The new toy that I received for Christmas seemed a bit intimidating. I mean, if I used it incorrectly, I could blow up the house! Yes, I got a pressure cooker. But it’s not one of our grandmothers’ pressure cookers. It is a beast of a thing that looks like it’s from a space ship: an electric pressure cooker. I suppose these things are old hat to some of you, but I just recently learned of them and wanted to try one out. The reviews on the Instant Pot were good and it was 50% off on Amazon, so Santa brought one to me.
I couldn’t face the beast while my family was here for Christmas. I need time to get acquainted with electronics that come with thick instruction books and warning labels. Finally, on New Year’s Eve, I enlisted my trusty cohort and we tackled it. I noticed that the very first recipe was one for which I actually had on hand all the ingredients: Butternut Squash Soup.
I had purchased the squash hoping to roast it while family was here, but it never got used. Now, my hubby is not a fan of squash, but he was eager to have me try the new toy, so he pitched in. While he read the instruction booklet to me and fiddled with all the parts of the lid, I used muscle to chop up that squash. Yeah, I won over that thing!
One thing I am going to appreciate about this Instant Pot is its versatility. Yes, onions needed to be sauteed and some of the squash browned, but unlike a crock pot, we could do that right in the Instant Pot. After they were sauteed, we added the rest of the squash.
I had thought I had all the ingredients, but couldn’t find sage anywhere. So, we just substituted rosemary, one of my favorite herbs. Then I threw in some majoram and thyme for good measure. Hoping to make it taste good, I started singing, “Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.” Not sure that helped, but it brought a smile to my cohort.
The lid was properly sealed and then it was time to figure out the control panel. Have you ever noticed the confusion that some instructions bring? That instruction book that was so thick? You’ve probably guessed it. Most of it was in other languages. The English part was a bit vague, so we had to do some guessing, but Matt is good at figuring these things out. I probably would have just looked at the pot for several more days if he hadn’t been there to help me jump in and try it. We got it started and then it was time to wait. One of the main selling points about this pot is how quickly it cooks. This soup was only to cook for 10 minutes; That’s great! However, if you read further, you find that the cooking time is after the device gets to full pressure. We waited for that to happen. And waited. Matt timed it. Seventeen minutes later, the pot was up to pressure and ready to cook. Hmmm… Was this a rip off? I looked up other butternut squash soup recipes on the internet. They took 30 -40 minutes to cook. We were already up to 27 minutes with this pot. Well, we were saving 3 minutes. I must admit to being a bit disappointed by that fact. But I have a feeling other recipes that I currently make in my crock pot that take hours will be much quicker. And an important added benefit of pressure cooking is that the food retains more vitamins and minerals. We used another gadget that I had around the house but hadn’t used yet, the emersion blender. The soup was looking so creamy and delicious. But what did it taste like? Well, I’m sure the title gave it away.
Do you use a pressure cooker? What are some of your favorite recipes?