Full of plenty of herbs, veggies, and protein, this Easy Instant Pot Vegetable Soup with Bacon is the perfect hearty comfort food for winter. Made with seasonal ingredients for a gluten free, budget-friendly dish that’s ready in just 30 minutes! Crockpot and Stovetop Options.
‘Tis the Season for Soup
Nothing quite hits the spot like a warm bowl of soup, especially when the weather is cold! Have you noticed that this time of year you find yourself reaching toward more starches and carbs? Us too, and there’s a reason why! You see with the darker days and colder nights that come along with fall and winter also comes a shift in our circadian rhythm.
As a result, our bodies naturally crave starchier foods that are known to raise the body’s insulin levels, helping the brain convert tryptophan into serotonin, a feel-good neurotransmitter. That’s where this Instant Pot vegetable soup comes into play! You see, as tempting as it is to go load up on holiday pie and sugar cookies, by making sure we consume nutritious complex carbs we ensure that we don’t raise our insulin levels too much. Plus, they’re a great source of fiber and loaded with vitamins and nutrients when consumed in the form of vegetables like in this soup!
That said, we packed as many nutrients into this recipe as we could using a whole host of veggies including mushrooms, onion, celery, carrots, parsnips, and potatoes! Then, we added in plenty of herbs and seasonings, bacon, and ham for a rich, hearty flavor you’ll love. Comfort food that’s super good for you? Yes, please! As if that wasn’t good enough, it all comes together in the Instant Pot for an unbelievably easy recipe that tastes like you spent all day in the kitchen. Dinner doesn’t get better than this!
Ingredients You’ll Need
For this Instant Pot vegetable soup, we kept the ingredient list as simple as possible and extremely versatile to fit all your needs. Naturally gluten free, dairy free, and nut free, it’s the perfect lunch or dinner for feeding a crowd.
- Bacon – This adds tons of flavor to the soup for an extra savory, robust taste.
- Vegetables – For plenty of color and loads of nutrients we include mushrooms, onions, celery, carrots, parsnips, and potatoes.
- Flavor enhancers – Garlic, smoked paprika, dried thyme, salt, pepper, and a bay leaf are included to enhance the rest of the ingredients, creating a warm, hearty taste.
- Olive Oil or Bacon Grease – We prefer to use reserved bacon grease for extra flavor, but olive oil works as well to prevent the vegetables from sticking to the pan.
- Broth – We use chicken broth to form the liquid base of this easy vegetable soup, but vegetable broth could be used in its place.
- Ham – Technically optional, we love to include diced pieces of ham for extra protein, making this soup extra filling. Plus, it’s a great way to use up holiday leftovers!
- Garnish – Fresh herbs like parsley, grated Parmesan cheese, and diced bacon can be sprinkled on top for a little extra texture.
How to Make the Best Vegetable Soup Recipe (3 Ways)
Okay, we know we called this an easy Instant Pot vegetable soup recipe, and it is! BUT it’s so good we didn’t want anyone to miss out on making it regardless of whether or not they had an Instant Pot. So, we created a stovetop and crockpot vegetable soup with it, too! Here’s how to make all three:
Instant Pot Option
This instant pot vegetable soup is guaranteed to become your new go-to recipe when you need something cozy and nourishing in a pinch!
- Cook the bacon. Heat a 4-quart Instant Pot using the sauté mode, and cook the diced bacon until the edges are crisp. Remove the bacon, reserving some of the grease, and set it aside on paper towels.
- Sauté the veggies. Add the onion, garlic cloves, and mushrooms to the pot, and sauté until the veggies are softened but not yet browned. Stir in the celery, carrot, and parsnip. After a few minutes, add the olive oil or reserved bacon grease to prevent the veggies from sticking to the pot.
- Add the potatoes. Press cancel to turn off the sauté mode, and place the potatoes in the pot along with the paprika, thyme, salt, pepper, and chicken broth. Stir to combine. Place the bay leaf on top, cover, and set the vent valve to closed. Cook on manual mode at high pressure. Then, natural release. Release the remaining pressure before removing the lid and discarding the bay leaf and thyme stems.
- Add the meat. Stir in the diced ham and bacon, and warm. Once your desired temperature is reached, adjust the seasonings to taste, and enjoy!
Other Easy Cooking Methods
The stovetop version of this soup is nearly identical to the Instant Pot method. It takes slightly longer to cook but is just as easy when you follow the instructions below! Just sauté the veggies as stated in a large pot over medium-high heat. Then, cover the pot, bring the ingredients to a boil, and let them simmer on low for 30 minutes. Stir in the diced ham and bacon, adjust the seasonings, and enjoy!
Crockpot Vegetable Soup Option
The crockpot recipe combines the previous two methods to create one tasty recipe perfect for prepping ahead of time. Prepare the bacon and vegetables in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Then, add the veggies to a slow cooker, and layer the potatoes on top followed by the spices and broth. Cook on high for 3 hours. Then, add the remaining ingredients such as ham and extra cooked bacon, let them warm for 30 minutes, and enjoy.
Flavor Variations and Add-Ins
Add extra veggies. Feel free to incorporate any vegetables you have on hand such as zucchini, butternut squash, green beans, tomatoes, or even fire-roasted tomatoes. Just keep in mind that vegetables with a higher water content like zucchini are likely to become soft and mushy in the Instant Pot.
Use a different protein. If preferred, you can easily swap out the ham with beef stew meat or even ground turkey. Just be sure to cook it separately before adding it to the soup!
Pork-free. If needed, omit the ham completely, and swap out the bacon for turkey bacon. The flavor won’t be quite as rich, but it’ll still be tasty!
Spice it up. If you prefer your food on the spicy side, add a dash of crushed red pepper flakes or even a bit of hot sauce.
Make Ahead and Storage Options
This is the best vegetable soup recipe for meal prep as it stores really well! So, go ahead and make a double batch to keep on hand for those days when you need a quick dinner that’s full of nutrients and still tastes great.
Refrigerator: Once cooled, transfer the soup to an airtight container, and store it in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Freezer: For a longer-lasting Instant Pot vegetable soup, transfer your leftovers to a freezer-safe container, and freeze it for up to 3 months.
To Reheat: When you’re ready to eat, let your frozen soup thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, warm it in the microwave, Instant Pot, stovetop, or crockpot until your desired temperature has been reached!
Thanks to the inclusion of vegetables, complex carbs, and protein, this easy vegetable soup recipe makes for a filling meal all on its own. However, we love to pair it with gluten free crackers or homemade nut and seed bread for dipping!
Or, serve it as a side dish or appetizer with your favorite recipes like massaged kale salad, instant pot whole chicken, or a veggie sandwich!
More Gluten Free Soup Recipes
Looking for more easy soup recipes to get you through the colder months? We’ve got you covered with plenty of gluten free, allergy friendly recipes the whole family will love!
Instant Pot Vegetable Soup with Bacon (Crockpot Option)
- Total Time: 17 minute
- Yield: 5-6 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
Packed with plenty of flavor and nutrients, this easy Instant Pot, Crockpot, and Stove Top vegetable soup recipe is a hearty comfort food ready in minutes.
- 4 strips (5 ounces) thick-cut uncured bacon, diced into 1 inch pieces plus more for topping, if desired
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup diced yellow onion or 1 small yellow onion
- 2 garlic cloves or 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 medium parsnip or additional carrot, chopped
- Light olive oil, as needed
- 3 cups (~ 500 grams) baby potatoes, quartered
- 28 ounces chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3 thyme sprigs or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 ounces smoked ham or ham steaks, diced
- Optional Toppings: fresh parsley, grated Parmesan cheese, diced bacon
Instant Pot Instructions
- Heat a 4-quart Instant Pot using the SAUTE mode. Add diced bacon and cook until the edges are crisp, around 3-4 minutes. Remove cooked bacon and drain well on paper towels. Reserve 1 Tablespoon bacon grease (for sautéing) and extra cooked bacon for topping, if desired.
- Add onion, garlic and mushrooms to the Instant Pot. Saute for 3-4 minutes or until mushrooms and onion are softened, but not browned. Stir in the celery, carrot and parsnip and saute for an additional 2 minutes. Add olive oil (or bacon grease) if the veggies are starting to stick to the pot.
- Turn off SAUTE mode and place the potatoes in the pot. Add paprika, thyme, salt, black pepper, and chicken broth to the pot. Stir to combine.
- Place bay leaf on top and cover with lid. Lock the Instant Pot lid and set the vent to closed. Select MANUAL mode and on high pressure for 10 minutes, then natural release for 5 minutes. Release remaining pressure, remove lid (once unlocked), and remove bay leaf and thyme stems.
- Stir in diced ham and bacon, then place on warm for 5-10 minutes or until the ham is warmed. Season to taste and top with optional toppings.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Slow Cooker Instructions
- In a large skillet on medium-high heat, add diced bacon and cook until the edges are crisp, around 3-4 minutes. Remove cooked bacon and drain well on paper towels. Reserve 1 Tablespoon bacon grease (for sautéing) and extra cooked bacon for topping, if desired.
- Add onion, garlic and mushrooms to the skillet. Saute for 3-4 minutes or until mushrooms and onion are softened, but not browned. Stir in the celery, carrot and parsnip and saute for an additional 2 minutes. Add olive oil (or bacon grease) if the veggies are starting to stick to the pot.
- Turn off the heat and place the veggies in the slow cooker. Layer the potatoes on top. Stir in paprika, thyme, salt, black pepper, and chicken broth.
- Place bay leaf on top and cover with lid. Cook on HIGH for 3 hours. Remove bay leaf and thyme stems.
- Stir in diced ham and bacon cooking on HIGH for an additional 30 minutes. Season to taste and top with optional toppings.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Storage Tips – Once cooled completely, soup can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
- Category: soup
- Method: instant pot/slow cook
- Cuisine: american
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 279
- Sugar: 6 g
- Sodium: 474.2 mg
- Fat: 12.9 g
- Saturated Fat: 1 g
- Carbohydrates: 30 g
- Fiber: 4.9 g
- Protein: 13.6 g
- Cholesterol: 5 mg
Keywords: slow cooker recipe, vegetable soup, soup with bacon, crockpot soups, easy dinner, make ahead soup, gluten free soup
Do you have questions, feedback, or tips about this recipe? Leave a comment below with any questions or feedback you’d like to share!
Jeff the Chef @ Make It Like a Man!
I’ve been getting used to an Instant Pot that is relatively new, but I have yet to make a soup in it. This one looks like a great one to try. And I see that snow is in the forecast, so bring on some soup!
Sammi (Cotter Crunch Test Kitchen)
Hey Jeff! All of us here at Cotter Crunch have really enjoyed this soup. I think this is the perfect recipe for you to get more comfortable with your Instant Pot. Stay warm with that snow coming!
I wanted this done on the stovetop, quicker but with maximum flavours. So I roasted my mushrooms first, with thyme and garlic. I also fried the bacon (butcher’s smoked) with sweet onion and the brussels sprouts. Added the seasonings, potatoes, and broth, and the roasted mushrooms, simmered for about an hour-ish with the lid on. Served with chopped chives and grilled parmesan crostini’s on the side for dipping. Hands-down, one of the best things to ever come out of my kitchen!
Stop what you’re doing and make this soup right now.
Holy moly! Do you deliver? Sounds UNREAL julie!
Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction
This sounds like the perfect soup for a chilly fall evening!
I need this please! I am a huge fan of all these ingredients, so I can only imagine how amazing they taste cooked in one giant pot of love! I think the Hubs will even enjoy this…as long as I add a little more bacon 🙂
I’m always on the lookout for new soup recipes. I think drink at least 1-2 bowls per day!
I’m not a huge fan of the cold weather, but I do love fall foods (pie, turkey, soup, you name it!).
you and me both! it it weren’t for soup, i’d be a weeny in cold weather! haha
Yum…. I need this stat. Weather is getting chilly! 40’s at night! yikessss. Soup season is here. Thanks for the awesome recipe!
allie @ Through Her Looking Glass
I am so ready for this delicious soup Lindsay!!! Yum to bacon. Yum to brussel sprouts. And yum to potatoes. Perfection! Air is crisping up in New England, ready for this great slow cooker soup!
yum indeed! these are all my favs too allie. Soup du jour!
You had me at smoked bacon, but the brussel sprouts and potatoes took it over the top! I love the fact that this recipe is not only budget friendly, but also healthy. Those two things are not always seen together.
ahh yea! let’s have a bacon party tomorrow. Soup it is!
Abby @ BackAtSquareZero
This looks amazing, my poor soup comes from cans.
Bacon in soup?! Genius!!
Michelle @ Running with Attitude
Oh my gosh another great recipe to try! Just pinned it 🙂
let me know if you do!
She Rocks Fitness
I actually have all the ingredients for this, except the potatoes, which the supermarket didn’t have, because the food trucks couldn’t come over this weekend, because of the hurricane…LOL…welcome to island life. Can’t wait to make another Cotter slow cooker recipe!
Laura @ This Runner's Recipes
I almost cried with joy over how perfect this soup is. So making this – maybe it will finally get Ryan to like Brussel sprouts!
haha let’s cry together! tears of joy
Please don’t show this to Sammie!! This looks so good I may have to breakdown and make it for my husband and her as they love bacon. I like the flavor but it’s a texture thing and yes I know I am one of the only people on the planet not to like bacon. I will have to show them when they get home and maybe make it with beer bread since I love that and think it would pair perfect and I will just eat way more than I should of that. Not a beer fan but I like beer bread, yep again I know I’m probably “strange”.
Lisa @ RunWiki
My family and love soup– if it would just cool down here in Socal I would be much happier serving it! We love bacon and Sprouts are the best– this soup looks so hearty and satisfying.. full of flavor! Hope you had a lovely weekend my friend! xo
it’s finally cooling off here, come visit? miss you
[email protected] fitaspire
I love the option to make this in the slow cooker – can’t wait to try this!!
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table
There’s not much I love more than brussels and bacon (besides chocolate cake a red wine ;)). This looks absolutely perfect, and I KNOW Vegas will approve. Because bacon.
Is it funny that when I saw this I thought of you?!? I might make it for the hubby and oldest and just make some beer bread to pair with it and eat that and maybe now a glass of red wine since I don’t like beer…. can anyone say carb overload!
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table
I’m totally flattered. 😉
so i need to make a bacon red wine chocolate cake next, yes?
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table
Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
Lindsay, I will take ANYTHING with brussels sprouts! I adore them, and part of what I love about fall is exactly what you’ve described – all the seasonal produce. Squash, brussels sprouts and apples are my three big faves, and just cooking them with some simple herbs feels so grounding and satisfying. This soup looks fantastic!
Brussel sprouts and bacon are a match made in heaven — and I love that you thought to put them in a soup! PERFECT. Plus, bacon makes everything better!
Amanda @ .running with spoons.
I’m pretty sure that one of the reasons I love fall so much is because of all the delicious and comforting foods that come with it. Yes to ALL things starchy and warming.
Erin @ The Almond Eater
This might be weird, but I’m kind of obsessed with this little spoons. They are so cute! …..not weird right? No worries because I also love this soup. Potatoes+bacon=dead in the best way.
haha they are my fav too! I think i got them at west elm
That bacon!! This soup looks like perfection in a bowl. Exactly what I crave when the weather starts getting cooler. Bring on those veggie carbs!
Ashley @ Fit mitten Kitchen
You had me at brussels. Let’s be real 😉 <3 Pinning this seasonal goodness.
Shashi at RunninSrilankan
This soup with Brussels Sprouts, bacon and potatoes in one warm bowl is just another reason why someone needs to invent a teleporter – that way I can just say “Beam me up Lindsay” and be there at dinner time! 🙂
OH this may explain why I’ve been craving starches lately! Thought it was because it’s close to that time of the month, but it’s been going on I since the weather changed! Making this this evening 🙂
I want cold weather to stay just so I can make this!
I love these soups for lunch. I get up at five and after yoga and running, I find a small bowl of soup so extremely satisfying. I will be making this one!!! Seasonal eating is where it is at. We eat at farm-to-tables when we eat out and the menus are packed with seasonal soups, salads, veggies and proteins. Love the exposure. Last evening I had a as a side a light curry sweet potatoes and broccoli dish. It was amazing. You are so right, it’s all in the picking of quality, seasonal fresh foods and tasty and appropriate pairing of spices and flavors. You always seem to get that perfectly down!
that is awesome! so glad you agree! keep me posted lesq
rAchel @ Athletic avocado
i love hearty soups like this!!! The Bacon and Brussels add some mph to this yummy soup!!! 🙂
Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious
Oh my this looks so good! I always wondered why we craved heavier foods in the fall. The vitamin D makes sense though! I’m dying over those spoons. So pretty!
Susie @ SuzLyfe
Omg. I just died. This is amazing. It reminds me of a cross between collard greens set up (because of the bacon) and then a fall veggie soup and omg. Pinning and yumming and making.
Katie @ Talk Less, Say More
I think I found my dinner for later this week… 😉 (no joke was just dreaming about a fall veggie soup with bacon the other day..)
Michele @ paleorunningmomma
Oh my how cozy and delicious does this look?! Soup with bacon? I’m all in!!