The holidays left me exhausted and not wanting to cook another meal for a while. But we needed to eat. So, I cooked this easy recipe of my favorite soup: Instant Pot Italian Wedding Soup from the cookbook Cooking from Frozen in Your Instant Pot by my good friend, author and chef Kristy Bernardo.
I am not Italian but this soup has flavors that are similar to the multilayered savory tastes and aromas found in Filipino dishes. Plus, the ingredients Kristy specified were already in my pantry and refrigerator. So really, what’s not to love in this wonderful, hearty soup meal.
I made one slight change, though. In the cookbook recipe, the author used frozen Italian meatballs, which one can find in most supermarkets. I opted to use my regular meatball recipe from my latest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes and which I share in the procedure below.
The deal breaker for me was cooking this recipe in the Instant Pot multicooker. As you know, my latest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes (Amazon.com) is about home cooking classic Pinoy recipes in the popular Instant Pot or most multicookers. Same with Kristy who has two Instant Pot cookbooks to her name. In a previous post, I defined what the Instant Pot is and how different it is from your grandmother’s pressure cooker. Simply put, the Instant Pot is a game changer. It cuts cooking time in nearly half. And it’s a counter top kitchen appliance that allows you to cook hands-free and walk away to attend to other stuff.
As I wrote this, the Instant Pot buzzed to remind me the soup was done. I released the Sealing valve and carefully opened the hefty lid. The steam warmly hit my cheeks as I peered inside the pot. I added the orzo pasta to simmer for a few quick minutes. Then I tossed in the fresh spinach and stirred the bubbling broth to watch the leafy vegetables wilt.
My favorite part of preparing a meal is pouring the soup into individual bowls with my large sandok (ladle). As I did that, the combined aromas of savory ingredients and cheese sprinkled all over was superb and tempting. It was just we needed to look forward to 2019 with optimism and joy.
Instant Pot Italian Wedding Soup
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 whole white or yellow onions chopped; divided, use 1 for meatballs, rest for saute
- 1 whole egg for meatballs
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce for meatballs
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs for meatballs
- 2 teaspoons salt divided, 1 teaspoon for meatballs, rest for soup broth
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper divided, 1 teaspoon for meatballs, rest for soup broth
- 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour for meatballs
- 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil for soup
- 4 cloves garlic peeled, minced
- 1 stalk celery diced
- 2 medium-sized carrot peeled, diced
- 4 to 6 cups organic chicken broth low sodium
- 1 cup 113 g. orzo pasta
- 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese for sprinkling on soup
To make the meatballs:
- In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, onions, egg, soy sauce, bread crumbs, flour, salt and black pepper. Mix well.Shape half-inch sized meatballs (about a teaspoon each). Set them on a tray. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes to firm up.
To cook the soup in the Instant Pot:
- Press the Saute button on the keypad. After 1 to 2 minutes when the inside pot becomes hot, add the olive oil.Saute the garlic, onion, celery and carrots. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes till vegetables are soft. Click Cancel to turn off Saute.
- Pour the broth into the inside pot. Add the meatballs.Close and lock the lid. Check that the release valve is set to Sealing.Press Manual. Set the High Pressure cooking time to 25 minutes.
- When buzzer rings, do a Quick Pressure Release.Open the lid carefully and put this aside. Click Cancel.
- Press the Saute button. Add the orzo pasta. Stir together gently with the meatballs and ingredients.Simmer the pasta for 7 to 8 minutes till cooked al dente.
- Add the fresh spinach. Stir into the rest of the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.After 1 minute, when spinach softens, click Cancel to turn off.Ladle the soup into individual bowls or place everything in a large soup tureen.Sprinkle Parmesan cheese all over the soup. Serve piping hot.
To cook the traditional soup on the stove-top
- Using the same amount of ingredients above, follow the recipe procedure to make the meatballs. Use a large stock pot or Dutch oven to cook the soup. Over medium-high heat, saute the garlic, onions, celery and carrots. Stir and cook for 5 minutes.Pour the broth and meatballs. Cover and cook for 35 to 40 minutes.Add orzo pasta and cook for 8 minutes more. Toss in the spinach and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving.
- In the cookbook, author Kristy Bernardo used 1 pound (454 g.) frozen Italian meatballs I preferred to use regular ground beef and made my own meatballs.
Notes on the Instant Pot
- Quick Release: This is when you release the pressure instantly. Press Cancel on your Instant Pot and turn the Steam valve handle on the lid to a Venting position. Allow the steam to release in 3 to 5 minutes.After the Saute function, it takes about 17 minutes for the Instant Pot to preheat before the High Pressure cooking time begins. For other multi-cooker pressure cooker brands, please consult the product manual.Use accessories recommended for the Instant Pot or multi-cookers made of silicone or metal. Do not use glassware. Consult the product manual for more safety information.
Did you like this recipe? I have more Filipino Instant Pot recipes in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot by Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino. Buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com – sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
About the Author: Kristy Bernardo is the author of the cookbooks Cooking from Frozen in your Instant Pot and Weeknight Cooking with Your Instant Pot. She is the creator of the blog The Wicked Noodle, has worked as a personal chef, teaches cooking classes, speaks at conferences, and appears on television.
Hello, Friends! Please DO NOT LIFT OR PLAGIARIZE my original recipe, stories, photos or videos. All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos, essays, stories and recipe content on your websites, books, films, television shows, videos, without my permission. If you wish to republish this recipe or content on media outlets mentioned above, please ASK MY PERMISSION, or re-write it in your own words and link back to my blog AsianInAmericaMag.com to give proper attribution. It is the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]
Disclosure: Instant Pot is a registered trademark. It is a brand name of the Instant Pot multi-cooker that cooks in high and low pressure. I was not paid by the Instant Pot company to mention the product or brand nor endorse it. This is not an ad. My views and opinions are my own.