Cooking during the colder months is one of my favorite parts about winter. During the summer, having the oven or stove on feels counterproductive to the air conditioning blasting, and really food just doesn’t taste as good. But in the winter, every dish I can concoct feels so comforting and snuggly. Especially when I make soups. Soups are one of those things that you primarily eat in winter (unless of course you’re eating a cold soup). You might bundle up in a big comfy sweater and hold your warm bowl of soup close, ready to dive in with an equally warm and comfy piece of bread or a melty, satisfyingly cheesy sandwich. It’s the perfect picture of winter – and it’s making me hungry.
Last Christmas, my dad gifted me an Instant Pot. At first, I wasn’t sure what it was and thought maybe it was just a fancy digital version of a slow cooker. Boy, was I wrong. Basically, an Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker, meaning it uses high pressure to force heat into your food. It’s similar to a traditional slow cooker in that you add your ingredients, set the time and leave it to do it’s thing, but it cooks your food much faster. When I used it for the first time I made this potato soup recipe and was floored by how quickly I was able to have dinner on the table. The chopping and slicing of ingredients actually took me longer than it took the soup itself to cook – no joke. The results were amazing too. A perfectly balanced soup in texture and flavor in about 30 minutes (this would include the time it takes for the pressure cooker to preheat). You could also make this in a slow cooker if you don’t have a pressure cooker. It will take much, much longer, but would still be delicious. (I’ll include those directions at the end of this blog post.) Also, this recipe is perfect for about 4 large servings – my husband and I can eat it for dinner and still have leftovers for lunch – but it can be doubled if you need closer to 8-10 servings.
What are your favorite meals to make when it’s cold outside? What is your favorite soup?
Instant Pot Vegetarian Potato Soup
2.5 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 small shallot, minced
3 cups of vegetable broth
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp cream cheese
3 Tbsp sour cream, plus some for garnish
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded, plus some for garnish
1 cup almond milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Green onion, for garnish
- Add shallot, potatoes and vegetable broth to pressure cooker.
- Seal lid and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes with the pressure valve set to seal.
- When ready, release pressure valve to venting to release pressure (be careful on this part because the valve will sputter a bit and be VERY HOT).
- Once the pressure is fully released, remove the lid and mash the potatoes to desired consistency. I like mine very mashed for this soup, but if you wanted larger chunks you could always mash less.
- Add the butter, cream cheese, sour cream and cheese – stir to combine.
- Add the almond milk slowly until you reach your desired consistency. If after a cup of milk it is still too thick, you can add more milk.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of cheese and green onion. Bread is also a delicious side with this soup. I love dipping mine in! I’ve also purchased the Morningstar bacon to sprinkle on top which is a nice addition.
For the slow cooker, you’d basically follow the same steps, but instead of pressure cooking, cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 3-4 or until the potatoes are tender enough to mash. For a vegan option, substitute the butter, cheese, cream cheese and sour cream for your favorite vegan alternatives. I recommend using a vegan cheese that melts well.