Antioxidants, anti-cancer benefits, vitamins, minerals, & flavors abound in this easy vegan, keto, and paleo Hella Mighty Instant Pot Green Soup! This nourishing green soup is dairy-free, grain-free, gluten-free, and thickener-free, getting all of it’s beautiful flavor and color from spinach, chard, nettles, olive oil, cauliflower, and bone broth.
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Confession: I was 99.9% sure this soup was going to taste like grass.
Spinach, chard, nettles, celery, zucchini — it’s SO green.
Alas, I was craving greens, so greens is what I gave myself.
I practice intuitive eating. I’ve never read the book Intuitive Eating (maybe one day), yet I frequently find myself led by my intuition as I add and mix and stir and graze my fridge for whatever I’m creating.
So with this recipe for what I’m calling Hella Mighty Instant Pot Green Soup. (I think, in a minute, you’ll understand why it’s “hella mighty”.) 😉
We NEED more greens, y’all.
Of all the “food groups” we need to be eating, greens are hands-down the veggies we need to include more of in our diets. And on the regular.
More than grass-fed meats, more than healthy fats, more than grass-fed dairy, more than sprouted nuts or beans, more than fruit. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say, yes, even more than healing bone broth.
The good news is that, in addition to being PACKED with vibrant greens of all sorts, it also has nourishing fat and healing bone broth.
I’ve been guilty of turning my nose up at greens, choosing more “flavorful” foods instead. Big mistake!
The goodness that greens give our bodies cannot be supplied by any other foods — it’s just that simple.
Furthermore, leafy greens — spinach, kale, beet greens, chard, nettle, and lettuces — boast numerous, priceless health benefits:
- high in Vitamin K, folate and other B vitamins, beta-carotene, lutein, dietary fiber, magnesium, polyphenols, and more amazingness
- The dietary fiber in leafy greens feeds beneficial gut bacteria.
…(H)igh fiber content in plants provide substrates for gut microbes to digest and create byproduct that effect various gut metabolic activities including PH balance, gut permeability, immune balance, bowel movements and so forth. Failure to consume high amounts of plants in these diets leads to severe compromise in your gut microbial communities… (source).
- Greens boast UV protection “at a cellular level through the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin” (source).
- The chlorophyll in leafy greens neutralizes certain toxins, such as aflatoxins, by actually trapping the toxin and rendering it harmless.
Overall, the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense, and phytochemical-rich characteristic of dark, leafy greens provide our bodies with beneficial effects ranging from the microscopic, molecular level to the telescopic tissue level such as your skin (source).
Hella Benefits of This Hella Mighty Instant Pot Green Soup
I literally opened my fridge and freezer and started grabbing the things that called out to me — things my body knows it needs as I continue to heal from a mystery urethra/bladder condition and debilitating anxiety.
Only later, when I sat down to write this post for you did I do some research about the ingredients my intuition led me to. Here’s what I discovered (and our bodies are badasses when we listen to them!):
- Celery — high in Vitamin K, folate, and potassium. Celery also reduces inflammation, protects the liver, boosts digestion, and helps prevent UTIs.
- Spinach — Protecting the body, especially the colon, from free radicals, spinach is wonderful for stimulating brain function, helping with mental clarity, and boosting the memory. Suffice it to say, spinach is GREAT for mental health! It’s high in Vitamins K and C, B vitamins, potassium, zinc, and magnesium, too.
- Nettle — This super-herb decreases oxidative stress (hello!), fights infection, reduces inflammation, and heals the stomach lining. It can also help treat disorders of the kidneys and urinary tract. Nutrient-wise, nettle is high in Vitamins C and A, as well as iron, calcium, B vitamins, and a host of amino acids. Buy dried nettle here.
- Cauliflower — High in Vitamin C and sulfur (which has been shown to kill cancer stem cells!), the humble cauliflower boasts numerous vitamins and minerals and anti-inflammatory benefits. It contains antioxidants to support Phase 1 liver detox, and its sulfur content is important for Phase 2 liver detox.
- Chard — Its anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and high levels of antioxidants make chard effective for nearly every health issue. High in minerals like copper, magnesium, potassium, and calcium, vitamins like K, A, and C, chard helps regulate the blood sugar, draws toxins out of the body via the digestive system, and benefits the nervous and musculo-skeletal systems.
Should You Use Fresh or Frozen Veggies?
In a perfect world, we’d use fresh everything all the time.
But, I like to think our world is already pretty perfect — and we have the opportunity each season to change up what we eat and enjoy that season’s bounty.
However, it’s not always possible to find fresh produce in certain geographical regions (ahem, looking at you NE Minnesota!) during many months out of the year.
Also, fresh greens tend to wilt or turn bad on us pretty quickly, resulting in some of our greens going in the compost bin.
When it’s summer and our farmers market is in full swing, I’m all about using fresh veggies. When I’m able to get organic produce in the store that’s not from Mexico or Chile and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, I buy fresh then, too.
Yet, a large portion of the vegetables we eat in our home come out of the freezer. Some, like the zucchini I used in this batch of soup, came from our garden; I froze it when it was abundant, knowing that I’d be digging in the deep freeze one day and appreciate my thriftiness. 😉
Don’t be afraid of frozen veggies!
They are not less nutrient-dense than fresh because they are picked and frozen at the height of their season.
I always keep a supply of frozen cauliflower on hand because it’s a major staple in my kitchen — and it’s so much cheaper than buying fresh, organic heads of cauliflower. It’s also less work to prepare; simply open the bag and dump!
Frozen spinach is another staple. It’s way easy to add a handful or 2 or a whole bag of frozen spinach to soups, quiche, fried rice, and more.
If you have access to fresh versions of these veggies, lucky you! Most of us don’t, however, and that’s ok. Frozen veggies and fruits are one of my most favorite convenience foods!
How To Make Hella Mighty Instant Pot Green Soup
In true Lindsey form, I’ve made this Hella Mighty Instant Pot Green Soup super uncomplicated.
Since the soup is blended, there’s no need to spend a lot of time trying to uniformly chop the veggies. A rough chop of everything works just fine.
First, add 1/4 cup of your favorite nourishing cooking fat to the Instant Pot with the Saute feature on. I am using organic extra virgin olive oil. (Pssssst! Not all olive oil is 100% pure. Only choose brands you know are reputable and high quality. I only use EVOO from Wildly Organic and Thrive Market)
Add roughly chopped onion and celery to the Instant Pot and saute for a couple of minutes.
Then, add the rest of the ingredients — spinach, cauliflower, chard (or beet greens or kale), zucchini, and dried nettles. Don’t add the avocado until after the soup has finished cooking.
I used 6 large cloves of garlic and 4 teaspoons of quality, mineral-rich Himalayan salt. If you like less garlic, use less. If 4 teaspoons of salt seems like a lot to you, decrease it to your taste.
For extra flavor and some heat — because I LOVE spice! — I added a whole jalapeño. And, my soup was pretty spicy — but I love it! 🙂
For AIP or if you just don’t care for spicy, simply omit the jalapeño.
Instant Pot Hella Mighty Green Soup needs just 3 minutes to pressure cook.
Optional Nourishing Add-ins
For liver-cleansing fat and an energy boost, blend in a tablespoon or two of Perfect MCT Oil (<– Again, ALLTHETHINGS coupon code saves you 10%!)
If I had had them in my house at the time, my intuition would also have added:
- 1 to 2 cups mushrooms of your choice
- a bunch of fresh parsley or cilantro
- a couple scoops of Aquatic Greens (10% off with code ALLTHETHINGS)
- a drizzle of coconut milk or sour cream, if you’re not dairy-free
Hella Mighty Instant Pot Green Soup (vegan, keto, paleo)
Antioxidants, anti-cancer benefits, vitamins, minerals, & flavors abound in this easy vegan, keto, and paleo Hella Mighty Instant Pot Green Soup! This nourishing green soup is dairy-free, grain-free, gluten-free, and thickener-free, getting all of it's beautiful flavor and color from spinach, chard, nettles, olive oil, cauliflower, and bone broth.
- 1/4`cuporganic extra virgin olive oilor other nourishing fat of choice
- 1cuponionroughly chopped
- 3ribsceleryroughly chopped
- 1poundcauliflowerfresh or frozen
- 1poundspinachfresh or frozen
- 2packed cupsshredded zucchini
- 2packed cupsSwiss chard, kale, or beet greens(use whatever you have!)
- 1/2cupdried stinging nettle
- 6cloves garlic
- 1jalapeno pepper, sliced(optional, leave out for AIP)
- 1-1/2cupsbone broth(use vegetable broth for vegan)
- 1 to 4teaspoonsmineral-rich saltto taste
Press the Saute button on your Instant Pot and add olive oil or other nourishing fat, such as coconut oil, ghee, lard, tallow, etc.
Add the onion and celery and saute 2-3 minutes.
Then, add the cauliflower, spinach, zucchini, chard, nettles, garlic, jalapeno (if using), bone broth, and salt.
Place the lid on the Instant Pot, checking that the seal is in place.
Press Keep Warm/Cancel. Then press the Manual or Pressure Cook button and adjust the time to 3 minutes on high pressure.
When the pot beeps, immediately release pressure.
Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth or leave some chunks if you like that texture.
Add the avocado and blend it in last.
If your soup is too thick, blend in extra bone or vegetable broth until you reach your desired consistency.
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