Instant Pot Vegetable Soup

published Dec 19, 2022
Instant Pot Vegetable Soup Recipe

A filling, light-bodied soup that’s warming and provides your daily dose of veggies all in one bowl.

Serves4 to 6

Makes8 to 10 cups

Prep15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook30 minutes

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Instant Pot vegetable soup.
Credit: Photo: Murray Hall; Food Stylist: Jessie YuChen

Making a perfectly cooked Instant Pot veggie soup can be tricky to pull off sometimes. Because food cooks in a completely sealed environment when you use the pressure cooker setting on an Instant Pot, it can be easy to overcook the vegetables in soup into mush because you can’t see what’s going on. But we’re here to help with that.

To combat this, make sure the vegetables are cut to the right size and the cook time isn’t too long. For this soup, the carrots, potatoes, and zucchini are cut into a large dice so they stay intact through the cooking process. When the cook time is up, quick release the pressure right away to stop the cooking. Baby spinach gets added in after the cooking, as it’ll wilt quickly in the residual heat of the soup.

Vegetable soup might sound like a not-so-exciting soup, but it doesn’t have to be. If you have a good combination of vegetables — like potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, zucchini, and baby spinach! — to ensure a variety of flavors and textures, it can be a filling, but not-too-rich soup that gives you your daily dose of veggies. Although vegetable soups don’t generally need a long cooking time, using an Instant Pot cuts the cooking time down to a mere five minutes under high pressure. Plus, you don’t need to stir or monitor a pot on the stove.

Credit: Photo: Murray Hall; Food Stylist: Jessie YuChen

How to Make the Best Instant Pot Vegetable Soup

  • Sauté the aromatics. Use the Sauté setting to cook the onion, garlic, and celery first.
  • Add the vegetables and liquid. Add the chopped vegetables, a box of broth, and a can of diced tomatoes.
  • Pressure cook for 4 minutes. Cook under high pressure for 4 minutes.
  • Quick release the pressure. Release the pressure immediately after the cook time is up.
  • Add the spinach. Add baby spinach and let the residual heat wilt the tender greens.

What Can I Add to Vegetable Soup to Make It Taste Better?

Fresh herbs like parsley, dill, or thyme add a welcome punch of flavor to any soup, but you can also use lemon juice to brighten the flavors. Swirl in a spoonful of pesto or gremolata instead to give it an Italian-esque vibe, or try chili crisp for a spicy kick.

Can You Freeze Vegetable Soup?

Yes, you can definitely freeze vegetable soup. Freeze in airtight containers, and use a few containers if you don’t want to eat all the leftovers at once. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating over medium heat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Instant Pot Vegetable Soup Recipe

A filling, light-bodied soup that’s warming and provides your daily dose of veggies all in one bowl.

Prep time 15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes

Makes 8 to 10 cups

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2

    medium carrots (6 to 8 ounces total)

  • 1

    medium zucchini (about 8 ounces)

  • 1 pound

    large Yukon Gold or red potatoes (3 to 4)

  • 1

    medium yellow onion

  • 2

    large stalks celery (4 to 5 ounces total)

  • 2 cloves

    garlic

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    dried thyme, or 2 fresh thyme sprigs

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1 (32-ounce) carton

    low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can

    diced tomatoes

  • 2 packed cups

    baby spinach (about 2 ounces)

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves or basil pesto, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prepare the following, adding each to the same large bowl as you complete it: Peel and halve 2 medium carrots lengthwise (quarter if thick); cut crosswise into 3/4-inch pieces (about 1 cup). Quarter 1 medium zucchini lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 3/4-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups). Peel and cut 1 pound Yukon Gold or red potatoes into 3/4-inch pieces (about 3 cups).

  2. Prepare the following, adding each to the same medium bowl as you complete it: Dice 1 medium yellow onion (about 1 1/2 cups). Thinly slice 2 large celery stalks crosswise (about 1 1/2 cups). Finely chop 2 garlic cloves. Add 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 fresh thyme sprigs.

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 6-quart or larger Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker with the highest Sauté setting until shimmering. Add the onion mixture, season with 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

  4. Add the potato mixture, 1 (32-ounce) carton low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes and their juices, and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt. Stir to combine.

  5. Turn off the pressure cooker. Lock the lid in place and make sure the valve is set to seal. Set to cook under HIGH pressure for 4 minutes. It will take 15 to 17 minutes to come up to pressure.

  6. When the cook time is up, quick release the pressure. Open the pressure cooker, add 2 packed cups baby spinach, and stir until wilted. Discard the thyme sprigs. Garnish each bowl with chopped fresh parsley leaves or a dollop of basil pesto if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave or over medium heat on the stovetop.