Minestrone Soup is a hearty and healthy plant-based meal, and totally doable on a weeknight when you have an instant pot to help you out.
How about a warm bowl of hearty, comforting soup?
It's soup season, and there just has not been enough soup in our life lately. Soup is often part of my weekend meal prep routine. There is something comforting about a pot simmering for hours on the stovetop while I putter in the kitchen. But lately, I just haven't had the time or found the time, or whatever....
my Instant Pot to the rescue!
This minestrone soup is packed full of veggies and beans. And using an electric pressure cooker means you don't have to wait all day for a bowl.
Meal Prep Options
My instant pot version of minestrone does not have pasta. Not traditional I believe but leaving the pasta out means this soup is suitable for meal prepping and making ahead.
If you insist on pasta in your minestrone, I find it best to add cooked pasta to the soup just before serving. Cook the pasta separately and add to the individual bowls as you serve it. Otherwise, as the pasta sits in the soup it gets mushy.
Sunday meal prep: cook the soup in the Instant Pot as described below but don't add the spinach. Allow the soup to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze at this point for longer storage.
For dinner later in the week. Heat the soup on the stovetop. Avoid boiling the soup. When the soup is steamy hot, stir in the fresh spinach until it wilts. You can also add cooked pasta to the soup at this point if wanted.
I've learned to freeze soup in round glass containers with lids. The frozen contents will slide right into my instant pot this way. I still let the soup thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. But not having to deal with a freezer-bag-shaped frozen block of soup is easier.
Reheat the soup in your electric pressure cooker: You can reheat soup in the Instant Pot. Pour soup, still slightly frozen is okay, but not frozen solid. And set pressure cooker function, on high pressure for 1 minute. That's it!
The beans might make the soup thicker as it sits in the refrigerator, you may want to add a bit of water to thin the soup a little after reheating.
How to serve this Minestrone
- with crusty bread, of course. I good crusty Italian breadstick is my favorite thing to sop up the flavourful broth.
If the bread is not fresh from the bakery that day, slice into thick wedges and toast in a 350 oven for a couple of minutes before serving.
- with pasta. Cook pasta in a separate pot while reheating the soup on the stovetop. I like macaroni elbows or mini shells
- with parmesan. Vegan or regular. This vegan parm is stealing my heart these days.
Instant Pot Minestrone Soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 red onion finely diced
- 2 small carrots finely chopped
- 2 stocks of celery finely chopped, leaves as well
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 4 cups vegetable broth low sodium if possible
- 398 ml diced tomatoes organic if possible
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried red chili flakes
- 1-1/2 cups cooked kidney beans organic if possible
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas organic if possible
- 2 cup cooked navy beans or other white beans
- 2 small zucchini about 2 cups, rough chopped
- 3-4 oz fresh spinach 3-4 handfuls
- salt and pepper to taste
- Assemble an electric pressure cooker and set to Saute (or Browning) function. Add olive oil to insert and allow it to heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and saute for another minute. Hit cancel.
- Add vegetable broth, tomatoes, spices, beans, and zucchini and set the electric pressure cooker to Manual (or Pressure Cook) function, set for High pressure for 4 minutes. Secure lid and press start. Once the pressure cooker has gone through the cook cycle allow pressure to release naturally for at least 10 minutes. Manually release remaining pressure and remove the lid.
- If making this ahead to serve at a later date. Stop here. Allow to cool enough to handle and pack in glass containers with lids. Store in the refrigerator for 4-5 days or freeze up to 3 months.
- If serving immediately: check for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as necessary. Stir in fresh spinach and allow to wilt. Serve with crusty bread and parmesan.