I have had my Instant Pot for a few months now and hadn't used it yet. I'd heard what a time-saver it was, how easy it was to use, how people didn't know what they did before owning one they loved it so much, I really liked that the pot inside is stainless steel so wouldn't leach any icky stuff into food - and still, I kept putting it off. It was something new to learn and I was so busy. I get the irony - the Instant Pot is meant to save time. OK, I will admit: I was a little intimidated by this big electrical pot with all the buttons. Plus, was it really going to be a useful gadget or just another space-stealer? But when I received a copy of Kathy Hester's new cookbook, The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for your Instant Pot, for her book tour, I was inspired to finally learn how to use it. I had heard through the grapevine that Kathy was the Instant Pot expert, so I knew I was in good hands. Time to try it out.
So many recipes caught my eye. Ooh, Asian Steamed Dumplings! Tempeh, Potato and Kale Bowl! Tequila-Lime Jalapeno Really Hot Sauce! Salted Date Caramel Tapioca Pudding! In the end, I settled on what seemed to be one of the easiest Instant Pot recipes for my unexperienced self: Indo-Chinese Corn Soup. Kathy not only has an "Everything You Need to Know About Your Instant Pot" intro to get a person started, she includes a section called "Five Recipes to Start You Out". Yet I was so curious about the indo-chinese flavors in this soup that I chose it for my first Instant Pot experience.
I looked over the manual and the helpful Instant Pot tips in the cookbook's intro and quickly realized that this machine was easier to clean and operate than it seemed. Most of the parts can be thrown in the dishwasher. There are plenty of safety features and the buttons are actually very straightforward. For the corn soup recipe, it was just a matter of throwing everything in the pot and running it for 10 minutes. The Instant Pot automatically goes into a "Keep Warm" mode which can go for up to 10 hours, allowing dinner to be made in the morning or breakfast the night before. Love that!
Once it was done cooking and cooled off enough to lift the lid, I gave it a taste. That cumin was there in the forefront but with a nice balance of all the other flavors, too. I can see why Kathy calls it Indo-Chinese Corn Soup, with the cumin and ginger flavors together. Delish. I did find that it was a bit salty, and can see how water with a bouillon cube might be the way to go. I used Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base, not the low-sodium version - I would use that next time. I ended up adding a couple of cups of water to the pot in the end and it was great, although thinner than the recipe intends.
There is texture and a pleasant mix of flavors in each bite by blending a portion. I used my usual soup-blending method with the immersion blender blending directly in the pot, guessing at when I'd blended the right amount. That way there was no transferring. It turned out well - the soup was still a hit - but next time I will take out the three cups and blend them in my actual blender so that there are more whole veggies. Check out the picture in Kathy's book to see the difference. It's a lot easier to transfer a few cups than a whole pot of soup, which is when the immersion blender is useful. If I was setting the Instant Pot in the morning for dinner that night, I could just do the blending shortly before serving. Easy.
My family really liked this soup. They want more! It will be so easy to give them what they want, thanks to the Instant Pot! Thanks for these helpful, delicious recipes, Kathy!
I found the whole process easy and I can see how handy the Instant Pot will be for making meals ahead and shortening cook times on busy days. Can't wait to try cooking beans it!
Indo-Chinese Corn Soup Recipe
Recipe from The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for your Instant Pot
by Kathy Hester
Recipe printed here with author's permission.
VEGAN | WFPB | EASY | QUICK | GLUTEN-FREE | OIL-FREE | 30 MINUTES OR LESS | SOUP
Toppings I used: toasted sesame seeds and scallions
Easy to follow, nutritious recipes:
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Thank you so much for sharing my recipe. I hope you'll fall in love with your Instant Pot like I have : )
My pleasure, Kathy! Thanks for your delicious recipes that are helping me get to know my Instant Pot. I already am falling in love with it!