Meatless Monday: IP Tortilla Soup (vegan)

We had a zoom call scheduled for 5 pm on a Sunday evening. I checked the clock and was surprised to see that it was already 4:40 pm. I had hoped to get dinner in the Instant Pot so that it would cook while we enjoyed our call. Could I do it?

This recipe was so simple, and perfect for shelter-in-place because the only fresh ingredients are onion, bell pepper, and garlic; the rest are spices and canned goods. And yes, I locked the lid on the IP just in time to pour a glass of wine before we logged in to zoom.

Spring in California isn’t necessarily what we think of as soup weather. But the Instant Pot takes the heat out of cooking, no standing and stirring a steaming hot pot. And by the time we ate our soup al fresco at our patio table, it was in fact cool enough to enjoy a satisfyingly warm soup.

Among the joys of shelter-in-place has been the opportunity to cook, to play with new recipes and pull out old favorites. Still, I find I need to balance my efforts between days when I want to cook elaborately and others when I wish I didn’t have to cook at all. Sometimes it helps to streamline the process, which the IP does beautifully, in order to maximize time together. And with everyone staying home, not rushing off to each one’s separate evening activities, we once again have time to linger over family meals.

BTW, this recipe can easily be made on a stove top if you don’t have an IP. Just taste and adjust time as you go.

Ingredients
1 medium onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced (or 3-4 mini bell peppers- I use an assortment of red, orange, and yellow for color)
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1-2 tsp chili powder (start with 1 and adjust at the end for taste)
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes, undrained
4 c veggie broth (I use Better Than Bouillon)
2 15oz cans kidney beans, drained/rinsed
1 15oz can black beans, drained/rinsed
Tortilla chips, to serve
Cilantro & green onions to garnish
Vegan cheese, to garnish

Directions
Add diced onion to IP and set to saute for 5 minutes. After 3 minutes, add diced peppers and garlic and stir well. Saute 2 more minutes, then stir in spices. Add additional ingredients and stir well to make sure nothing is stuck to the pot. Set to pressure cook on high for 10 minutes. Natural pressure release for 5 minutes and then carefully quick release. If pressed for time, add all ingredients and cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

To serve, add tortilla chips to the bottom of each bowl. Pour soup over chips, then top with a few more chips. Garnish with cilantro and green onions. If desired, sprinkle bowls with a little vegan cheese.

Meatless Monday: Instant Pot Pasta e Fagioli Soup (vegan!)

It cooled off just enough last week to eat soup again. Notice I didn’t say “to cook soup,” because IP cooking means I don’t have to stand and stir a hot pot. It’s one of my favorite things about the IP: I can quickly make yummy veggies and soups that would require more time on the stove top and heat up the house. For this very reason, my husband makes globe artichokes in the IP almost every week; it’s fast and fail-proof!

When we first bought the IP, I left it in the box in the garage for a solid nine months. I’d read enough to expect it to sound like R2D2, and anything with too many buttons makes me nervous. When I finally decided an appliance would not best me, I made my husband watch a YouTube video with me and then together we did the water test to make sure it sealed correctly.

That was so long ago I don’t remember what we actually cooked. It may have been a red lentil curry. Whatever it was, it was easy enough to try again. And again and again…

For this soup, like a lot of my recipes, I started with online inspiration, combing recipes for similarities and differences. I consulted my IP go-to guide, Vegan Under Pressure*, for cooking times (the authority for cooking beans, both dried and canned). And then I experimented. As the weather continues to cool and I will continue to make soups both in the IP and on the stove top, this recipe will be in my regular rotation.

If you don’t have an IP, of course you can make this on the stove top. Everything should be about the same with two exceptions: you’ll need to adjust cooking times; and you can cook the pasta right in the pot.

This soup can also be really flexible. Don’t have cannellini beans? Add another can of kidney beans or more/different diced veggies. Kids not fans of zucchini? Add chopped greens at the end of cooking. (Personally, I peel the zucchini and the kids don’t know it’s there). You can use veggie crumbles instead of sausage, or leave the “meat” products out altogether. I’m all for playing with recipes!

Instant Pot Pasta e Fagioli Soup
Serves 6-8

1 large yellow or white onion, diced
3 Field Roast sausage links, diced (I used 2 Italian & 1 chipotle)
5-6 garlic cloves, minced
6 c low sodium veggie broth (Better Than Bouillon)
3 tsp Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute (or 1 tsp each dried basil, thyme, and oregano)
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional if using chipotle sausage)
1 15 oz undrained can diced tomatoes (if you use fresh tomatoes, add 1/3-1/2 c additional water/broth)
1 15 oz can tomato sauce (or prepared marinara sauce)
Diced veggies – celery (3 ribs), carrots (3-4 peeled), and zucchini (2 small)
1 14.5 oz can each garbanzo, kidney and cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
1.5 cup ditalini pasta or elbow macaroni cooked separately, 8-10 minutes

On “saute” setting, stir onions and sausage for 5 minutes; add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes longer. Add broth, seasonings, tomatoes and sauce, veggies and beans, and stir to combine.

Lock the lid in place. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Allow the pot to sit for 3-4 minutes and then turn the release valve for a “quick release.”

If pressed for time, dump everything in and cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. Allow the pot to sit for 3-4 minutes and then turn the release valve for a “quick release.”

Stir in pasta and adjust seasonings. Mangia!

 

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. But seriously, if you have an IP and you like to cook veggies, this book is so worth the purchase.