Season beef with salt and pepper. Then, using sauté setting – once hot add 2 tablespoons of oil and thoroughly brown beef. Do this in two batches and do not stir too frequently. After the first batch, add 1 tablespoon of oil. Do not wipe or rinse bottom of pot! There’s so much flavor in there!
Continuing on sauté setting – add onions, carrots, garlic, celery, mushrooms, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, making sure to scrape up any bits on bottom.
Then, return beef to pot and add all remaining ingredients (you can really add whatever vegetables you prefer) and mix well. Lock lid and cook for 10 minutes at high pressure.
Once cook time is complete, allow pressure to release naturally (will take about 25 minutes). Remove thyme bundle and bay leaves. Serve and enjoy!
Don't be tempted to skip the step of browning the beef. According to the Kitchn, "Searing the meat is an essential step for making a great beef stew. This is where the stew really starts to build its deep, rich, flavor." And while we're making soup, not stew, this step adds an incredible depth of flavor that will set this vegetable beef soup apart from the rest!
While you may add or substitute pretty much any vegetables you want, I recommend keeping all of the vegetables mentioned in step 2 of the recipe: the onions, carrots, and celery - also known as mirepoix. This is the base of the recipe, and your soup won't be the same without them.
The term "new potatoes" refers to small young potatoes. They can be substituted for either gold or red potatoes. I do not recommend russet potatoes for this recipe unless you peel them first; as their skins are not as tender or easy to eat and their starch content is much higher. They just work better in other ways than this.
The reason for bringing the meat to room temperature is that cold beef will decrease the heat in the pot dramatically. You will have more success browning and searing the beef if it is not refrigerator cold.
Can I use different vegetables than the ones you used? Can I add my favorite vegetable? Yes! The best part about this Instant Pot vegetable beef soup is that you can literally use whatever vegetables you like.Can I add pasta? Yes! However, dry pasta usually cooks in an IP in 2-4 minutes, so I would cook it separately and mix it in when ready to serve.Can I use a bag of frozen veggies? Yes! No need to adjust cook times at all.Why did you use chicken broth instead of beef broth? You could certainly use beef broth, but we usually only use that for soups we want to have a richer flavor. This soup is intended to be on the lighter side, so we opted for chicken broth – which actually has a more neutral flavor.What size pressure cooker did you use to make this? We used a 6 Qt Instant Pot to make this recipe.