Instant Pot Onion Tomato Soup (adapted from the Tastes of Home, 2005)


One of my favorite recipes from The Tastes of Home is a simple Onion Tomato Soup.  There’s no particular genius to this recipe but it surprised me with its simplicity and elegance.  At heart it’s a French onion soup recipe, with silky thin-sliced onions in a hearty beef broth.  Toss in a can of tomatoes and some seasoning and you’ve got a soothing winter soup.  When I make this recipe at home I’ll throw in a little bit of finely chopped (not ground) round steak; this adds a little bit of “real” beefiness to the bouillon base.  It also adds a little bit of comforting texture, something like the chicken pieces in canned chicken noodle soup (except entirely different).    I’ve also swapped out the dried basil for anise seed, following a tip I picked up from one of my other vintage cookbooks.

This recipe is also a good fit for obnoxiously omnipresent Instant Pot.  I’m normally not a fan of kitchen gadgets – most of them just take up space in my cupboards collecting dust – but I’ve made an exception for my Instant Pot.  I’m not quite as obsessed as some, but I’ve used mine a couple of times a week for the five years I’ve owned it.   For Onion Tomato Soup the Instant Pot shaves a good half-hour off of the prep time and cooks the onions into near oblivion (which is just the way I like them).  It also ensures that the tough round steak gets tender quickly.

The final soup is hearty like French onion soup with some sweetness and acidity from the tomatoes.  It’s warm and satisfying but hardly a meal unto itself.  I suppose you could to the whole crouton-and-cheese-and-put-it-under-the-broiler thing but that sort of defeats the purpose of a simple homey soup.  Pair it up with a slice of crusty bread or a grilled cheese sandwich and you’ve got a belly-filling meal.  Enjoy!

Instant Pot Onion Tomato Soup (adapted from the Tastes of Home, 2005)

  • Preparation: 15 min
  • Cooking: 20 min
  • Ready in: 35 min
  • For: 6 side dish servings
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Ingredients

Instructions

Instant Pot Directions

  1. Peel onions and slice into thin rings. Chop round steak into small pieces, no more than ½ inch in any dimension.
  2. Turn on Instant Pot in Saute mode. When pot is hot melt butter. Add onions and round steak, season liberally with garlic salt and pepper and saute until onions are tender and meat is browned.
  3. Pour tomatoes into instant pot. Break up into smaller chunks using kitchen shears or a wooden spoon. Fill empty tomato can with water and add to pot, along with beef bouillon and anise seed. Stir well.
  4. Put lid on Instant Pot. Cook at low pressure for 8 minutes. Let pressure release naturally for 15 minutes, then manually release what remains.

Stovetop directions

  1. Peel onions and slice into thin rings. Chop round steak into small pieces, no more than ½ inch in any dimension.
  2. Melt butter in a thick-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onions and round steak, season liberally with garlic salt and pepper and saute until onions are tender and meat is browned.
  3. Pour tomatoes into pot. Break up into smaller chunks using kitchen shears or a wooden spoon. Fill empty tomato can with water and add to pot, along with beef bouillon and anise seed. Stir well.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 60 minutes or until beef is tender.

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