mins with lid off, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add 650ml of stock and coconut cream, pop on the lid and set to soup mode for 20 mins.
  4. If you haven’t made your pesto ahead, add all ingredients minus oil to a food processor. Blitz until combined, then whilst motor is still turning, slowly add olive oil until you reach your desired consistency.
  5. Once soup is done, let out the steam via the lid (be careful).
  6. Remove lid, blend with a stick blender until smooth. If soup is a little thick for your liking, add more leftover stock until desired consistency.
  7. Season to taste.
  8. For your grilled cheese, butter outside of your bread, on the dry side add cheese and a large spoonful of pesto. Add second piece of bread to create a sandwich and cook on a griddle pan until cheese is melting and bread is golden.
  9. Serve hot with your soup. Enjoy!

*If making soup on the hob, process is the same apart from the time. Should take around 30-35 mins after saute for your veg to be soft. Stir regularly to prevent sticking. You can also cheat and buy store bought pesto, I won’t hold it against you 😉

Instant Pot Squash and Red Lentil Soup with Pesto Grilled Cheese | The Mother Cooker