Lip-Smacking Lemony Instant Pot Oil-Free Minestrone

Since I'm not a trained chef, I'm definitely not a cooking expert and so I'm also not an expert in how to work every cooking appliance that's out there. But I do love my Instant Pot for making many things but have largely been ignoring the function buttons in lieu of the "manual" button and setting a pressure time according to a specific Instant Pot Recipe. But no more! One of the ladies, a member in my most recent Plant-Empowered Woman Weight Loss Program introduced me to the "soup" function button this way:

"You just dump everything into the Instant Pot, push the

"soup" button and walk away!"

Vegan Cooking Level: Beginner

So, I took my favorite Minestrone Soup (a classic, naturally vegan Italian soup) recipe that previously took 3 hours to make (which I got from a cookbook called, "Bringing Tuscany Home" at least 10 years ago). The reason it took 3 hours is because you had to oven-roast plum tomatoes with garlic and herbs, then you had to saute all the chopped veggies, then the soup had to barely bubble for 45 minutes during which time you had to peel chop and steam potatoes to add. It is a beautiful recipe that warms the senses the heart and the soul...if only it could be condensed into a realistic, less labor-intense time-frame.

Enter the Instant pot and the "Soup" button.

Here's how I tweaked that recipe. First of all, I chopped and sliced all the veggies except the herbs, kale and potatoes with my Zyliss 2-in-1 Slicer so that was done in about 3 minutes. Next, I replaced the oven-roasted tomatoes with 1 can of fire-roasted canned tomatoes, completely eliminated the saute process and the potato-steaming, added twice the beans and the lemony finish to make the taste POP while getting rid of the oil, wine and cheese completely. Also, we plopped it all in a 6-quart Instant Pot, which does all the cooking work.

Shown here, with Orzo added, but you can add any grains you like.

Here's how to make this mouthwatering minestrone in just minutes!


1 large onion, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

3 carrots, chopped

6 cloves garlic, shredded

3 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

3 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped

3 potatoes, peeled and cubed

2-3 cups chopped kale*

1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes with their juices

1 14-oz. can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, strained