Growing up in an Italian household, this soup was a staple in our house, we always had some on hand. Typically in an Italian household, this soup is made with any fresh vegetables on hand that the chef/cook wants to use up. One week we would have extra green vegetables, another week we would have extra squash. I would really depend on what my mother bought at the grocery store and what we didn’t use up. This soup is also very budget friendly as you can switch out vegetables that are on sale, for those not on sale.
Today, I am attempting to make a copycat version of the extremely popular Olive Garden Minestrone Soup. There is a long list of ingredients but most of them you will probably have on hand, they also use a ton of dried spices, so feel free to switch them out for fresh herbs. I usually grab a couple of fresh herbs, today I found a great sale on fresh basil and oregano, both of which make my kitchen smell wonderful.
Using the Instant Pot to make soups is a great time saver in the one pot, you can use the entire pot for preparing the ingredients, for almost any variety of soup.
The Instant Pot takes away the need to spend hours and hours simmering the soup, which will save you a ton of time and eventually a lot of money, because who really wants to spend all that time in front of a stove anymore? That is why they invented canned soups, so with an Instant Pot in your kitchen arsenal, you will be cooking more and buying less processed foods.
No matter what soup you make they all usually start of the same:
- Saute your vegetables or even meats in the Instant Pot
- Then add your liquids.
- Season the soup, use great spices that will enhance the flavor.
Some tips making soup in the Instant Pot,
- Let the soup naturally release, otherwise, you might create a mess for yourself in the kitchen.
- Make sure that you do not fill the Instant Pot over the max fill line.
- Be careful when you open the Instant Pot, the steam will be extremely hot, and you could burn yourself
If you have any soup leftover, here are some great tips for freezing soup:
- Allow the soup to cool, to at least room temperature. There is nothing worse than putting hot soup in the freezer, next to a cold item and having them start to defrost.
- Place the soup in a freezer bag, or freezer safe container. **Remember that liquids expand during the freezing process, so be careful not to overfill.
- Label, date your freezer bags or containers.
- If you are using bags, lay them flat in your freezer, this will allow you to stack them.
Using any pressure cooker, (Instant Pot) is fast, it always helps when you have your vegetables all cut up and ready to go.
(That’s a great tip, I learned along the way!)
Saute your onions, (pour about 2-3 tablespoons into the Instant Pot) and press the saute button (next picture) and saute until soft approximately 3 minutes.
With your vegetables all cut up, this is a perfect dump soup!!
Here are some other really popular soup recipes!!
Olive Garden-Chicken and Gnocchi Soup (Copycat)
Kitchen Items Used: (* Note: Affiliate links are included)
Easy and delicious
- 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced onions
- 2 teaspoons parsley
- 2 teaspoons basil
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/3 cups diced zucchini
- 1 1/3 cups small macaroni (any type)
- 1 15 ounces can of dark red kidney beans
- 1 15 ounces can of white navy beans
- 1 14.5 can of Italian green beans
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- salt and pepper to taste
- Shredded Parmesan cheese-topping
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Start by cutting up all of your vegetables, it will help you add everything later on.
Pour your oil into the Instant Pot Bowl, then press the saute button, let the Instant Pot heat up for about 30 seconds, then pour the onions in. Saute for about 3 minutes, just until they are softened.
Then press the cancel button on the Instant Pot, and add the rest of the ingredients (with the exception of Cheese and spinach), mix well. This way everything (mostly the pasta) has emerged in liquid.
Add your lid, making sure the vent is closed and set the manual high pressure for 4 minutes.
When the time is up, let it naturally release. When all of the pressure is down, and the vent has dropped, then open it, CAREFULLY, remove the lid, mix well, season and mix in the spinach.
Continue to mix until the spinach has wilted.
Ladle into bowls and serve with a helping of Parmesan cheese.