Instant Pot: Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

It's the simple things in life we need to enjoy every moment we can. Whether it's a child's laughter, a sunny day or even that cup of coffee made just as you like it, embrace the simple things that offer you a chance to smile. This is true even in the kitchen. Ordinary ingredients, simply prepared, can be extraordinary. Take for example tomato soup. If you grew up like I did, tomato soup came out of that iconic red and white labeled can. Although making tomato soup yourself may take a bit more time and effort, the end result is far more delicious and rewarding. This Creamy Tomato Basil Soup takes canned tomatoes and blends them up with fresh basil before incorporating heavy cream and butter for a rich and silky soup. This is one soup that's simple and indulgent that I'm sure will make you smile...

So let's talk tomatoes. Canned tomatoes. They are not all created equal. My preference for this recipe is using canned San Marzano tomatoes. These tomatoes are highly prized because of their true tomato flavor and sweetness. Finding them fresh isn't easy so I tend to use canned San Marzano tomatoes. They are readily available at local grocery stores and are perfect for this soup.

I tried making the recipe with fresh roma tomatoes but the flavor wasn't always consistent. The disadvantage of using fresh roma tomatoes is that they don't always have the same flavor, depending on the season. But by using canned San Marzano tomatoes, you can be sure the flavor is consistent every time. 

This isn't a soup where you want to start counting calories since heavy cream and butter is involved. Using low calorie or low fat substitutes won't give you the same result either. So if you want to make the soup, indulge a bit! Besides, everything in moderation, right? You can, however, make this with half & half and less butter if you prefer. Just know it will not be a luscious as it should be if doing so.

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
recipe adapted from AllRecipes

2 (28 oz) cans of San Marzano tomatoes, undrained
14 leaves fresh basil
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream or half & half
1/2 cup butter, softened
salt and pepper to taste
freshly grated Peccorino Romano cheese (for serving)

In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place

Place  undrained tomatoes and chicken broth or stock in IP.

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 10 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 10 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.

When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 10 minutes, turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).

In the OFF setting, use a stick or immersion blender and puree the tomato mixture along with the basil leaves.

Stir in the heavy cream or half & half, along with the butter. Season with salt and pepper to your preferences.To serve, garnish with chopped fresh basil leaves and a sprinkling of cheese.