Tonight I tried my new Instant Pot for the first time. I've spent some time looking at lots of recipes, and I've found a BUNCH of interesting stuff. But for its maiden voyage, I decided to try something simple... something already a staple and well-loved dish in our home... Potato Soup.
The verdict: SUCCESS!
The soup was yummy, just like it is if I cook it on the stove top, but the cooking time was a lot less. It took the Instant Pot about 10 minutes to come to pressure, but once it did, the actual cook time was 5 minutes. Then, another 5 or so minutes to let the pressure off, and it was done. I liked that I didn't have to wait/watch for my potatoes to boil... didn't have to check them with a fork to be sure... didn't have to "reduce to simmer". I also love that the Instant Pot automatically goes to "keep warm" mode once the cooking time is over. This is SUPER handy!
This is the recipe I used:
10 medium potatoes, peeled & cubed3 stalks celery, chopped small
1/2 a medium onion, chopped small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 TBSP seasoned salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
6 TBSP butter
4 cups chicken broth (or water)
Put all of the above in the pot and lock the lid on. Choose "manual", then use the +/- buttons to set 5 minutes of cooking time. (Hint - DON'T push "timer" and then set the time. The timer will run, but the pot will not start the pre-heat process. Just push "manual", then use the +/- buttons to set the time.) The display will read "On" as the pot pre-heats and comes to pressure. Once pressure is reached, the 5 minute timer automatically begins. (Trust me... the cooking time WILL begin once the pot is at pressure. I was worried, because for several minutes it looked like nothing was happening, but it WILL start cooking once the pot reaches pressure!)
When the 5 minutes are up, do a "quick release" - move the pressure valve from "sealing" to "venting". The pressure will immediately (and abruptly!) begin to release. After a few minutes, the silver indicator next to the value will drop, letting you know it's safe to remove the lid. At this point, I used a potato masher to "semi-mash" the potatoes. This step helps to thicken the broth, but I always leave quite a few chunks of potato for a nice texture. Then, I stir in 1/2 cup of half-and-half (you could use cream or milk as well) to make it creamy! Serve with bacon bits, shredded cheese, sour cream, or whatever else you like!