This recipe for Instant Pot tomato soup with coconut milk is my makeover of a gem I discovered over at Food52.
Their editors are really good at identifying special recipes. They actually call them “genius recipes” - haha.
This also happens to be the first Instant Pot recipe I ever tried after getting my first Instant Pot.
Instant Pot tomato soup is a smart variation on traditional tomato soup, since the coconut milk works to calm down the acidity and intensity of the canned tomatoes.
It comes together in about 10 minutes of prep time, and the use of coconut milk means you can add plenty of Southeast Asian ingredients and amp up the flavor, nutrition, and digestibility of your tomato soup.
To me as a first-timer to the Instant Pot, this recipe was a crazy revelation because it required absolutely no active cooking.
All you need to do is put all the ingredients into the Instant Pot and press a button. This is the beauty of Instant Pot soup recipes.
As the soup cooks under pressure inside the Instant Pot, the flavors marry and mingle into a harmonious whole.
This level of harmonious flavor is something you can’t match by making soup in a regular pot, however, for my friends who don’t have an Instant Pot yet, you can still make this in a regular pot and get a very good result.
This Instant Pot tomato soup recipe with coconut milk would be good with a hearty green salad to make it a complete meal, and maybe some crackers, croutons, or toast for dipping.
If you wanted to get super creative, since this tomato soup is so flavorful, you could even use it as a curry sauce—like a Thai coconut curry—and add more vegetables to it, then enjoy it with rice.
Instant Pot Tomato Soup Ingredients
The main ingredients in this Instant Pot tomato soup are pantry items and kitchen staples you probably already have in the fridge: tangy tomatoes, creamy coconut milk, onions, garlic, ginger, chopped cilantro, turmeric, and cayenne pepper.
Remember I said I found this recipe and adjusted it to make it my own?
Let me tell you why I made my changes. The focus of my version of this tomato soup recipe was to improve its digestibility and flavor.
The first change I made was to double the cilantro so there’re more greens, more minerals, and more cooling qualities in this soup.
One thing to know about tomatoes is that they are very heating, as well as potentially inflammatory, so anything we can do to reduce the heat will help.
I also reduced the amount of cayenne pepper (which also reduced the heating quality), because I felt that the original recipe was a bit too spicy for the average person.
The next variation was to add ground fennel to the soup. Fennel has a slight licorice taste that is also naturally sweet. You can imagine that both of these qualities work really well with tomatoes—yum.
The next addition I made to this tomato soup recipe was to add asafetida.
Asafetida is another powerful digestive spice that has the flavor of dried onions and garlic.
Asafetida comes from the resin of a plant that’s related to fennel, so it’s no surprise it is a powerful digestive.
The final adjustment I made to the original recipe for Instant Pot tomato soup was to reduce the added sweetener.
Added sugar is common practice when it comes to making tomato soups.
Unfortunately, the original recipe calls for honey, and you should never cook honey, because it ruins it and makes it impossible to digest.
So I changed it to raw sugar, and reduced the amount too. We don’t need as much since we added the fennel and adjusted a few other things too!
I hope you love this Instant Pot tomato soup recipe with coconut milk.
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The Digestive Benefits Of Fennel, And How To Cook With It
Fennel is a fantastic digestive aid. Have you ever been given a colorful mix of seeds at an Indian restaurant after your meal? That’s fennel, and it’s for your digestion.
I listed fennel as an optional ingredient in our Instant Pot tomato soup, but I encourage you to buy some fennel seeds and experiment with it in your cooking when you are ready.
You could also try chewing a few fennel seeds after your meal for digestive support.
> Quick Tips For Cooking With Fennel
1.Gently toast a quarter-cup of seeds in a dry skillet
2. Grind seeds in a coffee grinder reserved for spices, or a mortar and pestle
3. Store the powder in a tiny glass jar so it’s ready for use whenever you need it.
> Quick Tips For Cooking With Asafetida (Hing)
1. Add asafetida to vegetable sautés or braises for better taste and digestibility.
2. Add asafetida to hot oil for a few seconds to release the flavor and aroma, then continue with onions or other vegetables.
3. You only need to use a tiny amount (a pinch) to get the benefit of asafetida. If you use too much, it won’t taste good, so be careful.
Instant Pot Tomato Soup Recipe With Coconut Milk
Helpful Kitchen Tools:
- immersion blender
- 14.5-ounce can tomatoes
- 14.5-ounce can coconut milk, (full-fat)
- 1 red onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 ½ cups fennel bulb, chopped (optional)
- 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1 teaspoon ginger, chopped
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 teaspoon raw sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground fennel, (optional)
- pinch asafetida, (optional)
- Place all ingredients into the Instant Pot. Ensure the steam valve is on “Sealing,” select "High Pressure," and set the timer to cook for 5 minutes.
- Wait at least 15 minutes to open the lid. Release any residual pressure by carefully moving the steam valve to “venting.” Residual pressure will release. Now, safely open the lid.
- Remove the stainless steel insert from the machine. Use an immersion blender, and blend until smooth. Alternately, use a regular blender to puree the soup. (Use caution when blending hot soup in a blender. It needs a steam vent, or the heat pressurize the lid, and it will spray.)
- Add all ingredients to a large pot and simmer for at least 30 minutes. You might need to add extra water to compensate for evaporation. The soup is done when the onions are soft, and everything is well cooked.
- See the instructions in Step 3 above and blend into a smooth puree.