Monday, November 28, 2016

Quick Food Fix: Minestrone Soup: Instant Pot

I caved and I bought a Kitchen Gadget!!

We cook quiet a bit in the house and I 'most of the times' really enjoy the process. We make fresh food 4-5 times a week and the rest is either parties or eating out, but food does not come in a can in my  house and I want my kids to love and appreciate that.

I am not much for cooking gadgets, two reasons: 1. I don't like a cluttered kitchen counter and 2. I am old-school.

The ones that I swear by is my 'Ninja' Its a blender its Dough maker is a blessing for me. Besides that, nothing much. Simple chopper etc, but nothing really fancy. I have never found a need for it.

Over the past few months, my friends have been raving about "Instant Pot' sending me things they make, how simple it is, stress free and above all Time Saver.

Honestly this was one gadget that I thought, well great, but I think I am fine, my start to finish off cooking daily takes about 45 minutes! So don't need this. But for some reason, Sumit was very convinced for this, way more than me. His Reason: Well it frees 20 minutes for you, great!

The feature that sold me, automatic timer: Put all ingredients in the morning, have this start at 4 pm so by the time you come home from work and picking up kids, one thing is ready and done!

Then came Black Friday with an awesome deal and I caved and I bought my Instant Pot. Considering I have my 'New Toy', I am starting a new Tag 'Instant Pot Vegetarian Recipe'

I started Simple: Veg Minestrone Soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes, but you have Zero Involvement!

Chopped in bigger pieces

1 Cup Carrots
1/2 Cup Orange Pepper
1/2 Cup Cauliflower
1/4 Cup Broccoli
1/2 Cup tomato
1/2 Cup peeled Edamame
1/4 Cup Onion: Sliced Thin
1 Garlic peeled and finely chopped
1/2 cup Cannelloni Beans: Not Soaked

Butter: 1/2 tsp

Fried Oregano: 2 tsp
Chili Flakes: 1 tsp
Salt: Per Taste
Black Pepper: 1 tsp

1. Turn Instant pot (IP) in Saute Mode
2. Add Butter, when it melts, add the garlic and Onion
3. Saute for 2 minutes, add spices
4. Saute for 1 more minute
5. Add all vegetables and beans
6. Add Water About 4 cups
7. Switch to 'soup' option
8. Relax!!!
In 20 minutes, the steaming & Delicious soup was ready!!!

Now.. this is my 'maiden' recipe for the simplest setting. So crack your Instant Pot Open and try this!
I am going to spend sometime learning the different modes...this one was being cooked in'High Pressure' mode, so we vented out the steam before opening it.

To be honest, when this was cooking, I was a little stressed, I am used to being an involved chef, checking my food, sauteing, stirring etc. But this I could get used to.... start, dump all ingredients and read a book, When its ready, it turns off automatically!

Advantage: I finally used my beans.... they have been sitting in my pantry, but I always forget to pre-soak them!

Next, though Instant-Pot is nothing but an Electric Pressure Cooker, my vegetables stayed intact! In its shape, no mushy liquid, The minestrone turned out like a wonderful clear soup with vegetables and herbs!


If not using Instant-Pot: Follow the same recipe as above but use the pressure cooker instead, vegetables will get a little mushed since I have done that before.

And No Pictures :-( I really didn't think the first recipe I used would be this good!

Stay Tuned, more recipes to follow for sure!!

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