If you read this blog regularly, you might have noticed that we make a lot of soup, especially tomato soup! Is there anything better than a hot mug of tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich on a cold winter day? One of my favorite recipes is this creamy tomato basil soup for the Instant Pot. My family loves this soup, and I love it because it’s easy and inexpensive to make.
I got my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker more than a year ago, and it’s become one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. The thing I use it for the most is making soup. It has a pre-programmed soup setting, so cooking the soup is automatic.
This creamy tomato basil soup is packed with flavor, and with healthy veggies. Just a touch of heavy cream gives the soup richness without too many calories.
We’re having a January cold spell, and right now the temperature outside is a whopping 6 degrees. Which means my family wants nothing but soup for dinner. One of our all-time favorites is this winter minestrone with sausage, kale, and basil pistou. It’s packed with bold flavor and healthy veggies.
This red, green and white soup is a Christmas Eve tradition in our family, so sometimes I call it “Christmas minestrone.” We usually don’t have a heavy dinner Christmas Eve, because we’ve already stuffed ourselves at an annual family party during the day. After celebrating with a million and one relatives, we go home, make some minestrone, and play board games until it’s time to hang our stockings.
I’m always looking for recipes that are simple, tasty and healthy, and this 30-Minute Chicken Chili is all of those things. It’s spicy and satisfying, and it cooks up quickly with just a few staple ingredients. My family loves my Smoky Chipotle Turkey Chili recipe, but this chicken chili is lighter and less expensive to make. It’s more of a broth-based soup than a meaty chili.
One thing I love about fall is the return of soup season! One of the first soups I make every year when the weather turns cooler is this creamy tomato basil soup with orzo, which is based on a ready-made soup from Costco. It’s probably my favorite “Costco hack” recipe. I’ve made this soup dozens of times – for my family, for company or for potlucks – and people always ask me for the recipe.
I’m used to cooking for a crowd, but this week everyone has gone out of town except me and my teenage daughter. With just two women in the house, I’ve been making easy, light meals like this 10-minute wonton soup. It’s another “Coscto hack” recipe that you can throw together in less time than it takes to get through the line at the drive-through. Cooking from scratch is something I love to do, but sometimes circumstances call for something ultra-easy.
Everybody likes a dish they can customize, and that might be one of the reasons Mexican posole is trending in California and other parts of the U.S. Posole is certainly not new, but it seems to be gaining in popularity. Like Vietnamese pho, posole is a flavorful soup that individual diners top with fresh vegetables at the table. There are green chile and red chile versions of posole, usually made with chicken or pork.
This easy green posole recipe is made with fresh chiles and tomatillos, so it’s not as quick as my red posole, which gets its chile flavor from canned enchilada sauce. I still call it easy, though, especially because you can cook it hands-free using an electric pressure cooker or crock-pot. This recipe makes a big batch of soup, so you can freeze some of it in small containers for individual meals, or freeze half to serve for dinner later on a night you don’t have time to cook.
I’ve been using a pressure cooker for years – the old-fashioned kind with a rattly weight that sits on the top and a 1950s-looking pressure gauge. I love it for its ability to make food taste like it’s been cooking for hours, even when it’s only been cooking for 30 minutes or so. This past Christmas, I got a fancy electric pressure cooker, and it’s my favorite new toy. So far, I’ve mostly used the electric pressure cooker to make soup, including this easy red posole.
Posole (or pozole) is a classic Mexican soup or stew of meat, vegetables, chiles and hominy. If you’re not familiar with hominy, it’s big kernels of corn that have the outer husk removed. Hominy doesn’t taste like sweet corn, but more like the maize used to make tortillas or tortilla chips.
There are red versions of posole, usually made with pork, and green versions, usually made with chicken. Diners add fresh toppings – often sliced radishes, cabbage, diced onion, avocado, fresh cilantro or lime wedges – to their bowls of hot soup.
Traditional posole recipes involve soaking dried hominy and dried chiles, and stewing bony cuts of pork. This quick and easy version uses canned hominy and boneless pork loin, and it gets much of its flavor from a can of enchilada sauce. Pressure cooking makes this soup taste like it’s been simmering for hours. If you prefer, you can get the same effect from a slow cooker.
I absolutely love when I can take a tried-and-true recipe and transform it into something new, so my favorite tomato soup recipe has now become One Pot Tortellini and Tomato Soup. It’s an adaptation of my Crock-Pot Tomato Soup recipe with just a few changes that make a big difference.
The biggest change: tortellini, of course. There is something about adding pasta to tomato soup that makes it so comforting and extra delicious. My mom likes to add orzo to her tomato soup (yum), and in my house we are big tortellini fans. It’s so cheesy and hearty, and I always like to have a package in my freezer ready for cold winter nights when I’m short on time.
Anyone who cooks for a family knows that a recipe everybody likes is a find. Whatever you decide to make, there’s usually at least one person who refuses to eat it. For our family, this smoky chipotle turkey chili is an exception. It’s a favorite with everyone, and it’s become a family tradition. We serve it even on special occasions, like Sunday dinner and birthdays. When my college-age daughters moved out of the house, it wasn’t long before they called home and asked for the recipe.
There’s nothing I love more than a dinner that practically makes itself. Except perhaps a dinner that practically makes itself that’s also cheap, healthy, low-calorie, crowd-pleasing, and most importantly, delicious. This Crock-Pot Tomato Soup recipe is a staple in my kitchen during the colder months. The family gets to sit down together over a warm meal, even when I just walked in the door.
This soup is also great for entertaining family or friends who are vegetarian, vegan, or have food allergies. On it’s own its totally vegan and each guest can add toppings to their liking and sensitivity.
You’ll notice that this recipe calls for canned tomatoes instead of fresh, which makes it a perfect addition to your fall and winter dinner rotation. While I cherish the delicious, ripe tomatoes my back yard garden produces each year, canned tomatoes are a great option for when tomatoes are not in season and actually have some interesting health benefits.
I love that the prep time for this recipe is minimal. In the morning I quickly sauté the veggies, throw everything in the Crock-Pot and leave for the day. When I get home, I blend for a few minutes, and dinner’s ready. I like to serve this soup with a variety of soup toppings, a quick green salad and grilled cheese sandwiches on our Panini press. Each family member gets to choose their own soup and sandwich toppings, so it pleases kids and adults alike.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion – coarsely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper – coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 28-oz cans diced tomatoes
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
- Chopped fresh basil, for garnish
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil to medium-high. Cook and stir garlic, onions, and bell peppers until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Combine sauteed vegetables, tomatoes, vegetable broth, salt, and red pepper flakes in Crock-Pot. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
- Using an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth. Serve immediately with fresh basil as a garnish.
- Top with Parmesan cheese, croutons, yogurt, or grilled cheese croutons as desired.