This Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker Weight Loss Vegetable Soup is loaded with fresh carrots, broccoli, squash, spinach, and more. Inspired by a Weight Watchers zero point recipe, there are no oils or fats in this soup, making it a healthy lunch, starter, or snack.
A Pressure Cooking Today reader sent me the recipe for this stovetop Weight Loss Vegetable Soup and asked me how I’d make it in the Instant Pot. I’m always looking for ways to add fresh vegetables to my diet, so I was excited to get started!
This recipe is really flexible and works with whatever vegetables you have on hand! Switch out cabbage or kale for the spinach, omit the peppers and add celery, or toss in frozen veggies—no change to the cook time needed.
Best of all, this weight loss soup recipe makes a big batch, so you’ll have lots of extras to freeze in individual portions for later.
Pressure Cooker Weight Loss Vegetable Soup
The original recipe is a Weight Watchers 0 points recipe. I’ve changed it up a little to fit my family’s tastes by adding V8 to the recipe. I really like the extra flavor and color the V8 adds to the broth. (Just FYI, the old points system lists V8 as 0 points. I’m seeing mixed messages about how it would score in the points plus system. So if you’re following a strict Weight Watchers plan, be sure to adjust the ingredients for your needs.)
If you’re looking for a heartier soup, add a can of kidney beans or cooked chicken breasts—both zero point foods. Normally I keep diced grilled chicken on hand in my freezer, but we were out. So I just cooked up some frozen chicken breasts seasoned with garlic and basil! Then I reused the chicken broth I used for cooking the chicken when I cooked this low-fat vegetable soup.
(While the recipe calls for vegetable broth, I just use whatever I have on hand.)
Customize this soup with your favorite seasonings. (Try fresh basil, oregano, and rosemary or mix it up with lemon pepper or taco seasoning.) However, I don’t recommend skipping the red pepper flakes! They don’t add much heat, but they do add quite a bit of flavor.
How to Make Weight Loss Vegetable Soup in Your Instant Pot or Electric Pressure Cooker
An Instant Pot is one of the most popular brands of electric pressure cookers. They are easy to use and your Instant Pot can help you create this delicious Weight Watchers zero point vegetable soup!
Sauteing Vegetables without Oil or Butter
Unlike a lot of classic vegetable soup recipes, like my Instant Pot Minestrone or Basil-Pesto Vegetable Soups, this soup does not use butter or oil to saute the onions, garlic, and carrots. Sauteing these vegetables adds a lot of flavor to your soup, so don’t skip it.
However, you can still get the flavor without the butter and oils by putting the ingredients in your cold cooking pot before turning on the saute setting. Starting cold allows these aromatic vegetables to release their juices as the pan heats up so they won’t stick to the pot.
Setting a Zero Minute Cook Time in Your Pressure Cooker
Since this this Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker Weight Loss Vegetable Soup is made of only vegetables, it has just a 1 minute cook time. This cooks the veggies until they are crisp-tender.
If you want a little more crunch to your vegetables, try a 0 minute cook time.
In a 0 minute cook time, your pressure cooker will switch off (or to the Keep Warm setting) as soon as it reaches pressure. Some models of pressure cooker, like the Instant Pot, allow you to set the cook time to zero.
However, you can still use a 0 minute cook time if your brand of electric pressure cooker doesn’t allow you to set a time that low. Most units have a light or a sound that indicates that the machine has come to pressure. As soon as you notice this, simply turn off your pressure cooker.
Trick to Cooking Your Pressure Cooker Soups Even Faster
One trick I love for making brothy soups is reserving some of the liquids to add after pressure cooking!
Soups can take a long time to reach pressure thanks to all the liquid in the pot. However, you don’t always have to add the full amount of liquid before you pressure cook the soup.
By reserving some of the broth to add after pressure cooking, your soup will come to pressure a little quicker. Also, adding liquid after pressure cooking helps cool down the soup and gets it on your table more quickly.
Since this Instant Pot vegetable soup recipe is loaded with fresh vegetables, initially there’s not enough broth to cover them. However, as the pot comes to pressure, the vegetables will release liquid and sink down below the broth line.
Because of how flexible this recipe is, this soup is keto-friendly, gluten-free, and fit for the cabbage soup diet—or just right for anyone who wants to eat healthy.
- 1 small onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
- 4 3/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
- 2 cans (5.5 ounces each) low-sodium V8
- 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 cup frozen cut Italian green beans
- 1 to 2 whole bell peppers, seeded and diced
- 2 cups diced broccoli florets
- 1 cup diced yellow squash
- 1 cup diced zucchini
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place onion, garlic, and carrots in a cold pressure cooking pot. Select Saute and cook until vegetables release a little liquid and soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add 2 3/4 cups vegetable broth and V8 and stir. Add tomato paste, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and bay leaves. Stir until well mixed.
- Add spinach, Italian green beans, bell peppers, diced tomatoes, broccoli, yellow squash, and zucchini. Lock lid in place and select High Pressure and 1 minute cook time.*
- When cook time ends use a quick pressure release.*
- Add remaining 2 cups broth. Remove bay leaf before serving.
* If you prefer crisper vegetables, you can try a 0 minute cook time. If foam or liquid starts to emerge from the pressure release valve, return to the sealed position and wait about 30 seconds, then try the release again.
**If you're a fan of cabbage soup, replace all or part of the spinach with diced cabbage.
Looking for more healthy Instant Pot recipes? Check out my roundup of 25+ Healthy Recipes You Can Make in the Instant Pot / Electric Pressure Cooker. Whether you’re looking for low-fat, low-carb, or veggie-heavy recipes, this roundup has something for everyone!