Instant Pot Pesto 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!
Instant Pot Pesto Vegetable Soup
It’s summer vegetable season! 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 type of soup I like to make.
The Instant Pot 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 in Instant Pot Pesto Vegetable Soup
- Olive oil
- Yellow onion
- Vegetable broth
- White beans – I used a 19oz can of cannellini (white kidney) beans
- Tomatoes – be sure to remove the seeds!
- Pesto – store-bought or try my Easy Cashew Pesto (you will need half the batch)
- Tomato paste
- Sea salt
- Red pepper flakes
- Large shell pasta
How to Make Instant Pot Vegetable Soup
- Prepare all the vegetables, drain and rinse the beans and gather the other ingredients.
- Press the sauté button on the Instant Pot. Heat the oil and cook the onion until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another 30 seconds, until fragrant. Turn off the sauté function.
- Add the remaining ingredients in the order given, except the pasta shells, and give it a little stir.
- Add the pasta shells and push them into the broth, until just submerged (do not stir).
- Lock the lid, set to sealing and cook on the Manual setting on high pressure for 8 minutes. It will take about 30 minutes to come to pressure.
- Once cooking is complete, quick release the pressure. Stir the soup to ensure even distribution of the ingredients and serve immediately. Garnish with parmesan and chopped basil, if desired.
Tips for Making Instant Pot Vegetable Soup
Use cooked beans. This recipe is not intended for dried beans.
Substitute the type of noodle by weight. Two ounces of large shells measured about 1 cup dry, but different shaped noodles will fit more or less for the same weight. For example, 2 oz of a smaller noodle like macaroni is only 1/2 cup.
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 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 end and add salt to your taste!
Instant Pot Pesto Vegetable Soup
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, small dice
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 19oz can white beans (I used cannellini)
- 4 large red tomatoes, seeded and diced (about 4 cups)
- 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 pesto (your favourite store-bought brand or from the linked recipe)
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 oz large shell pasta (about 1 heaping cup dry measure)
- fine-grain sea salt (to taste)
- freshly grated parmesan (optional)
- fresh basil (optional)
- Press the sauté button 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. Give it a little stir, then add the shell pasta and press it under the broth until just submerged (do not stir).
- Close the lid, set to sealing and use the Manual setting to cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. It will take about 30 minutes to come to pressure.
- At the end of cooking time, quick release the pressure and stir to ensure even distribution of the ingredients. Add salt to taste and serve immediately topped with parmesan or chopped fresh basil, if desired.
- Inactive time indicates time for Instant Pot to come to pressure and release pressure after cooking time.
- You must use cooked beans in this recipe.
- If you substitute a different type of noodle, note that 1 cup dry measure may be more or less than 2 oz because the shape of the noodle allows for more or less to fit in the cup. Best to measure by weight, if you can. For example, 2oz regular macaroni = 1/2 cup dry measure.
- Make it vegan by using a vegan pesto and avoiding the parmesan garnish.
- Make it gluten free by using gluten-free noodles.
- Add salt to taste after cooking. Depending on the broth and pesto you use, it may be salty enough without added salt.
- This recipe was tested in the 6-quart Instant Pot model.