This Instant Pot (or oven) Italian Vegetable Beef Soup is bursting with vibrant Italian flavor, tender beef and an array of fresh veggies!
I had a different name in mind for this soup in lieu of Italian Vegetable Beef Soup. I wanted to call it, "Mama Fajoli's Italian Vegetable Beef Soup". But the title of this post was already long enough, so I decided to just share the story about why this soup should have a different name.
My little Carolina kitchen has seen a ton of this Italian Vegetable Beef Soup come and go over the past week, as I've been developing/testing this recipe. And each time I've made it, Scott has made me laugh out loud.
You see, this soup has an incredible aroma that fills the house as all the wonderful ingredients mingle and meld. About a half-hour in, as each batch of soup began to waft its amazing fragrance through the house, I'd hear some yelling from upstairs or downstairs or out in the garage, where ever Scott might be working. One morning, when I started cooking early the yell came from the bed, as he was just waking up.
Each time it was the same yell: "It smells like Mama Fajoli's Italian kitchen in here!". Who is Mama Fajoli? I have no idea, but for those few brief moments in time, I pictured myself as a little old Mama Fajoli!
After several trial runs, my cup was running over with Italian Vegetable Beef Soup, so I sent a container of it to our neighbors for an easy dinner after work. I got a text back later that evening that read:
We just ate the soup and WOW!!! It was amazing and delicious beyond words! I especially love how everything was chopped into little pieces. The flavors were incredible and we really enjoyed it.
Our friends next door are Italian and still have family in Italy, so I knew they would enjoy the story of Mama Fajoli. They wrote back: Definitely something I could see in Italy! I love the name!
Hmm... I think Scott was right!
The soup definitely has an Italian twist with pesto, fire-roasted tomatoes, oregano, fresh rosemary and anchovy paste in the ingredient list. Since I wanted this soup to be an easy, throw-it-all-in-the-Instant Pot (or oven) recipe, I added lots of these delicious flavor boosters.
I mentioned in an earlier post that I had finally bit the bullet and purchased an Instant Pot. For a long time, I resisted, thinking this was another food appliance fad. But for Christmas this year, Scott and I decided to purchase Instant Pots for our daughter and daughter-in-law. With both of them having young children and busy lifestyles, we thought it might be a really helpful kitchen tool for them.
I was shocked when, within days, they both texted me several times about how wonderful their new Christmas appliances were and what great success they were having with all kinds of things. That did it! A week later, I couldn't stand it any longer. I ordered an Instant Pot for myself and began to experiment.
Wow, I LOVE this little kitchen workhorse! I get so excited each time I pull it out and learn something else it can do. It's a multi-function machine that can replace 10 common kitchen appliances - pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice/porridge cooker, yogurt maker, cake maker, egg cooker, saute/searing, steamer, warmer, and sterilizer.
Honestly, just the egg setting alone is worth the price of the machine. We enjoy both hard and soft boiled eggs, but those crazy shells can be so difficult to remove! I've tried all the tricks with inconsistent success. But with the Instant Pot, the results are perfect every time and the shells almost slide off with completely intact eggs.
Another thing I love is that meat comes out so tender and can be browned right in the pot with the sauté setting. With this soup, however, browning isn't necessary. The beef comes out melt-in-your-mouth tender and the veggies, perfectly done. I had to experiment a bit to get the timing just right, but it's all set to go now!
(BTW, this is not a sponsored post, I just love my Instant Pot as so many others do. It makes putting a meal together so quick and easy - and with wonderful results!)
Just a side note - I don't want to exclude anyone from enjoying my recipes, so whenever I post an Instant Pot recipe I'll always share a stovetop, oven or slow cooker method as well. This time, I just threw all the Instant Pot Italian Vegetable Beef Soup ingredients in a Dutch oven and used a slow oven to achieve the same wonderful results. The only variance is the time; total time for the Instant Pot, 60 minutes (including prep time) - vs total time for the oven method, 5-6 hours (including prep time).
The recipe makes a large batch, but it keeps well for 3-4 days and makes wonderful school/work lunches and easy dinners on busy days! So if you're ready to become a little Italian grandmother for a day, put together a pot of this Instant Pot Italian Vegetable Beef Soup. Don't be surprised if you hear someone yelling, as the delicious aroma drifts through the entire house!
Café Tips for making this Instant Pot Italian Vegetable Beef Soup
- One tip I've learned when using the pressure cooking setting on my Instant Pot is to get the heat going right away. As I prep my ingredients I throw them in the pot with the setting on sauté. That way by the time I'm ready to pressure cook, the temperature is already close to where it needs to be.
- Pesto (purchased or homemade) is a wonderful flavor booster in this Italian Vegetable Beef Soup. Its' ingredient list includes basil, garlic, olive oil and parmesan cheese which are all fabulous soup seasonings, in one little scoop.
- I really like the pesto that both Sam's Club and Costco carry in the refrigerated section. Their pestos have a beautiful bright green hue and great flavor. They're also very reasonably priced compared to most purchased pestos. These pestos come in large jars, but I keep mine in the freezer. When I need some, I just let it thaw slightly, scoop out whatever amount I need, then throw it back in the freezer. If you don't have a Sam's Club or Costco near you, just look for pesto that has a nice color and a simple list of ingredients. There shouldn't be much more than basil, olive oil, pine nuts and parmesan cheese.
- Don't skip the anchovy paste! I have to admit, I especially like using canned anchovies when I cook. The way they look kind of grosses me out. But anchovies add wonderful flavor and anchovy paste is a wonderful way to go. You can use a small amount and then store the tube in the refrigerator till next time you need it. Anchovy paste in a tube will keep for several months in the refrigerator.
- Because I'm a little lazy, I just use a one-pound bag of the mini carrots. No peeling! Just don't slice those carrots too thin as they're pretty slender and you don't want them getting done too soon. I cut them about ½-inch thick.
- The recipe calls for canned or frozen corn. I don't generally use canned corn, but a while back a friend introduced me to Summer Crisp Corn. You can find it at most supermarkets in the regular canned vegetable section. You can also use frozen corn. Look for the tiny, super sweet varieties.
- Look for nice lean stew beef. If the beef at your market is not super lean, purchase a little bit extra to account for trimming.
- I've also used a lean chuck roast for this Italian Vegetable Beef Soup and just cut it up in bite-size pieces. I think a sirloin tip roast would also work well.
- You might think there's an error in the recipe, as fresh rosemary is listed twice in the ingredients. That is correct. It's cooked along with the other soup ingredients, but also added at the end after the soup is completed. This double rosemary is another flavor booster secret!
- Instant Pots are available in several different models. I have the 6-quart Instant Pot Ultra. While not cheap, this appliance is amazingly versatile and much less expensive than many multifunction slow cookers.
- 2 14 ½- ounce can diced, fire-roasted tomatoes
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 large onion diced
- 1 pound small potatoes
- 1 pound carrots
- ¼ cup pesto
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
- 2 large bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoons oregano
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons mild paprika
- 1-2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds lean stew beef or lean chuck roast
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 14 ½- ounce can super sweet canned corn or 1 16-ounce bag sweet frozen corn
To cook in the Instant Pot:
Combine beef broth and tomatoes in Instant Pot. Turn settings to sauté high and bring mixture to a boil while prepping other ingredients.
Dice onion into ¼-inch dice. Cut potatoes in quarters or bite-size pieces if using larger potatoes. Slice carrots into ¼-inch slices. Add onion, potatoes and carrots to Instant Pot.
Add pesto, Worcestershire sauce, anchovy paste, bay leaves, brown sugar, oregano, rosemary, paprika, salt and pepper to mixture in the Instant Pot.
Cut beef into ½-inch pieces, discarding excess fat. Add meat to pot with other ingredients and stir.
Place lid on the instant Pot, make sure the vent nozzle is in the non-venting position, set to”pressure cook - high“ and set timer for 25 minutes.
Carefully release steam manually using the valve on top. When pressure is completely released, remove the lid.
Coarsely chop spinach. Add to hot soup and stir until slightly wilted.
Add fresh chopped rosemary and corn. Stir to combine. Serve and enjoy!
Preheat oven to 300˚F. Combine all ingredients (prep as instructed above) in a large Dutch oven. Bring to a boil on the stove top then cover and place in the oven for 4 ½-5 hours or until carrots and potatoes are very tender. When finished, remove from oven and add fresh rosemary and corn. Stir well. Serve and enjoy!
See Café Tips above in post for additional instructions and tips.
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