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Our instant pot vegetable beef soup is a simple, yet filling Fall dish that combines stew meat with frozen veggies and is ready to eat in less than an hour.
In case you haven’t noticed, we’re gearing up for Fall and Winter. After living in Florida for almost a decade, it’s been a long time since we’ve experienced any real seasonal changes. Now that Kim and I are living in Arkansas, we know there’s bound to be some cold temperatures in the coming months.
So, we decided to go ahead and start sharing some of our cold weather dishes. For today’s post, I want to introduce to you our Instant Pot vegetable beef soup.
It’s a warm and comforting soup that takes less than an hour to prepare. The longest parts are waiting for it pressure cook and waiting on the natural release.
You might be wondering why Kim chose to cook it for 20-minutes and then add a 10-minute release. Honestly, we follow the online guide provided by the Instant Pot brand. Kim looked it up and 20-minutes was the right cooking time and the 10-minute natural release allows the meat to be tender. Hopefully, that answers your questions. How about we get started?
How to Make Vegetable Beef Soup:
First, start by add all the ingredients to the Instant Pot by layering the beef, beef broth, frozen vegetables, mushroom, tomatoes, bay leaves, and seasonings.
The reason you want to layer everything this way is because otherwise, you risk getting a burn notice. Remember, the instant pot has to have liquid on the bottom in order to properly pressure cook the ingredients.
Next, make sure the broth reaches the bottom of the pot, and close the lid. Turn the valve to “Sealing,” to ensure the pressure cooker builds enough pressure to start the cooking process.
Then, turn on the Instant Pot using the manual pressure/pressure cook button and set it to high pressure. Cook for 20 minutes then allow a 10 minute natural release.
Open the valve to release any remaining pressure. Don’t worry the vegetables will hold up to the cook time. Besides, I prefer softer veggies in my vegetable beef soup. There’s just something about it that reminds me of playing all day outside in the snow and then coming inside to eat a warm bowl of soup.
Last, remove the lid and stir the soup to combine the ingredients. Please, remove and discard the bay leaves prior to serving. Nobody wants to bite into a bay leave.
Serve the soup while it’s warm with crackers, crusty bread, or even a an Instant Pot cornbread. You can store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to three days.
As you can tell, this is a pretty easy recipe to throw together. Which, is perfect on those cold Winter days, when all you want is hot meal to warm your bones. Listed below are a couple of general tips that we hope you find useful.
Vegetable Beef Soup Tips:
- You could make this into a vegetable soup by removing the stew meat and using vegetable broth instead of beef broth.
- Again, I cannot emphasize this enough, please make sure the broth reaches the bottom of the pot to avoid a burn notice.
- Try searing the beef with a little vegetable oil before adding the rest of the ingredients. It will help lock in all those juices in the beef.
What cut of beef is best for vegetable beef soup?
We like to use stew meat, because when cooked properly it makes wonderfully tender bites of beef that work perfectly in this soup. Some other great options are chuck roast, chuck shoulder, or top chuck.
All of these cuts cook up nicely and are fall-apart tender. Not to mention, they add a beautiful flavor to this vegetable beef soup.
Why is the beef tough?
Beef soups and stews have been cooked on the stove top and slow cookers for generations. Those methods allowed for low cooking temperatures and long cook times which resulted in soft, tender, melt-in-your-mouth pieces of beef.
Enter the pressure cooker! Now that pressure cookers are mainstream, we want to treat them as a slow cooker/microwave hybrid of sorts. We want to be able to dump all the ingredients into one pot while having the fast and convenient cooking time of a microwave. Ok, maybe not that fast, but you get the picture.
When proteins are cooked in a pressure cooker, specifically an Instant Pot or similar model, the instructions state to allow a natural release. Meat needs time to break down and soften. Not cooking the beef long enough and not completing a natural release can result in tough, rubbery pieces of beef.
The meat in this recipe shouldn’t be tough. It should be tender and easy to shred with a fork. If you’re concerned that the beef may dry out, sear it ahead of time to lock in the juices. We skipped this step since the meat was cooking in broth and wasn’t likely to dry out.
Instant Pot Vegetable Beef Soup
- 1 Lb. Beef Stew Meat (cubed)
- 2 Cups Beef Broth
- 16 Ouces Frozen Mixed Vegetables
- 8 Ounces Mushrooms (canned or fresh/sliced)
- 1 14.5 Ounce Can Diced Tomatoes
- 2 Large Bay Leaves
- 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper (or to taste)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Thyme (or to taste)
- First, add all the ingredients to your instant pot. Try layering the beef, beef broth, frozen vegetables, mushroom, tomatoes, bay leaves, and seasonings to prevent a burn notice.
- Next, make sure the broth reaches the bottom of the pot, and close the lid. Turn the valve to “Sealing.”
- After that, turn on the Instant Pot using the manual pressure/pressure cook button and set to high pressure. Cook for 20 minutes then allow a 10 minute natural release. Open the valve to release any remaining pressure.
- Last, remove the lid and stir the soup to combine ingredients. Discard the bay leaves prior to serving.