This delicious Ground Beef and Kale soup is easily made in the Instant Pot with 4 minutes cooking time.
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I’m a skeptic.
It takes much to win me over for another kitchen tool, or anything for that matter. I suppose it’s because of this I’m still one of the few who does not have a Vitamix to her name. I can’t justify spending $400 on something that my $80 Ninja can do. But over the years, I’ve slowly been building a chef’s collection of assistants for birthdays and holidays. It came in the form of a dehydrator for my birthday and an ice cream maker for another birthday, and various tools like this and this and this for Christmas, Anniversary and Groundhog Day. Just kidding, I haven’t really used that buddy in the kitchen…yet. 😉
My husband knows a way to my heart and it’s not via jewelry or fashion accessories. The Instant Pot is the latest addition to my kitchen assortment and I’ve been enjoying trying out different things. However, it did take me some time to warm up to the idea of pressure cooking.
I had plenty reservations:
- I need more space to store this appliance in an already small kitchen
- Is this thing even safe? Aren’t pressure cookers used as bombs?
- I was concerned about the retention of nutrients with the higher temperature.
- Cost – most pressure cookers average at $100-150
- I dislike kitchen counter clutter
Just for giggles and grins, let’s debunk those concerns.
- I need more space to store this appliance in an already small kitchen Solution: It’s actually kept on the kitchen counter for convenience since I use it almost daily.
- Is this thing even safe? Aren’t pressure cookers used as bombs? Solution: Yes and yes – if you follow the instruction manual and take care to depressurize the cooker before opening the lid, there should be no issues. If you’re one to not read the instruction manual, please let this be the only appliance that you would actually read!
- I was concerned about the retention of nutrients with the higher temperature. Solution: This one was a biggie for me since I try to cook with the purpose to make the most of the food I put on our table. I had to make sure it was the most nutritious. It wasn’t until I read this well researched Food Renegade article that explains this very concern. In short, pressure cooking was actually proven to be the best method for vitamin retention. Score!
- Cost – most pressure cookers average at $100-150 Solution: Yeah, so probably wait for your birthday or as in my case, Valentine’s Day. Or Black Friday.
- I dislike kitchen counter clutter Solution: It’s sitting on my counter. And it’s rather bulky. And ugly. It doesn’t even go with my kitchen feng shui but I can make killer bone broth in two hours and applesauce in 3 minutes. Another score!
So, is Instant Pot absolutely essential to a home cook?
No. But as life gets busier, I tend to look for ways to streamline my time in the kitchen and turn to resources that would help me be a better cook. Or at least one that has dinner on the table at a decent hour.
Because we love soups, it’s no surprise that we would use Instant Pot to make nourishing soups of different flavors and textures. I’ve already adapted to making Borsch in my Instant Pot with great success and my latest experiment has been this potato soup.
It’s an adapted recipe from Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana. I like that it gives you more control with the seasonings by ditching Italian sausage and instead using ground meat. We especially like this with grass-fed beef but ground pork or turkey will work just as well. Bacon is totally optional. I’ve made this without it many times and every single time was just as delicious as the previous.
Ground Beef and Kale Soup made in Instant Pot
- 1 - 12oz. package bacon (optional)
- 1-2T cooking fat (butter, ghee, lard, tallow)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1½ lb. ground beef
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoon sea salt (+more if not using bacon)
- 3 quarts water
- 5 russet potatoes, diced
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 kale leaves, coarsely chopped
- Cook bacon whichever way you feel most comfortable that will give you bacon crumbs. I prefer to cut them crosswise with kitchen shears and spread the pieces on the baking sheet to bake at 350 F degrees for 30 minutes.
- On Instant Pot, press the sauté button and allow to warm up. When 'hot' is displayed on the screen, add cooking fat and chopped onions. Cook until translucent, stirring occasionally.
- Add ground meat, garlic and all spices. Continue to sauté until beef is fully cooked and all the spices are incorporated.
- Bacon should be done by now, remove it from the oven and reserve the fat for other uses.
- Add chopped potatoes and cooked bacon to the ground beef mixture directly into the Instant Pot. Add enough water to the 1.4L (3 quarts) mark and give it a quick stir.
- Close the lid, set the valve to sealing position and set to manual for 4 minutes cooking time.*
- Do quick pressure release until safety pin is completely down.
- Carefully, open the lid, add chopped kale and cream. Give a quick stir once more and season with salt if needed. You can close the lid back and keep it set to Keep Warm until ready to enjoy.
**Natural release is also suitable for this recipe if you will be away from the pot.