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Instant Pot Summer Soup

This soup knocked my socks off. OK, technically that's not true. It's summer and I'm not wearing socks. But I digress. When I saw this recipe on I could't resist trying it because I'm sick and tired of cold salads for dinner. Its name, Summer Soup, intrigued me. Who eats soup in the summer? The answer to that question is: me!

Huddle near your air conditioner if you have to, but make this soup. It's that good. I can't believe I've been making soup for umpteen years and never came up with the idea of adding farro to vegetable soup. Turns out, you can teach an old dog new tricks! Bonus: the recipe cooks quickly in the Instant Pot and doesn't heat up the kitchen. Don't own an Instant Pot? No problem: directions for stovetop cooking are given below. The farro thickens the soup as it cools with either cooking method.

Sick of chicken? Leave it out and add cannellini beans. Calories/WW Points are insanely low for both. I topped my bowl with a dollop of Greek yogurt and some fresh chopped basil, my ode to summer. You can double the ingredients if you want to make 8 servings. A 6-quart Instant Pot or 5-quart Dutch oven can easily handle twice as much volume.

Finally, don't just make this soup in the summertime. Make it in December and call it Christmas Soup! As Shakespeare said, "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts

15-oz. can crushed tomatoes

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup farro, rinsed and drained in a colander *

3 cups chicken broth

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. each dried basil and oregano

1/4 tsp. each garlic and onion powder

1 tsp. salt

1 zucchini, cut into small pieces

1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels, cut off the cob

Place everything except the zucchini and corn into the Instant Pot. Cook on High for 12 minutes. Release steam manually.

Remove chicken and shred meat. Stir in zucchini and corn. Set pressure to high and cook another 5 minutes. Release steam.

Let the soup rest for several minutes. it thickens as it cools. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with your favorite toppings.

Toppings: Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, plain Greek yogurt, fresh herbs.

* If you don't have farro you can substitute brown rice or small pasta. Add the pasta with the zucchini and corn, as it doesn't take as long to cook.

Stovetop Directions: Sauté veggies and spices in the oil until softened. Add liquids, grains, and chicken. Simmer until the chicken and farro are done, about 20 minutes. Shred chicken and return to pot. Add zucchini and corn, and simmer until cooked.

Serves 4 (each serving = 1 generous cup)

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