Instant Pot chicken vegetable soup to warm your insides! Bone-in chicken pieces are pressure-cooked with fresh vegetables, ginger, garlic and whole spices to make a pleasing, silky-smooth soup that's also very healthy. Serve with a side of your choice like baked corn on the cob for a seriously good meal.
Soup season is here, and I'm so happy! It's time to bring out those bowls of soup for some much-needed warmth.
Question for you here: What's better than a big bowl of chicken and vegetable soup on a chilly fall/winter day?
Answer: A big bowl of chicken and vegetable soup made in the Instant Pot, that's what!
The Instant Pot and soup are made for each other. Pressure cooking speeds up the soup-making process and you don't have to babysit the meat and veggies cooking away in the pot either. And we all love hands-off recipes, don't we? YASS.
Another light and wholesome chicken soup is chicken lemon coriander soup. Like this soup, it's made with freshly prepared broth and has the shredded cabbage for the perfect crunch.
And I can't resist mentioning this Indo-British mulligatawny soup. It's my personal favorite because of the sheer depth of flavor and taste it has. Chunky and comforting at the same time, it's got chicken, apples, lentils, carrots, broth and coconut cream. Somehow, everything comes together in a beautiful fusion of color and taste!
What makes this recipe work
1. This is a made from scratch soup recipe with no canned 'cream of' anything, no oil and no unhealthy ingredients.
2. It is fresh and wholesome with the goodness of vegetables, lemon, parsley and whole spices.
3. It is very soothing - perfect for the wet, chilly days ahead.
- Bone-in chicken for full taste and depth - you don't have to be picky about the cuts. It's soup, folks, so feel free to throw in any and every piece that you can find in your freezer.
- Fresh veggies - onions, tomatoes, carrots, corn, potatoes...again anything you have at hand. Throw in pumpkin, squash or celery for more goodness and veggie power (I didn't for this recipe, but feel free to switch and swap). Try not to leave the onions and tomatoes though.
- Peeled ginger and garlic for lots of flavor.
- Whole spices - cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaf to give your soup some punch.
- A knob of butter, freshly ground black pepper, a dash of lemon and chopped parsley to garnish the soup.
- cornflour dissolved in water to thicken it.
Notes: I served this instant pot soup with baked corn on the cob. Of course, this is totally optional, but I will share how to bake the corn in the recipe post so you could make it if you wanted to.
The color of your soup will depend on the vegetables you use. Carrots, tomatoes and corn make it a warm and cheery orange-yellow, and if you add pumpkin, it will only deepen the hues. Add beets and you've got a fiery red!
How to make chicken and vegetable soup
Step 1 - Chop all the veggies into rough chunks (no need to get fancy here) and throw them in the inner pot. Add the ginger, garlic, chicken pieces and whole spices tied in a bag. Fill the pot with 8 cups of water.
Step 2 - Pressure cook the contents for 8 minutes with QPR (quick pressure release) after 20 minutes.
Step 3 - Open the pot and take out the chicken and whole spices. Remove the bones from the chicken and discard the bones and whole spices.
Step 4 - Add the chicken back to the pot and, using an immersion blender, blend the contents very well to make a thick broth.
Note: if you don't have an immersion blender, wait for the contents to cool down, then whiz in your normal blender to get the broth.
Step 5 - Pass this broth through a sieve to separate the solids from the soup. Press down with the back of a big spoon to extract all the juice from the blended chicken and veggies.
Step 6 - Return the soup to the inner pot and press the saute button. Add a little cornflour dissolved in water to the soup and stir until the soup thickens. Cancel saute.
Step 7 - Pour the soup in bowls and squeeze a lemon wedge into each one. Add a knob of butter and garnish with parsley and fresh ground black pepper.
How to bake the corn on cob (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
2. Soften two tablespoons butter in the microwave and add 2 teaspoons lemon juice, half a teaspoon salt, and a few rounds of black pepper from the grinder. Brush this mixture on the corn cobs.
3. Place the cobs in a baking tray and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. If you want a char on the cobs, broil them for a minute or two, then remove from the oven. Serve with the soup.
Hacks to make this soup recipe simpler, easier and less time consuming
1. Use boneless chicken thighs - I know, I know. I did say to use bone-in chicken above, and it's true, the bones will add a depth of flavor to the soup. But you'll save yourself some time if you don't have to separate the bones from the cooked chicken. I have made this soup plenty of times with boneless chicken thighs with very pleasing results. Do what suits you.
2. Use frozen chicken - the instant pot is a great appliance for cooking meat from frozen. If you are not in the mood for thawing your meat, don't. Add it straight from the freezer into the pot. Do remember, however, to increase the pressure cooking time from 8 minutes to 12 minutes.
3. Tie the whole spices in a square piece of cheesecloth before adding them to the pot - I don't know about you, but I don't like tiny bits of cloves or cardamom getting into my mouth as I'm eating my soup. And fishing them out after the soup is cooked is a chore! The way out is to bundle the whole spices in a clean square piece of cheesecloth, tie a knot and dunk this bag into the pot. You can remove the bag easily once the soup is done. Genius, right?!
4. Don't strain the cooked soup - yes, that's right. If you don't care for the consistency much, don't bother straining the soup. Just make sure that you've blended it to a smooth puree sans lumps and bumps, and you're good to go.
If you don't strain the soup, there's no need to thicken it with cornflour either. No straining also means you will not be throwing away all that fibre from the veggies.
So, why strain it in the first place? Well, it makes for a prettier, lighter and smoother soup, that's why. Strained soup is more like the kind of soup served in restaurants. Totally up to you to adapt the recipe as per your taste and preference.
How to reheat and store the chicken veggie soup
If there's leftover soup, wait for it to come to room temperature first, then transfer to a glass bowl with a lid. Store in the fridge for 3-5 days.
To reheat the soup, it's best to heat it slowly on the stove-top or your instant pot (saute - less or normal). However, if you are in a hurry, stick it in the microwave for a few minutes, stir and enjoy!
More instant pot comfort foods
Instant Pot Chicken Vegetable Soup
- 3 pieces of bone-in chicken
- 10-12 baby carrots
- 1 small potato peeled
- ¼ cup corn
- 1 medium tomato
- 1 medium onion peeled
- ½ inch piece ginger peeled
- 3 garlic cloves peeled
- 1 black cardamom
- 2 green cardamom
- 10-15 peppercorns
- 4 cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 8 cups water
- 5 tablespoon cornflour dissolved in 6-7 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 sprig parsley chopped
- ½ teaspoon black pepper powder ground
- Chop all the vegetables into big chunks and throw them in the inner pot. Add ginger and garlic, chicken pieces and whole spices tied in a bag made out of a square piece of cheesecloth. Fill the pot with 8 cups of water.
- Press the pressure cooking button (high), set the timer to 8 minutes for fresh chicken and 12 minutes for frozen, and close the lid. Make sure the steam release handle is closed. When the timer beeps, wait for 20 minutes before releasing the steam.
- Open the pot and take out the chicken and whole spices. Remove the bones from the chicken and discard the bones and bag of whole spices.
- Add the chicken back to the pot and, using an immersion blender, blend the contents very well to make a thick broth. If you don't have an immersion blender, wait for the contents to cool down, then whiz in your normal blender to get the broth.
- Pass this broth through a sieve to separate the solids from the soup. Press down with the back of a big spoon to extract all the juice from the blended chicken and veggies.
- Return the soup to the inner pot and press the saute button. Add a little cornflour dissolved in water to the soup and stir until the soup thickens. Cancel saute.
- Pour the soup in bowls and squeeze a lemon wedge into each one. Add a knob of butter and garnish with parsley and fresh ground black pepper.
- If you want to make baked corn cobs along with the soup, preheat the oven to 400 F. Brush the cobs with melted butter, salt and black pepper and bake in a sheet pan for 20-25 minutes.
- Use frozen, boneless chicken if you're short on time.
- You have the option not to strain the cooked soup. In this case, there is no need to add cornflour to it as it will be thick already.
- There is a wide variety of vegetables you can use for this recipe. If you don't have some of the vegetables mentioned in this recipe, don't worry, put the ones you do have. Don't leave out the onions and tomatoes though.
- The nutritional calculation is for unstrained soup since there is no way to calculate it once the soup has been strained.