This savory Instant Pot® beef vegetable soup is so simple to make!
You’d think by the number of recent Instant Pot recipes that I’ve become a little obsessed with the thing.
The truth is, I haven’t reached obsession-level yet, but I have found it to be way more useful than I thought it would—even without having used some of the settings yet (um…homemade yogurt, anyone?).
I’d say I use the Instant Pot (mine’s a 7-quart) on a weekly basis these days, for everything from chili to stew to soup to stock. That’s even more frequently than I used my slow cooker or my Dutch oven. I’d say it’s because the cooking time is cut down so much; but, interestingly, the Instant Pot isn’t as speedy of a cooking process as I’d originally anticipated from all the chatter. Certain recipes (ex. beef stew) take a little pre-work by using the sauté feature to sear and brown the meat before moving to the actual pressure cooker functionality.
And, speaking of pressure cooking functionality, that timing’s a bit deceiving, too. The actual cook time might only be 20 minutes. But… It can also take 15 minutes (or more, depending on the amount of liquid in your pot) to come to pressure before the cooking timer begins its countdown. In other words, what you think is a 30-minute meal may actually take close to an hour.
That said, what makes the Instant Pot so valuable is the simplification of process and the deep, deep flavors you can reach without having cooked something all day. It builds layers of flavor like a slow cooker, and preserves a better texture than some long-term slow cooked meats (fall apart tender vs. mushy).
Instant Pot Beef Vegetable Soup
Instant Pot beef vegetable soup is a simple recipe that I threw together one weekend evening after surveying the contents of my fridge, vegetable bin and pantry.
Stir-fry beef: check.
Rainbow baby carrots: check.
Frozen spinach: check.
Beef stock: check.
The only thing that I didn’t have was small pasta like acini de pepe, pastina or ditalini. I did, however, have some Israeli couscous and thought that could work instead. The verdict? It was tasty, but turned a little thick, as if it had added gluten that acted more like a thickener during the cooking process than typical pasta does. I’d go for a standard small pasta next time.
Regardless, the flavors. OMG. So rich and yummy.
- 1 pound thin strips of beef (sometimes it's labeled "stir-fry")
- 6 cups beef stock
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped frozen spinach
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 cup small dry pasta like acini de pepe or ditalini
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the Instant Pot and set to saute. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt and pepper on the beef. Once the Instant Pot is hot, add the beef in batches (taking care not to overcrowd it), searing each for 2 minutes and then removing to a paper towel while each remaining batch cooks.
- After the last batch of seared beef is removed, add another tablespoon of olive oil, the onions and carrots to to the Instant Pot and saute them for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining salt and pepper, and the garlic and turmeric powders, on top and give a stir (I like a wooden spatula for this). Pour the broth in all at once and take care to scrape up all the bits at the bottom.
- Turn the setting to "Meat/Stew" (or set for 50 minutes on manual), add the beef back in, and secure the lid.
- Once the time is up, let the pressure release on its own for 15 minutes, and then manually release it (or just let it release on its own altogether).
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