Is there an appliance more versatile than an Instant Pot? Whether you're a single person or need to feed a big family, Instant Pot is a must have. You can make soups, roasts, a whole chicken, and even bake a cheesecake!
One of my favorite ways to use it is to make soups. Nothing beats the one pot convenience and ease of cleanup. You can sauté vegetables, sweat onion and garlic, add your liquids and seasonings, set it, and walk away. Soups are super easy and inexpensive meals that could feed a crowd, so you're saving money and time every time you cook with an Instant Pot.
Here are a couple of my favorite soups; I’ve adopted the recipes for the Instant Pot and never looked back. I make these soups year round but they are especially comforting in fall and winter.
Vegan Sweet Potato Soup
I love sweet potatoes. I love to roast them, love sweet potato fries, love them in a potato gratin (made with half white and half sweet potatoes), and love my sweet potato soup.
All the ingredients here are so basic, you probably have them in your pantry right now. The recipe makes a lot of soup, and it tastes even better the next day.
I'm using coconut milk in this recipe because I have a dairy intolerance. I promise you, the soup does not taste like coconut at all. I'm not a big fan of coconut and I can’t even taste it! Coconut milk just makes this soup silky, smooth and luscious.
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and in large dice
- 1 can light coconut milk (you can use regular coconut milk but I prefer the more delicate taste of light coconut milk)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1.5 cups vegetable stock
- 1 garlic clove, finely diced
- 1 small shallot (you can use ½ of a regular onion, but I like shallots, they have a more mellow taste)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon dry thyme
- A dash of freshly ground nutmeg
- A dash of cayenne pepper if you like spicy food.
Set your Instant Pot to Sauté and heat up the oil. Sweat shallots and garlic until softened and fragrant. Watch your garlic and shallots closely, you don’t want them to burn or even to become too dark.
Combine all the remaining ingredients, seal the Instant Pot and set to Soup. When the timer beeps, do quick release if you are in a hurry, or natural release if you aren’t eating right away. I’ve tried both ways and I don’t see a difference in taste. When the soup has cooled slightly, you can use an immersion blender or you can transfer the soup to your regular blender and blend it until smooth and creamy.
Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary. To add color, chop some fresh parsley and sprinkle on top right before serving. Roasted pumpkin seeds would also be a great garnish. If you like your food really spicy, add a bit of sriracha for the extra kick.
Serve with crostini or freshly baked crusty bread.
Note: If you aren’t obsessed with sweet potatoes like I am, you can use butternut squash. When I make this soup with butternut squash, I add a small apple for some sweetness. You can’t really taste the apple, but it adds a bit more complexity.
Clear Chicken Soup
This is not your traditional chicken soup made with vegetables and chunks of chicken, it's more like broth but richer and much more satisfying. That’s how my mom and both of my grandmothers used to make it and that’s the only version of the chicken soup I’ll eat.
Growing up in a Jewish home it was called “Jewish penicillin”, and you had to eat it at the first sign of getting a cold. Apparently, chicken soup has magical properties and can help with all kinds of alignments.
Obviously, they didn’t have the Instant Pot, and in the dark ages, before we had this wonderful machine, you had to watch your chicken soup like a hawk and skim the grey “scum” that would form on the surface, as it was coming to a boil. I have it easy, Instant Pot doesn’t boil the liquids so there’s nothing to skim.
If I'm making this soup for company, I serve it with matzah balls. I can’t eat gluten so I eat it with quinoa. Yes, quinoa. It's so neutral, it goes perfectly with practically anything. Just cook a cup of quinoa and add it to your chicken soup right before serving. You can also serve it with any small pasta, like orzo, egg noodles or grains like farro and rice.
- 2 chicken leg quarters or 2 split chicken breasts
- 1 big carrot cut into 3-4 large pieces
- 1 whole large onion
- 1 whole parsnip or celery root
- 2 stalks celery cut into large chunks
- 6 cups water
- 1/8 teaspoon thyme
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Place all the ingredients except for turmeric in the Instant Pot and set to Soup. When the timer goes off do a natural release. Once the soup cooled slightly remove the vegetables and discard.
Remove the chicken and set aside to make chicken salad later. Strain the soup through a fine sieve and add turmeric (it will add beautiful golden color to your soup) and taste for seasoning. Adjust seasoning as necessary and serve with cooked small pasta, egg noodles, farro, rice or quinoa.
Garnish with fresh finely chopped dill or parsley.
Let us know in the comments what are your favorite fall soups to make in the Instant Pot.
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