Just in case you found an Instant Pot stuffed into your stocking on Christmas morning, I thought I'd share with you one of our very favorite things to do with ours (the Instant Pot, not the stocking). This soup is spectacularly good and comes together so quickly under pressure (not like stress, but physics).
I have a simple philosophy when it comes to the Instant Pot... which is that as much as I love the thing, I'm not going to cook anything in it that isn't made better by it. That means that even if it's easier or quicker, if it's not better, or at least as good, I'm having none of it. So when I tell you that this soup is awesome, it's because the Instant Pot made it better.
And this is where I think cooking under pressure really makes a difference. Instead of simmering for hours to develop this level of flavor, the IP extracts that flavor in a fraction of the time. And by adding the pasta (ditalini) after releasing the pressure, it never boils, which means an al dente pasta that doesn't fall apart in the broth.
Of course, you don't need an Instant Pot to make this. Just follow the directions in a heavy soup pot and let this simmer for a couple of hours. About 30 minutes before serving, add the kale and the pasta, take it off the heat, cover the pot and let the heat from the pot cook the pasta.
As an added bonus, I'm going to suggest that you serve this soup with our cheese-y Parmesan Sesame Biscuits. They're a snap to make and just so amazingly delicious. Like addictively so.
Alrighty then. You're all set whether it's a football party, New Years, or just a chilly winter night. Bust out your Instant Pot and get this made. Here's the recipe...
Instant Pot Pasta Fagioli Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 link (1/3 lb) Italian sausage, removed from casing
1 can cannelini beans, drained and rinsed well
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
6 cups chicken stock
1 large carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 zucchini, sliced/diced
2 cups chopped, fresh kale
1 cup marinara sauce
1 cup ditalini pasta
Put Instant Pot on Saute. Add oil and then break Italian sausage into pieces as you add it to the pot. Saute until browned and then add the onion, celery, carrots, spices and salt. Saute until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the cannelini to the pot along with the chicken broth, marinara, and zucchini. Close the lid and put the valve to seal.
Press the soup function and set for 10 minutes. When done, release the pressure, open the lid and add the pasta and kale. Close the lid and set it for slow cook for 30 minutes on normal. The pasta should be cooked in about 15 minutes, but you can let it sit until you're ready to eat.
Serve with grated parmesan cheese and good crusty bread or these cheesy sesame biscuits!