Autumn comfort eating – Instant Pot Butternut squash soup

Today was a good day. E is almost 5 weeks old and it’s still very much a round-the-clock job looking after her. So days like today, when I’ve grabbed 15 minutes here and there to tick a few jobs off the list, feel like a triumph.

In the days straight after E was born, hot meals were hard to come by. My mum came to the rescue with stew and soup, and kept us going until we found our feet.

I’m still finding my feet, but making a concerted effort to start a routine, and part of that is home cooked food and a decent meal each night.

A timesaver and somewhat of a God-send has been the Instant Pot. If your food has finished cooking, then it automatically goes onto a keep warm mode – no cold food, and no burned saucepans!

Today E decided to have a quick 15-min nap after we’d been out for a walk, so I took advantage and threw together  some ingredients to make an earthy, autumnal soup. Perfect for these cooler days, and something I can store for a couple more lunches this week:
Cheap meals - Autumn Butternut Squash soup


  • 1 butternut squash, chopped & cubed roughly
  • 1 large floury potato (eg Maris Piper), chopped & cubed
  • 2 large onions ( I also added a few small homegrown banana shallots), diced roughly
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped & cubed
  • 2 – 2.5 cups of water
  • About two heaped dessert spoons of Marigold vegan bouillon
  • Liberal dash of cayenne pepper


1. Dice onions and add cooking oil (I use a mild olive oil mix). Press Sauté on the Instant Pot. Cook until soft, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the rest of the chopped veg and continue to sauté for a few mins, sweating down veggies.

3. Add water and bouillon, then cayenne pepper to taste.

4. Place lid of Instant Pot on, set to Manual for 15 mins.

5. Once the manual programme has finished, allow steam to vent. Open Instant Pot and blend down ingredients to a smooth consistency.

6. Serve with crusty bread!


Quick and easy Leek and Potato soup recipe (vegan)


It’s that time of year again when veg plot productivity is fairly quiet, and fresh vegetables tend to be of the allium and brassica variety. For me, that’s not an issue, as leek soup is one of my favourite homemade wintertime treats.

Leek and potato soup relies on five key ingredients – fantastically fresh and flavoursome onions and leeks (that’s why fresh and homegrown make such amazing soups), fluffy potatoes, zingy garlic that’s been properly stored (musty garlic will ruin the soup), and in my opinion, only Marigold bouillion powder will do as the veg stock.

Here’s my insanely easy leek, potato and garlic soup recipe:

Vegan Leek and Potato Soup Recipe

Makes 2 Large Servings

2 large leeks
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
2 small-medium fluffy potatoes, eg Maris Piper, Albert Bartlett Rooster, Desiree
2 large heaped tablespoons of Marigold bouillion powder*
Olive oil – mild and light blend (you can use virgin olive oil for a little extra flavour if preferred)
Dried Mixed Herbs to season
Ground cayenne pepper to season
Cracked black pepper to season

*probably any vegetable stock will do the job, but Marigold is my absolute favourite. I use the vegan variety – but it’s worth noting that the green ‘normal’ variety tends to be a little more salty, so you’ll probably need less

1. In a large saucepan, sweat the onions and garlic in a light and mild olive oil blend – keep the lid on!
2. Add the chopped leeks to sweat for a few more minutes, before adding the chopped potatoes and enough boiling water to cover the ingredients in.
3. Mix in the Marigold veg stock, and add the mixed herbs and all seasoning. I like heavy seasoning, so I add at least two big shakes of cayenne pepper and a large amount of cracked black pepper and dried mixed herbs.
4. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 10-15 minutes. When the potato is soft and crumbly, take the saucepan off the heat and blend with a hand blender. Watch out for hot splatters!
5. Serve with homemade crusty bread

The soup should keep for a day or two in the fridge, but if left to cool and served the following day, you may need to add a little extra water as the soup can thicken overnight.