Hey there friends. Can you believe January is already over? Seriously, where did it go? I don’t know where you are in the world, but up here in Montreal it is cold as f… well I don’t want to cuss, so let’s just say its really cold. Like negative double digits cold, in both Celsius and Fahrenheit, doesn’t matter which way you slice it. Negative double digits in both. Which basically means there is only one thing on the menu right now. Soup. Every type. Everyday.
Now you guys know how much I love me some kitchen gadgets, but I have to say the one piece of kitchen equipment that has really stolen the show over the past year has been the Instant Pot. If your slow cooker was Bruce Banner, the Instant Pot would be the Hulk. All hyped up with extra features and cooking power. Also while it does has a slow cooker feature built in, its actually an electric (and programmable) pressure cooker. Meaning you can cook meals in less than half the time. And over the past couple months will all the writing I’ve been doing, that has been a major blessing. It means I can throw all the ingredients into the pot, select one of the pre-programmed cycles, and walk away. And in under 30 minutes, I have a delicious pot of soup and can sit down for a nice comforting meal.
Hence this minestrone soup. Completely vegan, and gluten-free, made directly in the Instant Pot. Also, its made with dried beans, no pre-soaking required. Of course, if you want to, you can pre-soak the beans to aid in digestibility and cut the cooking time down to about 15 minutes, but it isn’t necessary. And more often than not, I cook directly from dry because I rarely have enough foresight these days to plan for soaking beans overnight. Now if you don’t have an Instant Pot, and aren’t entirely sure you’re ready to invest in one (I get it, it took me a while too), you can absolutely make this over the stove. Just account for some extra cooking time (probably about 45 minutes to an hour total) and do soak your beans in advance. Unless you plan on having this simmer on the stove for hours on a Sunday afternoon. Which is also perfectly acceptable, and sounds quite wonderful, to be honest.
I love this recipe because aside from a couple of items, I usually have the majority of these ingredients in my fridge and pantry on daily basis. It’s also a great way to use up leftover veggies that might be lurking at the back of the fridge before they are too far gone. It has a great depth of flavor to it and it super hearty with its blend of beans and gluten-free pasta. A note of the pasta. I love to use gluten-free chickpea pasta in this recipe, as its a little sturdier than traditional pasta noodles and holds up well in the soup. I cook them separately, rinse them under cold water once they are al dente, and add them to the soup right before serving. Of course, you could use any noodle you’d like, or even throw a ½ cup of uncooked brown rice directly into the soup pot, if you’d prefer. I’ve done it both ways, and to be honest I can’t tell which I prefer. They are both delicious. Give it a try and let me know your preference in the comments 😉
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil, or olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 3 medium carrots, diced
- 1 fennel bulb, cored and diced (green stalks removed)
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1 cup dried bean soup mix *See notes
- 1 28-ounce can
dicedtomatoes **See notes
- 3-4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 400g box gluten-free pasta
- Salt & pepper to taste
- In an Instant Pot, heat the coconut oil or olive oil using the saute feature, until it begins to ripple. Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent, 3-4 minutes.
- Add in the celery, carrots, fennel bulb, and dried rosemary and continue to cook just until the vegetables are beginning to soften and the rosemary is aromatic.
- Stir the in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, nutritional yeast, dried beans, and 3 cups of the vegetable stock.
- Cover the pot, locking the lid in place and turning the vent to the “sealing” position. Press cancel to stop the saute feature and next select the “Soup” cycle on your Instant Pot. The Instant Pot will automatically set itself for 30 minutes. If you have pre-soaked your beans overnight, use the “-” button to reduce the time to 15 minutes. After a few idle seconds, the machine will beep to indicate the cycle has begun.
- While the soup is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gluten-free pasta and cooking according to the to manufacturer’s instruction, removing them just short of the cook time while they still have some bite left to them. Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water to stop them from cooking with the residual heat. Set aside.
- Once the soup is cooked and the timer has run out, the pot will automatically go into “keep warm” mode and a new timer will begin. Let the soup rest for 10 minutes before turning the vent to the “venting/steaming” position, to avoid burning yourself with hot steam, drape a dishcloth over the vent before turning it.
- Allow the steam to completely escape causing the pressure indicator to drop. Open the pot and season with salt and pepper to taste. If the soup is too thick, add the remaining cup of vegetable stock and stir in the noodles.
**For a thicker soup, closer in structure to a stew, replace the diced tomatoes with crushed/ground tomatoes.
To make this recipe without an Instant Pot, follow the same instructions, and cook the soup in a large pot or dutch oven over the stove. Be sure to soak the beans overnight, to reduce the cooking time. Simmer for 45-60 minutes depending on the types of beans used.