This recipe was almost too easy to post, but I’m sharing it anyway! It’s a vegetarian vegetable soup, and you can make it with a handful of pantry and freezer staples.
I usually prefer to cook with fresh ingredients, but sometimes I just want something nutritious that doesn’t take too much work. When I’m short on time, I’m happy to rely on minimally processed canned and frozen foods. There’re always a few cans of organic tomatoes and beans in my pantry, and a baggie or two of mixed vegetables in my freezer.
Speaking of pantry staples, I always have at least one variety of reduced sodium, organic Better Than Bouillon in my fridge. I dunno about you, but I’m not always prepared with homemade stock on hand! This post is not sponsored by Better Than Bouillon (or anybody), but my kitchen might as well be. It’s second nature for me now to flip on the electric kettle whenever I’m making a soup, stew, or braise. A cup of piping hot water mixed with a teaspoon of the concentrated paste is equal to a cup of low sodium broth, and the jar takes up way less space than shelf-stable quarts or cans. It also keeps much longer in the fridge after being opened.
Another advantage of using boiling hot broth is that it shortens the time that the Instant Pot takes to come to pressure, especially when other cold or frozen foods are in the mix. This recipe uses a bag of frozen veggies, but when combined with 3 cups of hot broth, they defrost pretty quickly! The pot only took about 10 minutes to come up to pressure.
I know this soup is really simple. It’s not something I’d serve at a dinner party, but it’s perfect for unfussy weeknight cooking, and I’ve been eating the leftovers for lunch all week. I hope you enjoy it!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 rib celery, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cups water
- 1 tablespoon low sodium Better Than Bouillon (any variety)
- 1 (1-pound) bag frozen mixed vegetables
- 1 (15-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes and their liquid
- 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- Select the Sauté setting and heat the olive oil in the Instant Pot. Add the celery and onion and sauté until the onion begins to turn translucent, about 5 minutes.
- While the celery and onion are cooking, heat the water in an electric kettle, in the microwave (in a microwave-safe measuring cup), or in a small saucepan on the stove. When the water is boiling, stir in the Better Than Bouillon to dissolve.
- Stir the frozen vegetables, tomatoes, and kidney beans in with the celery and onions in the Instant Pot, then pour in the broth.
- Secure the lid on the Instant Pot and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Cancel the cooking program, then select the Pressure Cook or Manual program and set the cooking time to 5 minutes at high pressure.
- When the cooking program ends, perform a quick release by moving the Pressure Release to Venting, or let the pressure release naturally. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.
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