Healing Chicken Soup in the Pressure Cooker

Friends, it happened. I got the flu last week, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. To be honest, I attribute it to two things: First, I was late getting my flu shot. Everybody else in my family got it early, and they’re thankfully fine. Lesson learned. I’m not invincible.

Wait, you see corn in this photo that isn’t in the ingredients? Are you saying you DON’T throw in leftover veggies when you make soup?

But even worse, I recently went to my favorite convention of Texas fairs and events, and I hugged approximately 167 cowboys and cowgirls. In January. In the height of flu season. But seriously, all my defenses go down when in the presence of cowboys I’ve known for years and love so dearly. 

So feeling like soup was the only thing that could possibly make me feel better, I decided to see if the rumors were true. Can you make soup quickly in a pressure cooker (or Instapot)? I’m here to tell you that you can.

I got on the pressure cooker bandwagon a year or so ago when I realized how quickly it could make delicious beans, one of the few foods my picky son will eat. And I’ve used it so much. Don’t be mad at me, but I dare say I love it even more than my crock pot! Here’s why.

Slow cookers require organization. There’s the night-before meal planning and meat thawing. And honestly, dealing with raw meat in the morning almost takes me over the edge. Plus, how many pounds do you think I gain during the day simply smelling a crock pot meal? I’m going to say 1.5, but I can’t be sure. 

With a pressure cooker, you can cook something in less than a half an hour, and it tastes like it’s been cooking all day. Also unlike a slow cooker, it doesn’t turn things to mush. I’m looking at you, every single pasta that has touched my crock pot. 

So today I made this delicious soup, with just a hint of Asian flair and lots of healthful ingredients, in about a half hour. And here’s the kicker. I started from frozen chicken. Yep, just dumped it in the pressure cooker and let it do its thing. I was going to go low carb, but I wimped out and added a few noodles at the last minute. Go ahead, I won’t judge. And while you’re not judging, feel free to put any flu/coughing home remedies in the comments. I’ve kicked it for the most part, but the cough hangs on.

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts – frozen is fine
8-10 cups water
2 big spoonfuls Better than Bullion (more or less to taste)
½ onion, chopped
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
3-4 cups carrots, chopped
2-3 cups celery, chopped
6-8 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 package riced cauliflower (fresh or frozen, or very finely chopped)
A few dashes fish sauce (if you have it)
½ T. dried basil
3 T. coconut aminos (use soy sauce if you don’t have aminos, but just 2 T.)
A few noodles, if you please
1.5 tsp sea salt, more or less to taste
¼ tsp black pepper, more or less to taste

Fill your pressure cooker with frozen chicken breasts, water and Better than Bullion. Feel free to add a bay leaf or two if you’re feeling crazy. Bring to pressure, and then reduce heat and cook for 6 minutes (maybe 3 minutes if fresh?). Let pressure release naturally. (If you’re not using pressure cooker, cook on the stove top for about 40 minutes from frozen or 20 minutes from fresh.)

While the chicken is cooking, chop your vegetables and thaw your cauliflower if needed.  Here, you have two choices. Wait till the chicken is cooked, then dump your veggies, ginger, garlic and turmeric into the water and remove the chicken breasts to shred. Or go the extra mile, and start sauteing your vegetables in a skillet with a little olive oil while your chicken cooks. Then when your chicken is done, remove to it shred and add veggies to the pot.

Either way, add the chicken back in, as well as the rest of the ingredients. Instead of salt and pepper, you could use Lawrys, or Cavenders, or more Better than Bullion… or a new fave, Goya Adobo seasoning (I got mine on Amazon). Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about a half hour.  If you’re adding pasta, you could add it about 10 minutes before done. Taste again for seasoning before serving!

Adapted from Living Well Mom.

What do you think?