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Instant Pot Vegetable Soup Recipe

One thing we’ve tried really hard to do as a family is making plant-based, plant-forward recipes that we all love. A recent discovery is this easy Instant Pot vegetable soup recipe. Not only is it loaded with vegetables, but it’s super flavorful and family-friendly.

My kids have been learning about Plant Points from Katie’s teachings about Picky Eating and Kids Cook Real Food, and while we still love pizza, hamburgers, and all the normal kid-friendly meals, my kids’ palates have grown as my mealtime stress has decreased thanks to a few key practices.

This soup is a new family favorite – in fact, my kids ate so much of it, Chris missed out getting to taste the entire first batch because they ate every drop.

Instant Pot vegetable soup

Instant Pot Vegetable Soup Recipe

I love using my Instant Pot to make quick and simple dinners for my family. Unlike my slow cooker, the sauté function helps me build that flavor without dirtying another dish. In fact, when I first got my instant pot, I kept the slow cooker, thinking I would use both. But in 4 years, I’ve probably only used my slow cooker once or twice.

That sauté function is incredibly important when you make vegetable soup and other vegetarian dishes in the Instant Pot. In the absence of meat, you need to use other tricks to really build up the flavor in the dish.

The first critical step is this: Don’t skip sauteeing the onions, carrots, and celery. This is called the “mirepoix,” and it forms a strong flavor base in many different kinds of cooking. In Cajun and Creole cooking, they call it the holy trinity and substitute the carrots for bell peppers.

To make a good mirepoix, you want twice as many onions as carrots and celery or two parts onion to one part carrots and celery. In my experience, the smaller you dice the veggies, the better.

BONUS TIP: For real umami flavor, add a tablespoon of tomato paste to the mirepoix and let it all sauté together. Stir it frequently so the tomato doesn’t burn. You won’t regret this extra step.

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Quick Vegetable Soup Variations

After you make a good mirepoix, the next thing you’ll need to do is add the garlic and spices to the pot and toast them for just a minute. You don’t want to burn the spices, so stir everything vigorously after you add it to the pot. Toasting the spices with the mirepoix before adding the liquids is one more way to build fantastic flavor into your vegetable soup.

Altogether, you should be able to get the whole soup into the Instant Pot and cooking in 10 minutes – 15 minutes if you count chopping the vegetables. Since you only need to pressure cook the whole thing for 2 minutes, it makes a really quick vegetable soup.

Instant Pot vegetable soup

Stovetop Method

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can make this on the stovetop. After you add the liquids, simply place the lid on the pot and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the carrots are soft and cooked through. 

Slow Cooker Method

Sauté the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and spices in a separate pan on the stovetop. Pour all of that into the slow cooker and stir in the rest of the ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours. 

Seasonal Vegetable Soup Recipe

One of my favorite things about this Instant Pot vegetable soup recipe is how flexible it is. As long as you follow a few guidelines, you can add any vegetables you need. This is a great way to use veggies from your freezer or seasonal vegetables!

Tips for making really flavorful seasonal vegetable soup in the Instant Pot:

  • Don’t skip the mirepoix. Sauteing onion, celery, and carrots is key to a flavorful soup base.
  • Add 1 tablespoon tomato paste to the mirepoix for umami.
  • Toast the garlic and spices with the mirepoix for 1 minute before adding the liquids.
  • Use smoked paprika instead of plain paprika.
  • Use fire-roasted tomatoes instead of plain canned tomatoes.
  • Don’t skip the bay leaf! You don’t know how much it adds until it’s missing.

You don’t have to do all of these things. Just pick a few of them to try until you find what works for you! I usually do tips 1, 3, and 4, and that’s plenty of flavor for us.

Instant Pot vegetable soup

After this, the recipe is very flexible. Here’s how you can use whatever you have.

Instant Pot Vegetable Soup Ideas:

  1. Instead of canned tomatoes, use tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes.
  2. Use garlic powder if you don’t have fresh or minced garlic (¼ tsp powder for every clove of garlic).
  3. Instead of spinach, use kale or shredded cabbage.
  4. Feel free to add any other seasonal vegetables you love (just chop them up nice and small): zucchini, summer squash, butternut squash, green beans.
  5. After the soup is done, stir in 1-2 cups of frozen peas. Replace the lid, then let the peas thaw and cook in the hot soup for a few minutes before serving.
  6. Use whatever kind of beans you have on hand – garbanzo, kidney, red, great northern, navy, and even lentils work great.
  7. If you don’t have vegetable broth, feel free to use chicken or beef broth instead.
  8. If you want to add more starch, toss some pasta or diced potatoes into the soup as well.

More Plant-Based Recipes from Steph

We’re all trying to eat more vegetables and find recipes our family loves. For more plant-powered recipes, try these ideas!

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Instant Pot vegetable soup

Instant Pot Vegetable Soup Recipe

  • Author: Steph Jenkins
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Soup
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This Instant Pot vegetable soup is a family favorite at our house!


Ingredients

UnitsScale
  • 3 Tbs. oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 34 carrots, chopped
  • 23 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste (optional)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/81/4 tsp. crushed pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (fire-roasted is amazing)
  • 6 c. vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cans beans (great northern, chickpeas, or kidney beans)
  • 46 c. mixed vegetables (chopped spinach, shredded cabbage, green beans, zucchini, sweet potato, butternut squash)
  • 2 c. frozen peas (optional)

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Instructions

  1. Set Instant Pot to Saute setting. Add the oil, onion, carrots, and celery (and tomato paste, if using) and saute until the onion is almost translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and spices to the pot and stir for 1 minute, until they are fragrant.
  3. Add everything else to the pot (except the peas, if using) and stir.
  4. Close your Instant Pot and seal it. Set to Manual Pressure and cook on high for 2 minutes.
  5. Let pressure release naturally for 8-10 minutes, then release manually. Stir in the peas, then replace the lid for 2-3 minutes, letting the peas thaw and cook. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1.5 cups
  • Calories: 228
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Sodium: 1150mg
  • Fat: 7g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 6g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 32g
  • Fiber: 9g
  • Protein: 11g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: comfort food, simple meals, fall recipe

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What are your favorite plant-based soup recipes?

Where to Buy an Instant Pot

This is the 6-quart Instant Pot I started out with. After a few years, we added an 8-quart partly because I knew I would use two at the same time often enough, partly because it was the Prime Day sale, and also because I wanted more space for certain recipes. Both are a pretty basic model and you don’t need more bells and whistles than that!

If you’re deciding on size, most people say it’s better to get a deal on the 6-quart and just have 2 rather than go big, BUT if your family has 5 or more people or you really like to batch cook or do more than a pound of beans, the 8-quart may be the best choice. My full Instant Pot review and buying guide for features, size, and model.

If you’d like to shop directly at Instant Pot’s website instead of Amazon (or just compare prices), check them out here.

You can even get a carrying case to travel with it! See my review of the Instant Pot carrying case we have.

If you’re still on the fence about adding an Instant Pot to your kitchen appliance arsenal here are my Instant Pot pros and cons.

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

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