I adore my Instant Pot and use it all the time, but when I got it I was so infatuated with its “sauté” and “pressure cook” functions that I basically never branched out into the Instant Pot’s other settings. And while the pressure cook function makes a great soup, there’s a whole “soup” setting on many Instant Pot models that soup-lovers should really try. It’s perfect for quickly getting a long-simmered flavor, because it controls the Instant Pot’s temperature and pressure so it stays at a simmer and never reaches a full boil. It’s perfect for stock and broth, and for things like this classic beef and vegetable soup.
As with many Instant Pot recipes, this one starts with the sauté function. Heat some olive oil and use it to brown cubes of fresh beef. The author suggests using sirloin for this soup because it does not have a lot of fat and is very easy to cut into cubes, especially because it does not have a bone. It also has enough firmness to stand up to Instant Pot cooking without falling completely apart, although the author assures us that when it comes out of the pot, it will be tender and delicious and you’ll be able to cut it with a spoon.
Technically you could skip the browning stage, but the soup will taste better if you brown, and the author says browning the meat also helps it keep its shape better in the soup.
Next add garlic, onions, and celery and cook for a few more minutes. Then turn off the Instant Pot and add cubed butternut squash, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, two bay leaves, and beef broth. Cook everything on high pressure for seven minutes and let the pressure release naturally, or use the soup button if your machine has one. You can even make this soup on the stove if you like; just use a regular pot and simmer everything for about 20 minutes and you’ll have a hearty winter soup with a lot of great, flavorful broth.