Instant Pot

Instant Pot Vegetable Beef Soup

by:
October 10, 2019
12 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin. Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog. Prop Stylist: Brooke Deonarine.
Author Notes

Some call it hamburger soup, others call it vegetable beef soup. Whatever you call it, this Instant Pot one-pot wonder is exactly the kind of comfort food you want to eat on a cold fall day. Existing in some notional territory between a loose tomato chili and a hearty beef stew, vegetable beef soup is a fortifying number stuffed with ground beef, green beans, peas, carrots, and a slew of aromatic spices. A grilled cheese would go great with, as would a simple hunk of crusty bread and nutty Parmesan cheese. All you need is a bowl and a spoon—maybe a glass of red wine. —Eric Kim

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: A Quick, Comforting Instant Pot Soup You Can Set & Forget. —The Editors

  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 2 dried or fresh bay leaves
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into thick coins
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can beef stock
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Finely chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
  • Parmesan cheese and crusty bread, for serving (optional)
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. In an electric pressure cooker such as the Instant Pot, turn on the Sauté function and let it preheat until it reads "Hot." Add olive oil and ground beef and sauté 5 minutes, then add onion and garlic. Let cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add tomato paste, soy sauce, oregano, celery seed, and bay leaves and stir, cooking 1 to 2 minutes. Add carrots, beef stock, and diced tomatoes and stir, then lock lid. Pressure-cook on high 20 minutes. Let pressure release naturally or, if you’re in a hurry, carefully flick the valve.
  3. Stir in the frozen peas and green beans; they should thaw immediately. Season with vinegar, salt, and pepper and garnish with parsley. Serve in bowls with optional Parmesan (plus grater) and bread.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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Eric Kim is the Table for One columnist at Food52. Formerly the managing editor at Food Network and a PhD candidate in literature at Columbia University, he is currently working on his first cookbook, to be published by Clarkson Potter in Spring 2022. His favorite writers are William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and Ernest Hemingway, but his hero is Nigella Lawson. You can find his bylines at Saveur, Bon Appétit, and The New York Times and follow him on Twitter @ericjoonho. Born and raised in Georgia, Eric lives in a tiny shoebox in Manhattan with his dog, Quentin "Q" Compson.

28 Reviews

Victoria D. November 20, 2020
This was delicious.... the whole family enjoyed it. Added frozen sweet potatoes for the pressure cook portion. They blended themselves into the broth and made it a creamy soup/stew...... Yum!
 
JessicaKing November 10, 2020
Made this last night and it was a HIT! I added potatoes and they fit in beautifully. I didn't have red wine vinegar so I opened a bottle of red and did 50/50 red wine:white vinegar. Worked like a charm. Plus, then I got to have wine. ;) It's a bit like a stew, so we ate it over Calrose rice. Incredibly tasty! I wonder what this would be like with chicken instead...
 
Deborah K. September 26, 2020
I live this recipe! It turns out great even when I'm missing a few ingredients. It's a great wsy to use up fresh and leftover veggies as well. I was out of tomatoe paste so I hunted in the fridge for substitutes and used two condiment containers of salsa left over from take out mexican and a few dashes of curry flavored ketchup left over from a market box and it tasted really good (and the family liked it too!). I should point out I am not a gourmet chef, so this recipe is also very forgiving!
 
Jared S. September 25, 2020
Wonderful simple recipe that is very healthy and tasty.
 
robin L. April 2, 2020
I'm always hesitant when a recipe calls for browning ground beef and then not draining it before going on to the next steps. If you're going to make it and eat it the next day you can scoop the layer of fat off the top; if you eat it right away it could be too oily...?
 
Susan B. November 13, 2020
I’m thinking of doing sautéing in a separate pan and pouring off the fat from the ground beef which is usually plentiful and not flavorful. Then I’ll put sautéed ingredients in the Instant Pot. I diode some people will complain about the extra pan to wash, but Sheesh, it’s one pan. Might improve the next-day results, too.
 
Liz January 26, 2020
I was just, not even 15 minutes ago, unpacking leftovers from a work party foisted on my by my boss when I came across a vacuum sealed pound of ground beef. "I should look for a recipe for ground beef soup", I thought to myself. Lo and behold, it actually waiting for me in my email inbox already!

My elementary school didn't really deviate from the rectangle pizza/chicken nuggets/Mac n cheese/meatloaf/cafeteria burgers routine (that I remember). This looks pretty darn good. And I already have everything for it in the cupboard and freezer, to boot! An extra lazy-Sunday-don't-have-to-leave-the-house bonus.
 
Carol S. January 15, 2020
I made this back in October, and we loved it. My husband said it tasted like it had been cooked a day or 2 before, and refrigerated to let the flavors meld. He couldn't tell from the flavor or texture that it was ground beef instead of 'stew meat'. Being there is only 2 of us, I put the leftovers in the refrigerator and we finished it 2 days later. Oh my, what a difference in flavor, and not in a good way. It had lost that wonderful depth of flavor it had the first night, and tasted more like what you would get out of a can or a soup made with nothing but processed ingredients. So I will be halving the recipe when I make it in the future unless we've invited our son to join us.
 
JessicaKing November 9, 2020
I wonder if the other half would freeze well?
 
Icemanxxxv December 21, 2019
This was very hearty and flavorful meal. I tossed in a medium size diced potato that I had laying around, otherwise it was by the book. I did have to close the lid and bring to pressure and then release after adding the frozen veggies. Very good with my homemade sourdough bread.
 
DennisH December 16, 2019
Thanks for this recipe. Exactly what I was looking for. So many of these soups rely on starches like rice or beans and they just thicken the broth. This has a lively and upbeat feel on the palate while maintaining the deep flavor it should. I substituted small chunks of bite size chuck steak for the ground beef. Kept everything else to the recipe. Great stroke adding the frozen beans and peas. They maintained that crunch even on re heating. This is one soup that doesn't smack of being made in an instant pot.
 
Heather A. December 11, 2019
This was so comforting and delicious! What I love is it seems infinitely riffable, based on whatever vegetables you have. I threw in a can of light red kidney beans and a handful of frozen corn and was not sorry. :)
 
Lynn November 12, 2019
Really enjoyed this recipe. basic ingredients but so tasty. My grand kids will love it. I used corn in stead of green beans just because that is what i had. but enjoyed the texture of the corn.
 
Author Comment
Eric K. November 12, 2019
Doesn't seem like it'd be that special, but just tastes good doesn't it? Thanks for commenting, Lynn.
 
Beth November 10, 2019
What if you want to use fresh green beans instead of frozen? Would you add them with the other ingredients before pressure cooking?
 
Author Comment
Eric K. November 10, 2019
Hi Beth, you could! What I'd do, though, is add them at the very end just as I would the frozen. Depends on what kind of green bean texture you prefer. I love that fresh snap, so would only cook them a couple of minutes before serving. And then some people might want that soft texture, which is common for a soup like this. So you do you?

Good luck!
 
Beth November 10, 2019
Thanks Eric!! I'll give it a try both ways, although we have an Instant Pot minestrone recipe that we love that cooks the beans with the soup, so that might be my first go-to.
 
cimton October 13, 2019
Delicious! I substituted ground turkey for the beef (& also added some chopped fingerling potatoes that I had laying around) and it was so, so good!
 
airops19 November 10, 2019
Hi...Did you use beef broth or another substitute? Thanks.
 
Author Comment
Eric K. November 10, 2019
Chicken broth/stock works great here, as well.
 
Kelli A. October 12, 2019
Could I just make this in a Dutch oven and let it simmer if I have the time?
 
Peanut November 10, 2019
I’m sure you could, but the real question is how would that affect the taste/texture? I’d love to hear from anyone who’s tried it.
 
Author Comment
Eric K. November 10, 2019
Yes! That would work just fine. The only thing about the Instant Pot is that it does, indeed, tenderize the ground beef in just 30-40 minutes. In the Dutch oven, I'd just let it simmer on low for a good hour or two.
 
Loren M. October 11, 2019
Thanks for the walk down remembrance alley! This was also one of my favorite school lunches back in Kingman, Indiana in the 50's and 60's. I'll be making an Instant Pot of it this weekend.............a tool from the present making a favorite from the past. Thanks much for bringing it back.
 
Peanut November 10, 2019
I remember a friend’s mom making hamburger soup, using a big can of V8 along with the meat and any veggies she had on hand.
 
Author Comment
Eric K. November 10, 2019
I love that you remember it. I've had trouble finding others who did. Thanks for commenting, Loren. x
 
Mrs S. October 11, 2019
I think you could significantly cut down on pressure cooking time - I would try 10 minutes next time, maybe even less (your meat is cooked anyway, so you're basically looking at the aromatics, right?). Also, I read somewhere that most canned beef broth is pretty awful and that you have better luck replacing it with chicken broth, so that's what I've been doing. Lastly, if you're planning to eat this over several meals, I would add the frozen peas and beans as I went - else it's the overcooked-beans (and peas) scenario all over again.
 
Author Comment
Eric K. November 10, 2019
Good tips!