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Lately, my house has been flu- and cold-infested. (In other words, it’s been a LOT of fun.) So when I woke up with a tickle in my own throat earlier this week, I decided to whip up some homemade chicken soup to soothe it. And with my new Instant Pot beckoning me towards culinary greatness, I chose to make a slightly modified version using the Instant Pot’s soup function, which has automatic preset temperatures and times.
If you haven’t yet discovered the glory that is the Instant Pot, allow me to get you up to speed: It’s a 7-in-1 multi-functional electric cooker that acts as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, and warmer. Did I mention it can also sauté? Basically, if you love your crock pot, you’ll be obsessed with everything the Instant Pot can do.
The Instant Pot was actually created by engineers, not cooks; which is why the manual is about 20 pages deep with lots of pretty pictures and diagrams that, while handy, can get a little overwhelming at first. (That said, if you haven’t read it yet, please do yourself a favor and read it now before moving on — trust me, it’ll help.)
If you’re still an IP beginner, this chicken soup recipe is a great place to start. Here’s how I made my batch …
Step 1: Bring on the veggies.
To begin, wash and chop all your favorite veggies, and then layer them at the bottom of the inner pot. What you’re looking at is coarsely chopped celery, green onions, carrots, and purple onions. I deviated from the original recipe by replacing the turnips with button mushrooms, which are a personal fave.
Step 2: Spice it up.
I added Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, pepper, and bay leaves, but you can switch things up according to your taste buds. I also tossed in 2 tablespoons of freshly roasted and crushed coriander seeds, because sometimes my inner Anthony Bourdain just can’t help himself.
Step 3: Add the chicken.
Next, I layered on the chicken thighs and legs. Of course, you can use boneless chicken breasts, if you prefer. But one of the many things that the Instant Pot has provided me with is the confidence (and patience) to cook boned meats. And the difference in taste is delicious.
Step 4. Add 4-5 cups of water and close the lid.
Once your vent is closed, hit the “SOUP” button and let the IP work its magic. The display screen will say “ON” for roughly 15-25 minutes as the pressure builds up to achieve the right setting. Once that happens, you’ll see the timer appear on the display screen that will count down the minutes until it’s ready (about 30, in this case).
This is the part where you get to walk away for an hour or so and try not to ruminate on the awesomeness that’s brewing in your kitchen.
Here’s a photo of my own IP about to get LIT.
Step 5: Once the timer goes off, release the pressure naturally using NPR.
If you have no idea what NPR has to do with Instant Pots, I’m judging you hard right now because I told you to read the manual. But if you’re just exhausted or have a wicked case of mom brain right now, then I guess I’ll let this one slide. Basically, it just means to let time do its thing, and the pressure will release at its own sweet pace (between 20-30 minutes from now). After a few minutes, you can also just open the vent yourself.
Step 6: Open the lid.
Pop open that lid and marvel at the beautiful, silky texture and color of this golden-brown pot of deliciousness that you created with your bare hands and unparalleled culinary skills. Once you’re done marveling, carefully scoop out the chicken pieces to debone. (Yes, this was my least favorite part of the recipe, too. It gave me serious FOMO for boneless chicken breasts, but I persisted.)
Here is the prettiest picture I could muster of the bones and the chicken all separated so deftly. (Note: This is NOT how things looked during the process.)
Step 7: Devour your lovely creation.
At last, toss the shredded chicken into the soup broth and pull up a chair to serve yourself a bowl of this yummy goodness. Bon appétit!
- 2-3 lb. organic chicken
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
- 1 cup button mushrooms (you can leave them whole for aesthetics)
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed (I used the paste)
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 thinly sliced onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions to garnish