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Instant Pot Vegetable Soup
Bethany Daugherty, MS, RDN, CD - January 30, 2019
Instant Pots are very popular right now, but if you don’t know what an Instant Pot is, it is essentially an upgraded pressure cooker.  It is much safer than the pressure cookers our grandmothers used to cook with and also does the function of a rice cooker, slow cooker, steamer and warmer.  Some newer Instant Pots have even more features.  It can cook meats, such as roasts, from frozen so may be a good option if you forget to thaw meat to put in your slow cooker.  You can make a variety of foods in the Instant Pot – vegetables, pasta, meat, casseroles, soups, rice and even desserts.  You can check out the official Instant Pot website for recipes: https://recipes.instantpot.com/

This Vegetable Soup is a great beginner recipe for your Instant Pot.  But if you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can also make it on the stove top.  The barley will take about 45 minutes to cook on the stove top, but you could also substitute whole grain pasta or instant brown rice for a quicker cooking time. 
Instant Pot Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, diced
3-4 celery ribs, sliced
3-4 medium carrots, sliced
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 quart (32 oz.) vegetable or chicken broth
1 14.5 oz. can petite diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
⅓ cup pearl barley
1-2 bay leaves
1 (2-3 inch) Parmesan rind
2-3 cups chopped spinach or kale
 
Directions:                    
  1. Turn on the sauté function on the Instant Pot and heat oil.  Sauté onion, celery, and carrots, stirring frequently until the vegetables soften.  Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Add minced garlic and cook for another minute.
  2. Add broth, tomatoes, beans, barley, bay leaves and Parmesan rind and stir to combine.
  3. Lock and seal the lid.  Cook for 7 minutes on high pressure and quick release.
  4. Remove bay leaves and Parmesan rind.
  5. Stir in chopped kale and let sit for 3-5 minutes until softened.
Makes: 8 servings
Serving Size: 1 cup
Nutrition facts per serving: Calories 112; Fat 2g; Saturated fat 0g; Protein 4g; Carbohydrate 19g; Fiber 7.7g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 775mg
 
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