Pressure Cooker Potato Soup - Half Hour Including Prep - Pressure Cooker Cooking Blog at - 250352

Pressure Cooker Cooking

Pressure Cooker Potato Soup - half hour including prep 
Sep. 16, 2011 6:29 pm 
Updated: Sep. 17, 2011 7:34 am
The object of this pressure cooker (PC) adventure was to see how fast I could make and serve potato soup. While I used a ham slice as a base, it is not required, as I'll describe later.

The time I spent making it included 5 minutes for chopping, 3 minutes to bring the PC to pressure, 10 minutes for pressure cooking, 5 minutes for sitting (optional), and 5 minutes for final mixing.

During the prep period, I began bringing 3 cups of water to a boil. As my ingredients were diced, I tossed them into the pot so that the water was piping hot just prior to locking the lid on the PC. This hot water greatly shortened the period needed to pressurize the PC.

I coarse-diced the following ingredients: 4 large potatoes with skin on, 1 large, sweet onion, 1 large carrot, and 2 sticks of celery. I also added one ham slice of the type you can buy individually wrapped in a grocery store, cut into about 8 pieces and a slosh of olive oil.

A vegetarian version of this soup would eliminate the ham, substituting additional flavorful vegetables, such as more celery, onions, carrots, beets, cauliflower, etc. It is not necessary to add a can of prepared broth because what you are making becomes broth. That said, if you adore prepared broth, by all means use it.

Under all conditions, save the seasoning for the end.

The key points of this process are pictured below:

1 - Pre-heat the liquid: I tossed the ingredients into the liquid (3 cups of water) while the water was coming to a boil. If you start your PC with hot or boiling liquid, it will come to pressure significantly faster than if you start the process from room-temperature water and ingredients.

2 - Quick released the steam when done: I don't know about you, but I hate to wait around for my PC to depressurize. While there is something to be said to letting food sit, when I cook, I'm in a hurry to serve. The released steam comes out like a jet, however, and while it isn't dangerous (unless you wanted to place your hand directly on the hot lid), I prefer to deflect the steam.

3 - Deflect the steam: Deflect the steam by placing a damp, light-weight cloth on top of the valve. This doesn't reduce the amount of steam being released into the atmosphere, but it does defuse it, which I think is better for the kitchen's atmosphere.

4 - Mash the ingredients: Potato soup calls for mashed ingredients. Picture 4 shows what the ingredients looked like immediately after the PC's cover was removed. The ingredients, including the ham, were all soft enough to mash with a common potato masher. While the ham didn't actually mash, it did break up into nice small chunks without much effort.

5 - Serve the soup: Many things can be added to this soup at the end, including parsley, grated cheese, sour cream, and perhaps horseradish.

You might like a more pureed soup. In that case, cook the meat portion in the steamer pan above the vegetables. Remove the meat at the end, then stick-blend the stock, replacing the meat when done. You can also put the stock through a sieve, although that is pretty messy.

Finally, the more you add, the more you get. The original 3 cups of water I used to begin the process turned into around 5 cups of soup.

1 - Adding ingredients in a pressure cooker to pre-heated water.
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2 - This is what a quick release on a pressure cooker looks like.
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3 - Deflect steam by placing a damp, light-weight cloth on top of the pot.
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4 - Cooked potato soup ready for the last step.
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5 - Finished soup garnished with parsley and Parmesan cheese
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Sep. 16, 2011 8:30 pm
Hi Littleviews, in India, all households have a pressure cooker. We cannot survive without one. It is different from yours, but the basic principles are the same. I make everything in the cooker. It is best for cooking pulses, making idlis, cannot live without it. I even make pulao/pilaf, khichdi in it. Saves time and fuel.
Sep. 16, 2011 9:15 pm
Wow, keep up these great blogs about PC and I am just going to have to break down and buy one! LOL I was STRUGGLING with cooking rice the other day (an ongoing battle for me) and I contacted a friend who I know makes great rice. Her answer: use a pressure cooker! Fine, I give up!! :) And the potato soup sounds wonderful.
Sep. 16, 2011 10:44 pm
Congratulations on your pressure cooker blog, but I'm sorry you hare giving very unsafe advice here. NEVER place any flammable materials on or near your pressure cooker (stovtop or electric). NEVER obstruct the pressure cooker valve during pressure release. If pressure release is steaming up your kitchen, turn the exhaust fan to the max, release it near a window or use the cold-water quick release. Thank you,

making pressure cooking hip, one recipe at a time
Sep. 17, 2011 7:34 am
Pazzaglia - Your website is beautiful! Anyway, I've given your advice a great deal of thought. Cooking with flame, high heat (gas or electric), hot liquids, hot utensils, and gas itself is always a risk. In evaluating the risks, versus the problem with spraying the light amount of oil that is included in the PC steam all over my kitchen, I will take the risk of placing a wet, light-weight cloth over the top of my pressure relief valve (implied is that none of my burners are "on" during this process). Your comment has a great deal of value, however. It would be unwise to put a heavy cloth on top of it or try in any way to suppress or block the steam as it has to flow freely. The object of what I am doing is to let that steam escape freely, but to redirect its path and catch some of the oil (that steam is not clean). Your suggestion to take it outside or point it through an open (non-screened) window is excellent and I've thought about it. Mainly, I don't want the steam to be directed to other surfaces even if I do have an exhaust fan .... this case isn't closed and I look forward to other comments about the value or danger of this technique.
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About Me
My name is Karen Little. I'm a travel writer (see and adult kick scooter evangelist ( My current love is going sightseeing around the USA on my trusty kick scooter and encouraging others to do the same!
My favorite things to cook
I became a vegan (vegetarian) in January 2011, then switched to being a modified vegetarian in August. While I still primarily eat vegetarian meals, I now eat meat a few times a week. That said, I enjoy vegetable and grain-based meals very much. They are great on the tummy as well as the budget.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mom's favorite dishes included hotdogs, baloney, and undercooked chicken. My mother-in-law's favorite dish was pot roast. As I grew older, my favorite foods were all served in fast-food restaurants. I now live somewhat near "Carlos Bakery" (owned by "The Cake Boss") in Hoboken, NJ. I would regularly buy Bear Claws there, but can't because of all the tourists vying to get in front of me. TIP: If you can actually get in Carlos Bakery, make sure you leave with a box full of fresh Bear Claws.
My cooking triumphs
I am currently excited about using a pressure cooker.
My cooking tragedies
Happily, I don't have any tragedies, but you never know what Anthony Bourdain would say about my culinary skills. Then again, considering the types of things he eats from street vendors, maybe he'd be really pleased.
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