Spring = warmer weather = eating less soup!
That being said…
This spring soup = eating more soup.
It’s that perfect blend of comforting but also fresh-feeling that leaves you a) wanting to lick the bowl, and b) feeling really good about yourself when it’s later in the day and you remember back to all the veggies you ate for lunch. It’s LOADED TO THE MAX with veggies and whole grains and protein, and also big, yummy, Italian-style flavor.
It’s also kind of a blank canvas for toppings, which, as you know, are my weakness – lemon juice? Parmesan? fresh basil and parsley? salt and pepper? whole milk Greek yogurt? I can’t say I don’t like it all.
You can love me or hate me for this, but this recipe is also meant to be however you want it to be.
You can add or subtract those filler ingredients like no one’s business – omit corn, add beans, swap more vegetables for chicken. Whatever you want, girl. Whatever. You. Want.
Although it’s not really what people think of as Instant Pot season, I find that the IP treats me well year-round. Lately my dinner life looks like this:
- Come home.
- Chop vegetables, measure spices, check the recipe one more time.
- Start Instant Pot.
- Go sit outside and look at a magazine in the sun. ☀
- Come back in and eat.
I mean, dang if that isn’t a really good way to make dinner.
(And guys, if you don’t have an Instant Pot, that’s okay, too – I will put some alternative directions for you in the recipe notes section!)
For lunch, for dinner, for clean eating, for make-ahead, for low maintenance, for flavor and freshness… she’s a spring and summer beauty that wins all the awards.
Clean Eating Instant Pot Summer Soup! The perfect blend of comforting and fresh for the season. Packed with all the fresh summer produce and super customizable to whatever you have on hand!
- 1 lb. chicken breasts
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 cup farro (you can also use brown rice or small pasta)
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon each basil and oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon each garlic and onion powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 zucchini, cut into small pieces
- 2-3 cups of fresh sweet corn kernels, cut off the cob
- Toppings: Parmesan, lemon juice, plain yogurt, fresh herbs, freshly ground pepper, etc.
- Place everything except the zucchini and sweet corn in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Set to high pressure for 20 minutes. Release the steam.
- Shred the chicken. Stir in the zucchini and sweet corn. Set to high pressure for another 5 minutes. Release the steam.
- Let the soup rest for a few minutes – it thickens up a bit as it cools. Season with more salt and pepper and whatever toppings you like. Aaand devour!
Grains: If you use small pasta, rice, quinoa, or another quick-cooking grain, I would recommend that you add it to the Instant Pot at the same time you add the zucchini and sweet corn, otherwise it will become too mushy. Sturdier grains like brown rice and farro will hold up just fine for 30 minutes in the Instant Pot, so you can add those right away as directed.
Garlic / onion: I like to use garlic powder and onion powder because the taste is so distinct – different from fresh garlic and onions, which I also love. Using both fresh and dried together seems to boost the flavor of the soup. I didn’t use an onion here, but if you love onions, a small diced yellow onion would be a great addition.
Vegetarian / vegan: omit the chicken, and use vegetable broth. I would also consider increasing the amount of grains or maybe adding a can of beans to bulk up the soup a bit.
Gluten free: use a gluten free alternative to farro such as brown rice, sorghum, quinoa, or gluten free pasta. Follow Note #1 for cooking instructions.
Yogurt? It sounds kinda weird, but I love to add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt to this soup! Makes it creamy, tangy, and adds some nice protein and probiotics. Yum!
Stovetop: Saute your veggies and spices in the oil until softened. Add liquids, grains, and chicken. Simmer until the chicken and farro is done – probably 20 minutes. Shred chicken and return to pot. Add zucchini and corn, and simmer until cooked.
Slow Cooker: (This is an educated guess – please leave a comment if you try it and find the times need adjusting!) Add all ingredients except zucchini and sweet corn. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or low for 5-6 hours. Shred chicken, return to pot, and add zucchini and sweet corn for another 20-30 minutes.