Top Tips to Make Instant Pot Soups (Plus 15 Great Recipes)
You can dish up warm and satisfying soups in a fraction of the time they'd normally take to make, thanks to the power of your Instant Pot multi-cooker. I'll share a few key tips you'll need to get the best results, plus top-rated recipes to try.
Top Tips for Making Instant Pot Soups
1. Use the sauté function to brown and caramelize meats and root vegetables such as onions, garlic, carrots, and celery before adding liquid. This simple step adds deeper flavor.
2. A pressure cooker needs thin liquid in order to cook properly. If you're adding cream or a thickener (such as cornstarch or roux) to your soup, wait to add it after the pressure cooker phase is finished and depressurized. You'll need to use the sauté function to bring your soup to a boil if you add a cornstarch slurry or roux as a thickener, but cream or sour cream should just be heated through without boiling.
3. To add uncooked pasta to your soup, cook and depressurize your soup first. Then turn on the sauté function to boil, add pasta, and cook until the pasta is done to your liking.
4. If you're making a conventional stovetop soup recipe in your pressure cooker, reduce the amount of liquid you start with. Liquid will not evaporate during pressure-cooker cooking, and too much liquid can end up diluting the flavor of your soup. You can always add a little extra at the end of the cooking/depressurizing phase if needed.
Top-Rated Soup Recipes for Instant Pot
Top tips: "This is a great soup, and it makes a lot. If you're someone that likes leftovers, this is for you. Make sure you use pearl barley because hulled barley will be chewy, and quick barley will be mushy. There's also not much barley in here, so I'd probably double it next time. I also suggest seasoning the meat with salt and pepper, and again seasoning the soup once it's done, to taste." — France C.
Flavor boosting tip: "Make it even better, as a Balkan and East European flavor, by creating a roux of paprika and vegetable oil. Make it just like a flour based roux except use GOOD quality paprika and veg oil. Heat the about 1 or 2 tablespoons of veg oil, when it's hot not burning, add a tablespoon or two or paprika and cook it a bit to let the paprika release its flavorful oils. As your cabbage stew is simmering and hot add the paprika roux. If it sizzles in the stew when added, then that's a great sign. Stir the roux into the stew and it's done!" — Tome Trajkovski
Some home cooked added extra potato and squash to make a thicker soup. "I also used coconut milk in place of the cream and would most definitely make this again," says kepeterson.
The "double" in this recipe refers to the can of pork and beans you add it after pressure-cooking the soup. Does it work? Tequila Mayhem speaks for many reviewers when she says, "Loved it! Was easy to make and turned out delicious. The addition of pork and beans is brilliant!"
Reviewers loved the soup but some ended up with mushy noodles. The solution: Add uncooked noodles after cooking/depressurizing the soup and let them boil on the sauté function. (See tip #3 above.) Or, you could cook the noodles separately.
Top tips: "This was really good. I do recommend actually chopping the tomatillos prior to putting them in the blender--it will work better that way! I used chicken thighs instead of breasts because I didn't want the meat to be to dry. It had great flavor but not too spicy." — GANGWISH
Top tips: "I've started keeping a baggie in the freezer for veggie scraps ( the tough ends of asparagus, trimmed celery, carrots, etc.). When I make a bone broth, I add the contents of that bag to my pressure cooker plus enough water to cover bones and vegetables. This cuts down on food waste and adds a great depth of flavor." — Allie
Top tip: "This recipe works perfectly. It's chock full of flavor. You really could just serve the beans as a side dish without puréeing if you wanted. As a soup it was perfect with quesadillas for lunch on a cold afternoon." — Buckwheat Queen
Top tip: "Amazing soup! I was able to substitute frozen soup veggies with no problems. This will be a family favorite!" — Susan Faul
Top tip: "I'm vegan and my family is not and we all loved it! It looks soupy when I opened the instant pot lid but it thickened up overnight which I like it a little thicker so it was perfect. If you prefer it soupy I would think you could warm it up on the stove and just add a little water. Either way, we liked it a lot and I'll definitely make it again. It was really easy to make." — Blueberrytwigs
Top tip: "Excellent! I've had trouble getting lentils seasoned in the past so I was a little worried this wold be bland. Not at all! The lentils and veggies did get a little over done and mushy in my opinion so next time I will either reduce the cook time or else just do a quick release instead of the natural release. I'm still giving this 5 stars. This is a great recipe!" — Soup Loving Nicole
Tip: Freeze asparagus ends and trimmings until you have enough to make this soup. "If I ever imagined what summer would taste like, it's this soup. Super simple and extremely light and smooth." — Diana71
Top tip: "Loved it! I did add a can of sliced mushrooms because I had them and well...I love the shrooms in my lasagna. I might add some slices olives next go around because I love them too. Overall great recipe and one I will definitely make again!" — Soup Loving Nicole
Top tip: "It was delicious but generally a little spicy because I added the med heat chilies. I substituted pork tenderloin in place of the shoulder to reduce the extra fat cooked in. Next time I will reduce the chili powder by half and use the mild chilies and add extra hominy." — Susan
Top tip: "Excellent flavor! Next time I'll definitely lower the cook time by half - the cauliflower turned out overcooked and completely fell apart while stirring in the cheese. Instead of half and half, I used heavy cream to make it more keto-friendly. I did use pork bacon instead of turkey bacon (again, to make it more keto/fatty) and browned it with the onion as suggested in the recipe notes. To thicken, I whisked in about 1/2 tsp of konjac powder, which is keto-compliant." — France C.