Italian Soup in the Pressure Cooker

Italian Soup

This will quickly become one of your favorite soups, not only because it can quickly be made in the pressure cooker, but also because it is delicious.  This Italian Soup with potatoes, rice, and spinach will taste like it has been slowly cooking all day, but will maintain a higher nutrient content because it was cooked quickly in the pressure cooker.  The secret with this and every other recipe is to have all the ingredients chopped and ready to go.

It could actually be considered a vegetarian soup, but because it is so hearty, you don’t even miss the meat.  You could add any meat you wish to this soup if you like.  If you do add meat it will change the calorie and fat content.  So make sure if you want it to remain low in calories that the meat is trimmed and it is one of the leaner cuts of meats.

Make sure you read the instructions with the cooker.  Make any adjustments that need to be made to fit the specifications of your particular pressure cooker.  A top of the line pressure cooker is made by Fagor.  If you need a new pressure cooker or an upgrade, I would recommend considering this multi-cooker.


Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 6 leeks
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 carrots
  • ½ cup Arborio  rice
  • 3 large potatoes
  • 5 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup parsley
  • 2  celery stalks
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 10 ounces fresh spinach
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup fontinella cheese

Prep Work:

  1. Wash leeks thoroughly and then cut off just the white parts.  Slice thinly and then place in a large bowl of water for 10 minutes.  Pour leeks into a colander to drain. This extra washing makes sure all the sand in the leeks is removed.
  2. Crush garlic.
  3. Wash and slice carrots into bite size pieces.
  4. Wash and cut potatoes into large chunks.
  5. Chop parsley coarsely.
  6. Slice celery into bite size pieces.
  7. Grate and mix cheeses together.
  8. Wash and coarsely chop spinach or use the prepackaged baby spinach.

Cooking Procedure:

Heat oil in pressure cooker.  Add leeks, garlic, and carrots and sauté for 2 minutes.

Add rice and potatoes and cook for 1 minute.

Add broth, parsley, celery, bay leaf, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, thyme, marjoram, lemon juice, tomato paste, and sugar.

Stir well and secure lid of pressure cooker.  Over high heat bring steam to high pressure.  Reduce heat to maintain steam on medium pressure.  Cook for 4 minutes.

Reduce pressure to remove lid according to manufacturer’s instructions. Remove bay leaf.

Stir in fresh spinach and let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Ladle into serving bowls and top with the cheeses that have been mixed together.

Note:  If you want this to be a purely vegetarian dish, consider replacing the chicken brother with a vegetable broth.

This is delicious with a piece of Italian bread or garlic bread.  Keep in mind this will change the calorie count.  Although the bread will add to the calorie count, you can still afford to eat a piece because the soup is so low in calories to begin with.

Options:

There are so many different variations to this soup.  You are only limited by your imagination when it comes to adding vegetables, meat, noodles, beans, or dumplings.  This is a basic soup to keep the calories low.  But if you want to experiment, the calories will still be low if you are careful with whatever else you want to add.