It’s cold and rainy today and I just read that this blustery weather is supposed to carry us through the weekend. I am all for it, because cozying up at home is my favorite thing to do. And because soup. I’ve already got lunch squared away for the week, a delicious garden vegetable soup recipe I’ve been making now for several weeks in the Instant Pot. It’s one of those recipes I adapted from supper a sweet friend brought over when I was throwing up and unable to cook due to morning sickness, combined with the fact that we had hardly anything in the fridge and I wanted, nay needed, to recreate it. It could have gone either way, and just happened to be really, really good.
I imagine an old French gardener sipping it from a little mug in the middle of a foggy afternoon after spending a few hours digging in the dirt. It’s a humble soup, country fare this one, and couldn’t be more affordable. But the taste is far from lacking! Also, I am not really eating meat these days, and so this simple but satisfying soup has been just the ticket. I’d stop gushing there, but what’s perhaps more important is that the kids love this soup too. It’s chalk-full of veggies and perfect alongside a warm piece of buttered bread after school. Here’s how I make it.
Ingredients | Makes 8 quarts of soup for the week
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1 cup of small diced carrots
- 1 cup of small diced celery
- 1 cup of small diced onion (or one large onion)
- 1 cup of small diced fennel (or one fennel bulb)
- 3 cups of small diced peeled Idaho potatoes
- 1 16 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 heaping tablespoon herbs d’Provence
- 2 heaping tablespoons salt
- handful of fresh chopped parsley
- handful of fresh chopped fennel fronds
To prepare this soup, all you really need is a sharp knife to get small dices for the vegetables. The smaller, the better I think. Set your Instant Pot to sauté with the butter, onion, carrots, and celery and cook them until translucent. While they sauté, peel and chop the potatoes, adding the salt and both fresh and dried herbs as you pause and stir. If you don’t have time to sauté, no problem. The soup should still be delicious, it’s just that this extra step ensures a bit more flavor and because we are using water and not stock, every bit of flavor helps. Add the potatoes and fennel when they are chopped, and stir. Add the crushed tomatoes and fill the pot up to the max capacity at the top. This is approximately 16 cups of water, give or take.
Put the setting on “Soup” for 20 minutes. When the time is up, you can do a quick release letting the steam out. You an certainly enjoy the soup straight away, but if I were you I’d let it cool completely on the counter or sit a day or two in the refrigerator before serving. The flavors get intensified this way! Once done, taste for seasoning and add more salt if you’d like. Serve alongside warm buttered bread and enjoy!
- This is the Instant Pot we have and I use it every week! (Affiliate link)
- Store in large glass mason jars for the week and consider lunch or supper done.
- You can certainly make this soup in a Dutch oven or large soup pot. Just double the cooking time and let it cook before reheating to serve.
- You can also add other vegetables such as squash, corn, green beans, or legumes and grains such as lentils, barley, and beans if you’re looking for a heartier soup.
- This batch made 5 extra large Mason jars full, but only 4 are pictured above because we ate the other!