Monday Minestrone in the Instant Pot


“I live on good soup, not on fine words.”

So we begin another week of what will the weather bring to us along the Carolina coast with a wandering powerful hurricane threatening the Caribbean but for today a beautiful day and nice enough for dinner on the porch and again a quick pot of soup to dress up or down as you please.  I think that I’m going to dress my pot of soup up with some little tortellini that I picked up at Trader Joes, I bought three kinds so I’ll pick one of the three, spinach, cheese, or perline with prosciutto and my neighbor brought me some beans that she cooked with a nice ham bone to add to the pot, should be a great flavor boost with the bean broth.

Of course, the Instant pot makes short work of this hearty dish…since I don’t have to start with dry beans, it should be around 10 or so minutes of prep work for the veggies, lightly sautéed in the cooker and once the rest of the ingredients are added another 6 minutes under pressure.   Needless to say, you can add your favorite vegetables according to seasonal availability, but on a quick raid of my vegetable bin, I came away with 2 carrots, 2 celery ribs, 1 leek, 2 green onions, 1/2 sweet diced onion, 2 zucchini, 1/2 inch or so cut green beans, 2 garlic cloves and plenty of fresh herbs to start with.  Since I haven’t gotten around to making a hearty beef stock I’ll use the concentrated stock, probably vegetable, and add a bit of mushroom Better than Bouillon.  A large can of San Marzano tomatoes, my standard cheese rind, and salt and pepper should finish the list of ingredients…at serving time, I always have a bowl of grated cheese, red pepper flakes, and pinches of fresh parsley to add to the individual bowls of soup.  I’m getting hungry thinking about it while I take a break for a few minutes to get this post together.

Prep the vegetables: halve the carrots and zucchini and slice, quarter the leeks and chop, halve the onion and dice.  Smash and chop garlic, hand squish, or rough-cut the whole tomatoes.

Set Instant Pot on Sauté:  A quick 4 minute sauté for the leeks, onions, and celery, add garlic, a splash of white wine and sauté for another minute, toss in all of your prepped chopped vegetables of choice, add 32 ounces of vegetable broth, all of the herbs (oregano, parsley, basil, thyme, and 3 small bay leaves) and the cheese rind if using and set for 6-8 minutes or use the soup setting.  Quick-release or allow the pressure to come down normally.  Just before serving pull out the stems if using fresh herbs and the bay leaves, add cooked beans of choice, season with a little Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.  Add cooked beans and warm through for a few minutes.

Serve with warm bread, burrata cheese with EVOO, and chopped basil…Yes, the perline with prosciutto was fantastic!

I have seen all kinds of prepared veggies in produce sections, consider them for your minestrone.