2 easy soup recipes to warm you up this winter

With multi-cookers, like an Instant Pot, you can whip up something delicious in no time

Instant Pot soup recopies on Live in the D

There’s nothing like a steaming hot bowl of soup to make you feel all nice and cozy this winter season. You could always open a can of comfort food and heat it up on the stove, but these days, with multi-cookers like an Instant Pot, you can cook up something homemade and delicious in no time. With January being National Soup Month, we thought we’d get some ideas from our friend, Mary Spencer, the owner of Taste: A Cook’s Place in Plymouth.

If cooking from scratch intimidates you, Spencer says starting with a soup is one of the easiest ways to get into it. Her Polish mother used to just through in leftover carrots, some onions, and chicken and make a simple soup from scratch; it doesn’t need to be overly complicated.

With a multi-cooker, the process becomes even easier. Whereas it may take hours to simmer a ham bone to make a soup, a tool like the Instant Pot uses its pressure cooking ability to do it in about 30 minutes. The directions are generally fairly simple as well - toss everything in and press start.

Mary Spencer teaches cooking lessons at Taste: A Cook’s Place in Plymouth. Here are two of the recipes she shared with us.


INSTANT POT LEFTOVER HAM BONE SOUP

(Serves 8)

Ingredients

1 leftover ham bone

1 onion, diced

1 bay leaf

1 ½ cups leftover diced ham

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 russet potato, peeled and diced

1 (15 oz. ) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup frozen corn kernels

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 sprigs fresh thyme

2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

1. Place ham bone, onion, and bay leaf into a 6 quart Instant Pot. Add enough water to almost cover the bone without passing the max line of the insert, about 7 cups.

2. Select annual setting; adjust the pressure to high, and set time for 30 minutes. When finished cooking, quick-release pressure according to manufacturer’s directions; remove and discard ham bone and bay leaf.

3. Add ham, carrots, potato, beans, corn, garlic and thyme. Select manual setting; adjust the pressure to high, and set time for 5 minutes. When finished cooking, quick-release pressure according to the manufacturer’s directions. Stir in parsley; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

4. Serve immediately.


INSTANT POT HOT AND SOUR SOUP

Serves 6

Ingredients

16 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced

14 oz. extra firm tofu, cut into cubes

8 oz. can of bamboo shoots, drained

2 tbsp. Asian sweet chili sauce

1 tbsp. minced garlic

1 tbsp. minced ginger

1 tsp. ground white pepper

2 tbsp. white granulated sugar

2 tbsp. rice vinegar

¼ cup soy sauce

1 tbsp. garlic chili paste

8 cups vegetable broth

3 large eggs, cracked and whisked

4 cups fresh spinach

5 scallions, sliced

2 tbsp. cornstarch

2 tbsp. water

Method

1. Add to the Instant Pot: mushrooms, tofu, bamboo shoots, garlic, Asian sweet chili sauce, garlic, ginger, white pepper, sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic chili paste, and vegetable stock.

2. Lock on lid and place pressure valve to sealed. Cook at High Pressure for 5 minutes. When the Instant Pot beeps, do a 10-minute natural pressure release and then manually release the rest of the pressure.

3. Select the Saute mode. Add a few drops of oil to the beaten egg and whisk to combine.

4. When the soup begins to bubble, pour the beaten eggs into the middle of the cooking pot. Wait for a few seconds and then stir the egg mixture in a circular motion slowly a couple of times.

5. If you want the soup to be thicker, mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl until fully combined. Add the mixture to the pot and gently stir, let it simmer for 1-2 minutes. If you want the soup even thicker, add another 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch mixed with water. The soup will also thicken slightly after it cools off thanks to the cornstarch mixture.

6. Turn off the Instant Pot. Add the spinach to the pot and stir to combine. Add ½ the sliced scallions and stir.

7. For extra sour flavor, add one more tablespoon of vinegar at the end.

8. Serve garnished with scallions.


About the Author:

Michelle Oliver is a Multimedia Journalist for the 10 a.m. lifestyle show, "Live in the D." She is known as "the food girl" because of her two popular food franchises, Dine in the D and Find Your Fix. Michelle also covers stories on homegrown businesses, style, and other fun things happening in the D.