Good-bye, Slow Cooker. Hello, Instant Pot.
Guys, there’s a new love in my life. Mi Amour comes on the heels of heartbreak, but they say the next one is always better, and I’m sure it’s true.
The heartbreak came last week. I was cooking soup for lunches — for ease, I let my slow cooker do the heavy lifting with my lentil and sausage soup. Just as I expected the soup to be done, I noticed “err” in big red letters across the digital screen. NOOOO. Fortunately, the soup *was* done and we had our lunches for the week.
♥ Related: Kielbasa Soup with Kale & Beans
I loved that Crock-pot with its perfectly sized insert and its cooking timer that automatically switched to warm so that our dinner wasn’t over-cooked even after a long work-day. As a last resort, I tried plugging in the dead slow cooker hours later and those sad three letters graced the screen. My trusty slow cooker was really dead.
Obviously, I needed a replacement. I scoured all of the Amazon Prime eligible slow cookers — narrowed it down to a few that matched the specs of the original. But then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something bold and new. A pot that did everything from slow cook to pressure cook to steam. I read more. Great reviews, brown rice in 20 minutes, and under a hundred bucks? Sold. I bought an Instant Pot. I’ve only had this new toy for less than a week, but I’m sure it’s love. Or lust. Or obsession. We’ll see!
Instant Pot Vegetable & Chick Pea Soup
Tonight I tested it out with this vegetable and chick pea soup which turned out delicious and the process was ridiculously easy. So easy, that I found myself pacing around the kitchen and looking for something to do while my dinner and lunches for the week cooked away at rapid speed. The great thing was that I was able to cook DRIED BEANS in 20 minutes while I chopped the rest of the veggies for the soup. Once the beans were done, I drained them, set them aside, and used the pot to cook the soup in record time.
♥ Related: Harvest Brown Rice Salad
If you don’t have an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker, you can make this recipe the old fashioned way by sauteing in a large pot and simmering for 45 minutes or so. I’d probably resort to canned beans in this case for speed and simplicity.
Instant Pot Vegetable & Chick Pea Soup
- Instant Pot or another electric pressure cooker
- 8 oz dried chick peas soaked for about 8-10 hours
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ medium onion diced medium
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4 medium carrots diced medium
- 1 red bell pepper diced medium
- 8 button or crimini mushrooms roughly chopped
- 1 large zucchini diced medium
- 1 large summer squash diced medium
- 8 oz green beans trimmed and cut into quarter inch pieces
- 3 oz tomato paste
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
- 14 oz petite diced tomatoes canned
- 14 oz crushed tomatoes canned
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 8 oz frozen peas
- To cook the chick peas, place drained, soaked chick peas in the Instant Pot and cover with water (about an inch over the beans.) Cover. Push the manual button and set the timer to 15 minutes. Let the pot do the cooking and when it’s completed it’s cycle and beeps, let the pot rest for 10 minutes. Then turn off and switch the vent to open and release the rest of the pressure. Once all of the steam is let out, open the pot, drain the beans, and set aside.
- Now turn the Instant Pot back on to the saute setting and adjust the temperature to high. Add the olive oil and let it heat up for a minute or two. Add the onion, garlic, carrot, red pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, squash, and green beans. Let saute for 3-5 minutes or until the vegetables start to sweat down and become slightly soft.
- Add the tomato paste and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add the dried herbs, tomatoes, and chicken stock. Make sure that you don’t fill over the max line. Keep some chicken stock back if you are hitting that line.
- Cover the pot. Set the pot to manual and set the timer to 8 minutes. The pot takes a while to get to the pressure cooking cycle (it has to heat up.) This will take 10-15 minutes and then the timer will start counting down. Once the cycle is complete and the pot beeps, turn it off, and open the vent to let out the steam. This will also take a few minutes since there’s so much pressure and steam. Once the steam is all let out, open the lid.
- Add the chick peas and frozen peas and stir. The heat left in the soup will warm up the peas. Add a big pinch of salt and lots of grinds of fresh pepper. Garnish in soup bowls with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.