Thursday, April 12, 2018

Instant Pot™ or Pressure Cooker Tomato and Rice Soup

The other night, I was craving tomato soup, but I wanted something a little more robust.  I thought that tomato rice soup, perhaps with a little chicken in it, might be just what the doctor ordered.  And what better way to cook it than the Instant Pot, right?  Right.

So I got out the ingredients, started with my Tomato Bisque and Chicken & Rice Soup recipes, and started doing some quick alterations in my head.  It came out pretty good.

I think it may need a few more tweaks before it's perfect, but it's good enough that I wanted to share it here.  Check back once in awhile because I'll be sure to tweak it if I find any major improvements.

Instant Pot™ or Pressure Cooker Tomato Rice Soup

Note: The chicken in this recipe is completely optional.  I like a little protein to make a full meal, so I included it in mine.  The chicken can go into the pot completely frozen if you wish.

1 28-oz can Crushed Tomatoes
2 sprigs fresh basil (optional)
2 cups water or chicken broth
1/2 onion, finely chopped or minced
1/2 cup white or jasmine rice
1/2 cup heavy cream or half & half
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 to 1/2 cup of sugar to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 to 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken tenders or breasts, whole (optional)

  1. Switch the pressure cooker to saute mode.  Add olive oil and onions and sweat the onions until they soften.  The more patient you are softening them, the smoother the final soup will be.
  2. Add crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, a heavy pinch of salt and pepper, and basil.  Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture as smooth as you possibly can.  If the crushed tomatoes don't seem to be breaking down and you have a bit of extra time, allow them to simmer a bit and then re-blend.
  3. Add rice and stir briskly to separate the grains.  Drop chicken pieces, whole, into the soup.
  4. Place the lid on the cooker and set the valve to closed/sealing.  Press Cancel, then Pressure Cook and set timer for 6 minutes.
  5. Once the cooking cycle is complete, quick release pressure immediately and carefully open the lid.
  6. Fish the pieces of chicken out of the pot, if using, and allow to cool slightly on a cutting board.  Meanwhile, stir the soup to distribute the rice into the liquid.  You may have to gently scrape the rice off the bottom of the pot, as it may have settled and stuck.
  7. Chop or shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces, removing any fat, tendons, or gristle, and return to the soup.  Stir it in.
  8. Stir-in cream.  Taste the soup and adjust seasoning.  Thin by adding additional warm water if necessary.  If soup is too thin, switch your pot to the saute or boil setting and simmer-down for a few minutes.
  9. Serve with toast or a piece of nice crusty artisan bread.  A dollup of sour cream or a generous sprinkle of grated or shredded cheese makes a delicious garnish.

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