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instant pot beginner meals

3 qt Mini Duo/ Beginners / Weeknight/ Fill-it, Shut-it, Forget-it/ Instant Pot Magic/ Low Carb/ Under 30 minutes/ Vegetarian

Minestrone Soup- One Pot Meal

Minestrone Soup is an Italian soup,  typically made with root vegetables, like onions, celery, carrots, stock, dried herbs, beans and tomatoes. It’s mostly vegetarian and often includes rice or pasta- perfect one-pot meal! I use this recipe a lot for weeknight meals- it’s one of my fill-it, shut-it, forget-it, meal series. Simply dump all ingredients in the Instant Pot (or any pressure cooker), close the lid, set a 3-4 minute timer. Once it’s cooked, manually release pressure after 5 minutes and you’re done! It’s that easy!

Minestrone Soup in Instant PotI have always noticed how our meals often reflect the colors of the season. This soup certainly screams Fall– a perfect blend of orange, red and green, it is also the perfect comfort soup to have on a cold and chilly evening. This soup comes together so easily, it’s almost wrong to call it ‘home-cooked’:-)

Minestrone Soup in Instant PotYou can easily customize this soup to your taste- I keep switching the veggies in this soup. Sometimes, I add chopped squash or pumpkin to this and it taste amazing. I prefer to use canned beans in Minestrone Soup, simply out of convenience. The time it takes for dry beans to cook is too long for the vegetables, so, if using dry beans, one has to make this a two-step cooking process- cook the beans first and then add the remaining ingredients. I personally like using organic Northern beans here, but you can use the beans of your choice, Kidney, Pinto or Cannellini Beans. I make this soup with low-sodium vegetable broth, but you can use regular broth or even chicken/Beef broth. You can add diced tomatoes to this soup. We prefer a slightly less tomatoey flavor, so adding tomato paste just works out great for us.

Minestrone Soup in Instant PotTypically, this soup calls for a small pasta. I substitute it with Quinoa. My family prefers the taste of quinoa, plus it bumps up the fiber and protein in the soup. You could even add barley or bulgar instead. I add chopped spinach after cooking. The heat from the soup wilts it down. You can use any dark leafy green instead of spinach- kale would be a great addition here too. Garnish it with chopped basil, or freshly grated parmesan cheese and call it a day!

Optional Variation: Sometimes, I like to add an extra, totally optional, ingredient in this soup towards the end. I add chopped, pre-cooked, chicken and jalapeño sausage from Trader Joe’s. The sausage is fully cooked, so it just needs to hang out in the soup for a few minutes and it absorbs the flavors of the soup and becomes really soft. My family loves the combination of this spicy sausage with this soup, but you can skip it and make it totally vegetarian.

Stove-top:You can certainly cook this soup on the stove-top too. Add all the ingredients in a soup pot, stir well, and cook covered on medium-high heat for 20-25 minutes. Follow the remaining instructions for garnish and enjoy!

Stove-top Pressure cooker (Hawkins/Prestige): Follow all instructions and cook for 2 whistles in the pressure cooker. Wait 5 minutes and manually release pressure by carefully lifting the pressure weight.

Minestrone Soup- One Pot Meal

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 3-4 Minutes Manual + QR5

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 can Northern Beans (or your favorite beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup chopped celery (about 2 ribs)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
  • 32 oz. low-sodium vegetable broth (I use Trader Joe's brand)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped, OR, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning blend (I use 21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joe's)
  • 1-2 tablespoons Sambal Oelek Chili Paste (or Sriracha) (to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste, or, 1/2 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup quinoa (or 1/2 cup elbow macaroni)
  • Add after opening lid:
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 2 pre-cooked chicken sausage links, chopped (optional)
  • Few tablespoons grated parmesan cheese for garnish

Instructions

1

Prep: Chop vegetables of your choice (I used carrots, celery, spinach). If using fresh garlic, finely chop garlic cloves. Rinse and drain canned beans.

2

In the inner pot, add olive oil, garlic, chopped vegetables, beans, vegetable stock, spices, chili-garlic sauce, tomato paste (or diced tomatoes), quinoa (or elbow macaroni), and stir well.

3

Close lid. Set vent to Sealing mode. Cook on Manual (high) for 3-4 minutes, depending on how you like your vegetables (I cook for 3 minutes).

4

Wait for 5 minutes and release the pressure manually, and open the lid (which means QR after 5mins). . Stir in chopped spinach and sausage (if using). The heat from the soup will be enough to wilt the spinach and bring everything together. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese and enjoy!