Sometimes the simplest ingredients combine to give you the most flavorful of dishes. As I was making this soup, with nothing to flavor it except a little salt and ground cumin, I was worried it would be quite tasteless.
It was not tasteless. It had the savory taste of comfort and flavor, and all this with so little effort. The onions and cilantro add flavor to the broth, and the vegetables add their own lovely flavors to the soup. Truly a comforting, hearty soup with a light, flavorful broth.
This recipe takes two cooking cycles. First you cook the meat with just onions, cilantro, salt, cumin and a few slices of jalapeños. Then, when that is done, you add in the vegetables and cook them all once again. Traditionally the soup is made with bone-in beef shank but I couldn’t find that easily, and I figured if I couldn’t, others too would have trouble.
So I decided to try it with beef stew meat. I think the Instant Pot does a great job of extracting all the possible flavor out of meats and none of us 5 tasters felt the lack of bones in the soup. But if you can find it, feel free to use bone-in beef and adjust cooking time accordingly.
This is what chayote squash looks like. If you can’t find this, use zucchini but don’t cook it under pressure. Just let it steam after the soup is done.
The hardest part of this recipe for me, was cutting the corn cobs into 1-2 inch pieces. I’m not sure if I just lack hand-strength or if it is truly difficult for everyone. Either way, I got it done but I might use the larger, frozen corn ears next time to save myself some trouble. Although I must say, these are the perfect nibbling size.
The recipe steps are:
- Cook beef with some aromatics for 20 minutes and quickly release pressure
- Add vegetables ad additional water, and cook for 5 minutes at high pressure and quickly release pressure.
- 1 pound beef stew meat
- 5 cups water
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 2 Tbs garlic minced
- 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 8 cups of mixed vegetables including:
- 1/4 cabbage cut into wedges
- 8 red potatoes cut in half
- 1 ear of corn cut into 1-2 inch rounds
- 1 carrot sliced
- 1 chayote squash cut into 2-3 inch pieces* (see note)
- Put all ingredients listed under first cooking cycle into the Instant Pot, set on high pressure for 20 minutes, and when done, release pressure quickly.
- Add in all vegetables for second cooking cycle, and cook at high pressure for 5 minutes. Release pressure quickly.
- Taste and add additional salt or water as needed.