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Pressure Cooker Quicken Noodle Soup

This soup looks surprisingly similar to traditional chicken noodle, and because it’s made in a pressure cooker, you’ll have a comforting bowl of soup ready in very little time. The seasonings give it a fresher and brighter flavor than conventional chicken noodle soup—not to mention more health-promoting properties!
Course lunch, Main Course, Soup
Keyword noodle, pasta, tofu

Equipment

  • pressure cooker

Ingredients

  • 2-3 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups diced carrot
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups diced celery
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sage or dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric optional
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/3-1/2 lb dry spaghetti noodles of choice broken into thirds (see note)
  • 1 1/2 cups crumbled firm or extra-firm tofu see note
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 - 5 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley plus more for optional garnish

Instructions

  • Set a multifunction pressure cooker (such as an Instant Pot) to sauté. Pour in the 2–3 tablespoons water and add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, thyme, oregano, sage, turmeric (if using), and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring, for 4–5 minutes. Add the spaghetti, tofu, bay leaves, boiling water (5 cups for lesser amount of pasta, 51/2 cups for more pasta), and broth. Gently stir.
  • Secure the lid and set the valve to the “sealed” position. Press the Manual button, then set the cook time for 3 minutes at high pressure. Allow the pot to come to pressure and cook. Once the timer goes off, turn off the pot and allow the pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, release the lid and stir in the parsley and let sit for a couple of minutes. Taste and season with extra salt and/or pepper if desired, and sprinkle with the optional parsley garnish.

Notes

Water Note: When it comes time to add the water and broth, using boiling water helps bring the cooker to pressure faster.
 
Spaghetti Note: You can use any spaghetti noodle you like—whole-wheat, brown rice, or another variety—or even cut pasta like rotini or penne. Brown rice pasta, which is starchy, will make the broth thicker. But brown rice noodles can also stick together easily, so be sure to stir them into the liquid when you first add them. Cooking times vary based on the type of pasta, so having a short cooking time and natural release helps avoid overcooking.
 
Tofu Note: If you first freeze the tofu, then thaw it, it will be drier and crumblier, which works well in this soup. To hasten thawing, you can place the frozen, unopened package of tofu in a bowl of very hot water and replace the hot water several times within a half hour. Continue until the tofu has thawed through, or mostly thawed. Be sure to squeeze out excess water once it’s thawed. You won’t use the entire package for this soup, so you can save the remainder for another use.