Fall is so beautiful…the colors, the weather and all the autumn vegetables! Yes I get equally excited about pumpkins and acorn squash as I get excited about blueberries in summer! I get too carried away sometimes! Like two weeks ago …when I hauled two large grocery bags from our local farmer’s market! Fresh beets and carrots along with pumpkin, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, rutabaga and purple cabbage. The best thing about some of these root vegetables and squash are that they do last a long time in your kitchen! I guess the cold weather ensures a longer shelf-life!
And thus two weeks later, I realized that I still had a lot of these veggies remaining in my refrigerator. And that means time for a soup! Yes soups are best when you want to use up a lot of veggies and don’t know how to do it 🙂 Just chop them up and dump them together in a pot and voila , an hour later you will have beautiful and delicious soup! And a highly nutrient dense one too!
I make a vegetable minestrone soup pretty regularly (yeah whenever I want to clear up the refrigerator 🙂 ) . And over the last couple years since I began AIP, I make a tomato-free version of it. So this week too I thought of making the same vegetable minestrone when suddenly I felt like throwing chicken in there too. I usually have some fish for my lunches but today I was in the mood for chicken and I was planning to bake it separately. But then I thought of adding that to the soup after all the idea of a ‘one pot meal’ sounded too attractive!
So I started my chopping and into the Instant Pot went the vegetables one by one. Lots of garlic and some simple spices. Finally the chicken too and in less than an hour, I was having this delicious soup! So the starchy vegetables here – sweet potato and turnip become the ‘pasta’ in this ‘paleo’ version of minestrone. But boy, it is so yummy and filling that you will not miss the pasta! Why had I never made this before? 🙂
- 2 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
- ½ of a red onion, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- ½ of a medium sized beet, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup peeled and chopped acorn squash pieces
- 1 medium size sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 1 small turnip, cubed
- 10-12 cranberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- ¼ tsp kashmiri chilli powder (omit for AIP)
- ½ tsp cumin powder (omit for AIP)
- 1.5 lbs Chicken (thighs or breast meat), cut into large pieces
- 6 cups water
- 3 tbsp arrowroot starch dissolved in ½ cup water
- sea salt as needed
- Press the Saute button on the Instant Pot.
- Add the oil and then add the onion and celery. Stir for 1 min and then add the chopped garlic. Stir fry for 30 secs and then add all the other vegetables including cranberries. Add the salt and the spices. Continue to saute for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Then add the chicken (large pieces are fine)and the water. Give it a stir and close the lid of the Instant Pot.
- Press Cancel and then press ' Pressure Cook' and set timer for 5 minutes.
- After pressure cooking is done, release pressure manually and open the lid.
- Using a large serving spoon, remove the large chicken pieces into a bowl and when cool enough, use your hands to shred the chicken into smaller pieces.
- Add the chicken back to the pot.
- Now mix the arrowroot starch in the water to form a slurry and add to the soup stirring as you add it.
- The soup will thicken slightly (not a lot) in two minutes and then turn heat off.
- Serve soup warm!