Recently I asked my Face Book friends if they could recommend a good rice cooker. My old (very old) and faithful Hitachi was starting to leave it’s contents with an under-cooked bite after it’s chime. So I was on a hunt for a new, reliable cooker and I was curious to see what was out there. One friend suggested the “Instant Pot”. She said my own daughter, Deidra, had recommended it on snap chat and after cooking with it herself she was very happy with the results. So after questioning Deidra about it I decided to get my own Instant Pot. Although I haven’t mastered the rice cooking (still a little gummy on the bottom) I discovered it delivers a great pot of soup in a fraction of the time it takes to cook on the stove.
The soup recipe I used was my grandmother’s. I didn’t know my sister, Eleanor, had this recipe from our Ma Ma, (Marie) Greene. In fact I had almost forgotten about her delicious vegetable beef soup she used to make for us until one day, out of the blue, El sent me the recipe. It is a different and unique soup and my sister beautifully describes it as a full broth taste that is not camouflaged by the vegetables. After cutting the meat and vegetables up I pushed the pot’s saute’ button on and browned the meat, onions and garlic right before adding the rest of the vegetables, seasonings and liquids. I closed the lid, pushed the soup button and in less than an hour, from preparation to cooked, I had a delicious pot of soup, and the pot automatically kept it warm until supper time.
The description online of the Instant Pot says it is an “intelligent multi-cooker” and I agree. Among it’s many talents, it is a crock pot, pressure cooker, yogurt maker, rice cooker, saute’-er, steamer and more and it does it all so economically! I haven’t found anything I don’t like about it, yet.
So here is how I made the soup in the Instant Pot, but it can surely be made in a regular soup pot on your stove top:
La Soup a’ Marie (The Soup of Marie)
2 pounds soup meat, cubed
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon or more cayenne pepper
1 large bell pepper, sliced lengthwise
3 large potatoes, cubed
1 – 16 ounce bag frozen sliced carrots
2 – 8 ounce cans tomato sauce
8 cups water
First I turned the Instant Pot on by pushing the saute button.
I added the meat, onions and garlic to the pot and stirred occasionally until the meat was browned.
Then I stirred in the seasonings and bell pepper to cook for a minute or two. I added the potatoes, carrots, tomato sauce, and water.
Stirred it together and closed the lid making sure the valve on top was at the sealing position (very important).
I pressed the soup button and in about 30 minutes La Soup a’ Marie was done. Serves 6-8.
After your dish is cooked, before you open the pot, carefully move the valve on the lid to the venting position making sure you are out of the way and let the steam release from the pot. Then proceed to open. Or you can let it cool down automatically (takes about 10 – 15 minutes) . If you don’t do this you could have a big “ka-boom” in your kitchen! The pot can keep the food warm after cooking. So easy and I was surprised at how well the vegetables stayed firm and did not fall apart after so much pressure!
To cook on stove top in a soup pot just brown the meat, onions and garlic. Then add seasonings, tomato sauce and water and boil for 1 or more hours until meat is tender. Add the bell pepper, potatoes and carrots to the rest of the ingredients and simmer until vegetables are tender. Still simple and easy!
Let your light shine today, and let your personality blossom, too. You don’t have to be a people-pleaser, just a people-lover.