I served this soup to friends on Christmas Eve, and one said, “This is the tastiest thing I’ve had in a long time!” He then ate 4 bowls of it. What a compliment to the chef! But I give most of the credit to my trusty pressure cooker.
This rustic, hearty soup warms you to your core. The broth is nutritious, and the flavors lively. It cooks in 16 minutes, but tastes like it’s been simmering all day long. Plus One can’t get enough of this soup, especially with a dallop of “eem” (cream fraiche). It’s also one of the only ways we can get her to eat kale or chard. This recipe makes enough to feed a family of 4, but our little tribe of of 2 1/2 downs this without a drop left in the pot.
Note: I tend to pressure cook my soups, stews, and curries in three or four steps. First, I brown the meat in the bottom of the pressure cooker. Then I add the liquids and seasonings and pressure cook it all together. Next, I add the veggies and herbs to the pot and pressure cook for another 2 minutes until tender. This preserves the color and texture of the veggies and herbs. Lastly, I add the greens and herbs and simply let them wilt in the soup. This recipe can easily be adapted to a non-pressure-cooker recipe (just simmer it all together until the veggies are tender), but I find that the pressure cooker really brings out the spices in the sweet Italian sausage.
Pressure Cooker Italian Sausage Soup (serves 4)
- 3 T. olive oil
- 1/2 large onion, chopped
- 5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 sweet Italian pork sausages (high quality, no funky ingredients! fennel is a must.)
- 1- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (grassfed is best!)
- 2-3 tomatoes, diced (an 8oz can of diced tomatoes would work, too.)
- 1 t. oregano, 1 t. parsley (or 1 T. Italian seasoning)
- 3 c. beef or chicken broth
- 2 c. water (add more water if you like a runnier soup)
- 1/4 c. red or white wine
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 2 c. chopped greens (kale, swiss chard, or spinach)
- few basil leaves, chopped
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- creme fraiche (optional depending on your dairy stance, but seriously increases the comfort food factor. Coconut kefir might be worth trying?)
*Note: All pressure cookers are different! Follow the instructions for your particular model.
1. Brown Meat:
- Heat up 3 T. of olive oil in the pressure cooker.
- Add 1/2 chopped onion and 5 cloves of minced garlic and saute until onions are clear.
- Remove sausage meat from the casings, crumble and saute in the pot (if using precooked sausage, simply cut it into chunks).
- Add the beef to the sausage mix and saute. Meat will not be cooked completely
2. Pressure cook meat and liquid:
- Add tomatoes, oregano, parsley (or 1 T. Italian seasoning), 3 c. beef broth, 2 c. water, and 1/4 c. wine to the pot. Lock the lid into place, and put on high heat. When the rocker begins rocking steadily, you’ve reached pressure. Bring the heat down as low as possible while still maintaining pressure. Cook for about 13 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let it depressurize naturally.
3. Pressure cook veggies:
- Add carrots, celery, and zucchini to the pot, lock the lid again, and put on high heat. When pressure is reached, cook for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and quickly depressurize by carefully pressing the depressure button with a spoon or knife. Don’t allow to naturally depressurize, because your veggies will be overcooked by that time.
4. Finishing touches:
- Add 2 c. chopped kale,2 sprigs of chopped basil, and juice from 1/2 lemon to the pot. Stir until the kale is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Last but not least, add a few dallops of creme fraiche or sour cream to take this whole thing to the next level.
And that, my friends, is a darn good pot of soup in under 30 minutes start to finish! Enjoy!