Just Like Your Mama Used to Make
No Soup Bone Required
It’s soup season around these here parts, and I’m always ready to dive face first into a big ‘ol pot of homemade vegetable soup. This past weekend was cold and snowy, and I had been craving the nostalgic taste of my mom’s vegetable soup, but I didn’t have a soup bone in the freezer like I thought I did, but I did have broth, veggies and an Instant Pot! Let me just say, YUM! Instant Pot Vegetable Soup is a WINNER!
With the new electric pressure cookers like the Instant Pot, homemade vegetable soup has never been easier unless your mom actually made it for you. So come on over, and I’ll fill a bowl for you. If it’s too cold to leave your house, here’s how to make your own.
Old School Flavor from New Technology
This soup went together so quickly, and the Instant Pot gave it the flavor of being simmered on the stove all day just like Mom used to make but in only 22 minutes cooking time! You’ll have to add about 15 minutes of prep time depending on how fast you chop veggies, 5 minutes to saute’ the onion and celery (for flavor), and time for your pot to come to full pressure. But the hands-on time is relatively short.
Homemade Vegetable Soup – The Players
The beauty of homemade vegetable soup is that you can throw all kinds of stuff in it, including leftovers and they only add to the rich flavor. My mom used to save all her leftover vegetables (including the butter that they had on them) in a bag in the freezer. When it was time to make the soup, whallah! She had extra veggies with extra flavor to incorporate into the mix. However, do NOT use cauliflower or broccoli for this recipe. They are best left for other soups – IMO.
Vegetables – Fresh and Frozen
A bag of frozen mixed vegetables will save you even more time. I chopped the celery and onion fresh, but you could sub in frozen for these as well. But, I always cut fresh potatoes and cabbage for my soup. Prepackaged just doesn’t cook up the same in my opinion. Oh, another thing about my soup is that cabbage is a must! It adds sweetness to the soup.
Calling Doctor(ed) Broth
The broth essentially consists of store-bought beef broth and canned tomatoes doctored up with seasonings like Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cumin and salt, and pepper. When we aren’t starting with a soup bone or a meaty bone leftover from a roast, we need to recreate the depth of flavor that would have come from seasonings accumulated from other recipes.
The next three ingredients are optional, but the first two are my “secrets” to this soup and give it something extra.
option one- Chili
I always like to make a pot of homemade vegetable soup right after I’ve made chili. I add about a ½ to 1 cup of leftover chili to the soup pot. Don’t worry; you’re soup won’t taste like chili soup it just adds to the “homemade” flavor of the soup. It doesn’t make sense, but you’ll just have to trust me.
Please note that all of my measurements are guesstimates as I usually just eyeball it. As long as you have a good broth to the veggie ratio you don’t really have to measure either. I also like more of a “stewp” consistency. Thick and hearty!
option two – Canned Tomato Soup
A can of store bought tomato soup is thee secret sauce. I’ve assembled many pots of vegetable soup without this ingredient, but it does lack a little. Again, trust me on this one.
option three – Meat
Meat is optional. If you want a heartier soup, add browned ground beef or stew meat. I ended up using ground beef in this soup because we were eating it as a main course with this chewy, no-knead, crusty bread recipe.
Bust Out the Pot (stop it, I know what you’re thinking)
That’s it! The technical side of the Instant Pot isn’t hard to conquer at all. If you can turn a nozzle and press some buttons, you’re golden.
So bust out that Instant Pot or pick one up before soup season is over. Who am I kidding? Winter hasn’t even really cranked up yet.
No Instant Pot? No Problem!
But you can still make this recipe if you don’t have a pressure cooker. Just cook it until the veggies are cooked to your taste and devour. If you do make it, let me know what you think. You can even send me a picture. Hop over to Instagram and send me a message.
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What’s your favorite soup?
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Make It Tonight
- 1 Medium Onion; diced
- 3-4 Stalks Celery; chopped
- 4 Cloves of Garlic; minced
- 1 lb. ground beef (optional)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 3-4 Cups Frozen Mixed Vegetables
- 1/2 Large Head Cabbage; chopped
- 2 -3 Cups Potatoes; cubed
- 1 - 14 oz. can tomatoes; stewed, crushed or diced will work
- 1 - Can Condensed Tomato Soup (optional- but not really)
- 8 Cups Beef Broth or Stock (or enough to cover vegetables without going over cooker's fill line)
- 1 tsp Chili Powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 - 1 Cup Leftover Chili (optional)
- Plug in a 6 qt. Instant Pot and add 2 tsp. oil.
- Press the "Saute" button and the display will read "30" until pot heats. It will then say "on".
- Add ground beef if using and begin to brown.
- Add celery, onions, and garlic and continue to saute' until vegetables are just softened.
- Press "Stop/Cancel".
- Add all other vegetables.
- Pour beef broth over vegetables to cover being careful NOT to fill above "fill line" on the stainless insert. Ideally, you want to be slightly below that, but an inch or two above vegetables.
- Add seasonings if you haven't already done so and stir to combine.
- Place lid on the Instant Pot and lock into place.
- Turn the pressure release valve to "seal". (clockwise)
- Press either "Soup" or "Manual" (I haven't found a real difference in them).
- Use the "+/-" button to move the time down to 22 minutes.
- When the soup is done, allow the pressure to release naturally for about 15 minutes. Don't worry if you forget and it goes longer, it won't hurt this recipe.
- Using a folded towel or heavy oven mitt, release the rest of the pressure by turning valve back (counterclockwise). The steam is HOT, so be careful.
- Open pot and enjoy. Add more salt and pepper to taste if necessary.
- All my measurements are approximations. The beauty of a big pot of veggie soup is being able to throw in whatever you want.