It’s National Soup Month and a great way to make this warm meal is in an Instant Pot.
An Instant Pot can be used to make quick and easy meals but it may seem a bit overwhelming when you’re first getting started.
Mary Spencer, from Taste A Cook’s Place, showed us how to get over our fears and jump into using our Instant Pots.
The Instant Pot has numerous functions like pressure cooking, rice cooking, slow cooking, steaming, warming, and sautéing.
Spencer also explained how it’s important to pay attention to the cooking time. The cooking time does not include the prep time or the time it takes to pressurize and depressurize.
Watch the video to learn more helpful tricks to give your instant pot a go!
Here are Mary Spencer’s recipes for the delicious meals she featured on the show:
INSTANT POT BROCCOLI CHEDDAR SOUP
2 tbsp. unsaltd butter
1 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (14.5 oz. each) chicken or vegetable broth
4 cups bite size broccoli florets
1 cup shredded carrots (prepackaged is fine)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ cup cold water
2 cups half and half
2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
1. Select Saute to preheat the Instant Pot insert. When hot, add the butter and onion. Saute for about 3 minutes until tender. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute more. Stir in the chicken or vegetable broth, broccoli, carrots, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
2. Lock the lid in place. Select “manual” and set timer for 1 minute.
3. When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker. Use a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
4. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Select Saute and add the slurry to the pot, stirring constantly until the soup comes to a boil and thickens.
5. Turn off the pressure cooker. Gradually stir in the half and half. Add the cheddar a handful at a time, stirring until it melts. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
CREAMY TUSCAN CHICKEN PASTA
1 (32 oz.) carton chicken broth
½ up oil packed sun dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tbsp. minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
16 oz. uncooked pasta such as rigatoni, penne (I used cavatappi)
5 oz. fresh baby spinach
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, cut into cubes and softened
1 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
1. In an Instant Pot insert stir together broth, sun dried tomatoes, Italian seasoning, garlic, ¼ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper.
2. Stir in chicken and pasta (submerge both into broth).
3. Secure the lid in place, be sure pressure valve is set to “sealing” position. Select the “manual” setting or high pressure and set to 5 minutes.
4. After the time is up select “cancel” then use the quick release method to release pressure – which is to carefully turn the valve to “venting” position to release the steam.
5. Once it stops sputtering open the lid and immediately stir noodles to separate them. Stir in spinach, cream cheese and parmesan. Toss well and let rest for about 5-10 minutes to thicken (it will seem like soup at first but as it rests and cools it will thicken up).
6. Toss in basil just before serving and serve warm.
GERMAN POTATO SALAD WITH SAUSAGE
3 slices bacon, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 medium sized onion, cut in thin slices
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup canned chicken broth
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
Salt and white pepper to taste
1 tsp. fresh dill, chopped fine
5 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in ½ inch slices
1 lb. smoked kielbasa, cut in 1 inch pieces
½ cup sour cream
½ tsp. dry mustard
1 green pepper, diced
4 radishes, thinly sliced
1/3 cup minced parsley
1. In a pressure cooker, sauté bacon for 2 minutes. Stir in onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add broth, vinegar, salt, pepper and dill and mix thoroughly. Add potatoes and sausage. Stir well.
2. Secure lid. Over high heat, develop steam to medium high pressure. Reduce range heat to medium and cook for 4 minutes.
3. Release steam according to manufacturer’s directions. Remove lid.
4. Stir potato-sausage mixture carefully but thoroughly. Add sour cream, mustard and vegetables, tossing gently to mix. Pour salad into serving bowl and serve warm or chilled.