This Instant Pot Spring Soup with Chicken Ricotta Meatballs is a refreshing bowl of lemony sunshine! Loads of veggies and everything can be cooked up together in the same pot!
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Definition of Spring found in the TIDBITS dictionary:
A breath of sweet, refreshing air that invigorates your mind, body, and soul after a cold, dreary winter
To celebrate this light jacket and flowers blooming season, I cooked up this incredible soup that is the very definition of springtime in a bowl.
Lemony bright broth, veggies to the max, light, tender meatballs, and whole grain penne all cooked up together in 1 pressure cooker pot!
I mean, would you just look at this refreshing soup!
Just looking at it makes me feel 10 years younger, well-rested, and completely tolerant of super hyper, obnoxious twin boys making crude noises in the background at this very moment in an attempt to get my attention.
When asparagus starts taking over the produce department, it's a clear sign of warmer weather to come. I've cooked with asparagus at least 3 times this week alone and am proud to say my kids even ate an asparagus cream soup I made, which thrills me to no end!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS SPRING SOUP
- Anyone else crave crisp, fresh, light flavors once the dreariness of winter is gone? Then this is your soup!
- Full of springtime vegetables: Asparagus, Leeks, Carrots, Peas, Spinach, Dill, and Basil
- Soft, flavorful chicken meatballs made light and delicate with the addition of ricotta
- Vegetables, meat, and pasta all cook up together! One pot meals are THE BEST!
HOW TO MAKE SPRING VEGETABLE SOUP IN THE INSTANT POT PRESSURE COOKER
- Mix up the meatball ingredients
- Use a small cookie scoop to shape them and place on a pan. Freeze for at least an hour
- Saute the leeks, onions, and carrots until soft
- Add liquid and seasonings. Top with pasta. Arrange frozen meatballs on top of the pasta, pressure cook 2 minutes
- Quick release the pressure and select saute
- Add spring vegetables, herbs, and lemon. Serve!
SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR DETAILED COOKING INSTRUCTIONS
ONE POT SPRING SOUP TIPS FOR SUCCESS
- Herbs and Citrus
- Don't be shy with the herbs and lemon. They complement the broth and other ingredients so well, add them with abandon.
- Freeze the Meatballs
- The meatballs are very light due to the addition of ricotta and keep their shape much better when cooked from frozen. You can cook them without freezing them, but they tend to fall apart a bit when placing them in the soup to cook.
- Pressure Cooker Pasta
- Use any shape pasta that calls for a 10-12 minute cook time, preferably whole grain.
- Broth to Thin
- There's not a ton of extra broth in this dish. If you want to make a light pasta dish, there's no need to add any more broth. If you want more of a soup, add another two cups or so of chicken broth after cooking.
HOW TO STORE, REHEAT, AND FREEZE SPRING SOUP
- Store: Cool leftovers and store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Reheat: The pasta soaks up a lot of the broth while it sits in the fridge. Add a splash of extra broth to the soup and reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
- Freeze: I don't suggest freezing this soup because the pasta texture becomes unpleasant. However, the meatballs can be made up in advance, frozen on a sheet pan, and transferred to a freezer safe ziptop bag for future use. I like to make a double batch to have on hand.
You are going to love love love this soup! My exact words to my husband while eating this beauty were, “It's just such a joy to eat!” And to my complete shock, my “soup is not a meal” husband, said, “I agree” and we immediately performed our secret high five/handshake move . . .
No, we didn't, but that would be cool. We should really come up with a “this dinner is the bomb!” secret handshake.
Now go throw this one-pot soup into your pressure cooker and spend all that free time you gained leaping joyfully across your snow-free yard! Don't worry a bit about critical neighbors. Just invite them to join in your spring dance and a big bowl of Lemon-y Spring Soup. You'll become friends for life.
Don't let the next few months go by without fully enjoying all of the most amazing, peak of season, flavorful spring veggies! I strongly suggest these favorites
- Asparagus (of course)
- Artichokes (amazing in the Instant Pot!)
- Herbs and all kinds of salad greens (arugula!)
See this guide for Fresh Spring Fruits and Vegetables for an in-depth read on the best produce of Spring.
MORE SPRING RECIPES TO ENJOY
- Instant Pot Lemon Risotto with Asparagus and Peas
- Instant Pot Fruit Soup
- Instant Pot Lemon Garlic Chicken Quinoa Bowls
MORE INSTANT POT SOUP RECIPES
TOOLS USED TO MAKE INSTANT POT SPRING SOUP WITH CHICKEN RICOTTA MEATBALLSPrint
Instant Pot Spring Soup with Chicken Ricotta Meatballs
Bright, light soup perfect for spring made in 1 pressure cooker pot
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 -8 servings 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Pressure cooker
- Cuisine: American
For the Ricotta Chicken Meatballs
- 1/2 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs (can substitute with any bread crumb)
- 2 tablespoons milk (any kind)
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese (I used part skim)
- 1 pound lean ground chicken
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (freshly grated is best)
- 1/4 cup minced chives
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
For the Soup
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 medium size carrots, sliced into wide discs
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- 2 leeks, whites and light greens sliced in half then cut into thin moons (about 1 cup)
- 1 1/2 –2 quarts low sodium chicken broth, divided
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- parmesan rind (optional, but delicious)
- 6–8 ounces whole wheat penne pasta (or other pasta with about a 10–12 minute cook time)
- 1 pound asparagus, woody end trimmed and discarded, chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 cups spinach, chopped
- 1 cup chopped fresh herbs (my favorite was a mix of basil and dill)
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- For serving: lemon wedges and shaved parmesan
For the Ricotta Chicken Meatballs
- Place the breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl, allow to soak for 1-2 minutes until the crumbs are moist.
- Add ricotta, ground chicken, egg, parmesan cheese, chives, parsley, salt, and pepper. Use hands or a spatula to evenly combine the mixture.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick foil.
- Use a small cookie scoop (about 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoon scoop) to make small meatballs and place them on the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer. It's best if they can freeze for at least an hour prior to cooking.
For the Soup
- Preheat the pressure cooker by selecting saute. Add the butter and olive oil.
- When butter is melted and bubbling slightly, add carrots, onions, and leeks; saute until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add 1 quart of chicken broth, salt, pepper, parmesan rind, and pasta; stir.
- Arrange the frozen meatballs on top in a circular pattern, staying in a single layer as much as possible.
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 2 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place asparagus in a microwave safe bowl with about 1/2 cup water. Microwave 2-3 minutes until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
- When pressure cooking is complete, use a quick release. If pasta foam sprays from the valve, flip the knob to a sealed position for 5 minutes, then release the pressure.
- Remove and discard the parmesan rind.
- Select saute; add the asparagus, frozen peas, spinach, herbs, and zest and juice of 1 lemon. Add up to 1 quart of chicken broth, depending on how soup like you want it. Heat until warmed through and the spinach is wilted.
- Season with extra salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve hot with lemon wedges and shaved parmesan.
Freezer Meal Instructions:
- The meatballs could easily be made in advance and stored in the freezer until ready to make the soup. I haven't tried it, but I don't believe the soup would freeze well because of the pasta.
- Freezing the meatballs for at least an hour helps them keep their shape better while cooking. You can cook them without freezing them, but they will be more fragile and may break up a bit
- If you want a vegetable dominant soup, only use half of the meatballs. Place the others in a freezer safe ziplock for another time
- As the soup sits and after refrigeration, the pasta tends to absorb the broth. Add broth as needed to reach desired consistency when reheating
- This soup does not freeze well, enjoy within 7 days