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Hearty Instant Pot Vegetable Soup

Instant Pot Vegetable Soup is the perfect way to use summer vegetables. Tomatoes, zucchini, carrots and white beans pair beautifully with basil in the pesto. This soup is full of flavour and hearty enough to eat as a main course.

You can use your favourite store-bought brand of pesto in this recipe, or you can quickly whip up my Easy Cashew Pesto. It takes only five minutes to make!

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Vegetable soup in a white bowl in front of an Instant Pot, blue linen and a stack of white bowls

Recipe and photos updated on June 23, 2020. Originally published August 11, 2019.

I’m so excited for the harvest from my garden. This soup is such a delicious way to use zucchini and tomatoes. If ever I’m feeling like I need a dose of veggies, this is the soup I make.

An electric pressure cooker makes soup so much easier. No need to monitor a pot on the stove, testing the carrots to see if they’re done yet. Just set it and forget it! An added bonus is you don’t need to worry about a hot pot on the stove if you have kids around.

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make the soup. See the recipe card below for exact quantities and detailed instructions!

  • Olive oil
  • Yellow onion – sautéed with the garlic for depth of flavour
  • Garlic
  • Vegetable broth – you need 5 cups of liquid. My broth comes in a 4-cup package, so I will often use the whole package plus a cup of water, then increase the amount of salt I add after cooking.
  • White beans – I used a 19-ounce can of cannellini (white kidney) beans, but any cooked bean will work!
  • Tomatoes – you can use a 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes, or 4 cups of diced fresh tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Carrot – thinly sliced so they’ll be tender after 3 minutes of pressure cooking
  • Zucchini – quartered and sliced
  • Pesto – store-bought or try my Easy Cashew Pesto (you will need half the batch)
  • Tomato paste
  • Sea salt
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Macaroni pasta – or small shells
Instant Pot Vegetable Soup in two white bowls garnished with fresh basil and parmesan

How to make it

First, prepare all the vegetables, drain and rinse the beans and gather the other ingredients. Once you start cooking, this recipe comes together fast, so you want to make sure you have all the ingredients ready to go!

Next, sauté the onion and garlic using the Sauté function on the Instant Pot. This step is optional, but it adds great depth of flavour to the soup. Then, add all the remaining ingredients (except the noodles) in the order given. Don’t stir.

Last, add the the macaroni and push the noodles into the broth until they’re just submerged. Again, do not stir. You don’t want the noodles touching the bottom of the Instant Pot insert because this can cause a burn warning.

Ingredients for vegetable soup in an Instant Pot before being cooked

Pressure cook on Manual High pressure for 3 minutes. It will take about 25 minutes for the pot to come to pressure. At the end of cooking time, do a controlled quick release (I use a wooden spoon to open the vent just a bit at a time to control splatter, then eventually switch to quick release once enough pressure has been let out).

Give the soup a stir so everything is well combined, then season with salt to your taste and serve with your chose garnishes.

Vegetable Soup in an Instant Pot being stirred by a wooden spoon

Variations

Make it vegan by using a vegan pesto and avoid the parmesan garnish (there’s a vegan option for my Easy Cashew Pesto).

Make it gluten free by using gluten-free noodles.

Add more greens. If you have kale, you can add bite-size pieces before pressure cooking. Or, if you have spinach, stir it in after cooking to wilt it.

Tips for Success

Use cooked beans. With a cook time of only 3 minutes, this recipe is not intended for dried beans.

Add salt after cooking. Depending on the type of broth and pesto that you use, the soup may be salty enough. Better to wait until the soup is cooked and add salt to your taste!

Substitute noodles that are similar in size. Look for noodles that have a low-end cook time of 7-8 minutes on the package. Small shells work nicely!

How to freeze it

Cool the soup completely and store in air-tight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Be sure it’s cooled completely to avoid condensation on the inside of the container (this can cause freezer burn). Also be sure to leave a bit of space at the top of the container, because soup expands once frozen.

How to reheat from frozen

Let the soup thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat on the stove top or using the Sauté function on your Instant Pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer for a few minutes until heated through. Be sure the temperature reaches 165 °F.

A ladle of vegetable soup being lifted out of an Instant Pot

More Instant Pot Soup Recipes

Instant Pot Vegetable Soup in a white bowl next to a small bowl of basil garnish

Instant Pot Vegetable Soup

Laura Lawless, BASc
Instant Pot Vegetable Soup is the perfect way to use summer vegetables. Tomatoes, zucchini, carrots and white beans pair beautifully with basil in the pesto. This soup is full of flavour and hearty enough to eat as a main course.
5 from 4 votes
Servings 6
Calories 330
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 3 mins
Inactive Time 30 mins
Total Time 48 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 cups vegetable broth (or use 4 cups broth + 1 cup water and adjust amount of added salt)
  • 1 19oz can white beans (I used cannellini)
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes ( or 4 cups fresh diced tomatoes)
  • 3 medium celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto (your favourite store-bought brand or from the linked recipe)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup uncooked macaroni noodles
  • fine-grain sea salt (to taste)

For Serving

  • freshly grated parmesan (optional)
  • fresh basil (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Turn on the Sauté function on the Instant Pot. Heat the olive oil and sauté the onion until starting to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté an additional 30 seconds, until fragrant. Turn off the Sauté function.
  • Add the broth, beans, tomatoes, celery, carrots, zucchini, pesto, tomato paste and red pepper flakes. Do not stir. Then add the macaroni noodles and press them under the broth until just submerged. Again, do not stir.
  • Close the lid, set the vent to sealing and pressure cook on Manual High pressure for 3 minutes. It will take about 25 minutes to come to pressure.
  • At the end of cooking time, do a controlled quick release of the pressure and stir to evenly distribute the ingredients. Add salt to taste (I added about a teaspoon) and serve immediately topped with parmesan or chopped fresh basil, if desired. Store any leftovers in a sealed container the refrigerator and eat within 4 days. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Notes

  1. Inactive time indicates time for Instant Pot to come to pressure and release pressure after cooking time. 
  2. You must use cooked beans in this recipe.  
  3. Make it vegan by using a vegan pesto and avoiding the parmesan garnish.
  4. Make it gluten free by using gluten-free noodles. 
  5. Add salt to taste after cooking. Depending on the broth and pesto you use, it may be salty enough without added salt. 
  6. This recipe was tested in the 6-quart Instant Pot model. 

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Equipment

6-qt Instant Pot
Chef’s Knife
Measuring Spoons
Ladle

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 330kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 367mg | Potassium: 1166mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 4423IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 179mg | Iron: 5mg
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Hey, I’m Laura!

Creator of The Recipe Well


I love food and cooking, but hate doing the dishes. I use my nutrition degree to create easy, approachable recipes that will help you find your happy place in the kitchen.

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Recipe Rating




12 Comments

  1. Is it possible to leave out the beans? My family are not big bean lovers. Excited to try this!

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      Yes, absolutely, it will still be great without the beans! Hope you enjoy!

      1. Awesome! Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    Best soup I have EVER made! Thank you.

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      This is wonderful to hear! Thanks for leaving a review, Mindy!

  3. If omitting the pesto altogether will it alter the recipe drastically or no?

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      Hi Courtney, the pesto is added for flavour, so you may want to add some garlic and dried herbs like basil to replace it. And you could top the soup with parmesan if you’re not dairy free. Hope that helps!

  4. 5 stars
    This recipe was delicious – Made the pesto from the blog for it and even though I had a mom brain moment and nearly forgot the Parmesan in the pesto and had to add it later the soup turned out fantastic!

  5. Garima Kakkar says:

    5 stars
    I have recently tried this recipe and it came out amazing!!! I substituted chickpea pasta instead of the regular pasta, and changed the cook time in the instant pot to 7 minutes. It was super delicious and wholesome!

    1. Laura Lawless says:

      So glad you enjoyed it, Garima!

  6. 5 stars
    How beautiful is this soup? LOVE it! I just got an Instant Pot so I’ll be trying this 🙂

    1. Laura Lawless says:

      Enjoy! Such a great way to use the seasonal veggies!