Instant Pot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

I made Chicken and Wild Rice Soup yesterday when the temperature lows were in the 40s here in the Northwest. Creamy, hearty, and yummy!! And SOOO easy--cut up the veggies the night before and the soup will go together in minutes.  And with the wonders of an electric pressure cooker like the Instant Pot, it can be done in minutes.  No thickenings to make--Ultra Gel stirs in to just the consistency you want, with no danger of curdling the fragile milk base.




134 cal


4 g


15 g


9 g
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Yields 16 cups

Serves 16


Instant Pot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

20 min

20 min

40 min

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  • 1 lb Boneless Skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 c. onion, chopped
  • 1 c. celery, chopped
  • 1 c. carrot , chopped
  • 1 c. mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 c. wild rice
  • 1 T. chicken bouillon (paste or powder)
  • 1 qt (4 cups) chicken broth
  • 2 c. half and half
  • 1/2-3/4 c. Ultra Gel


  • Place chicken breasts in the bottom of an Instant Pot (or other electric pressure cooker). If the breasts are very large, I cut the into 2 or 3 pieces for even cooking.
  • Add chopped onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms on top of the chicken breasts.
  • Add wild rice, chicken bouillon and chicken broth.
  • Seal the Instant Pot and set to cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Allow to Naturally Release for ten minutes, then vent any remaining pressure manually.
  • Break the chicken pieces up with a fork or remove them to a plate and cut into cubes or shred. Add chicken back to the soup.
  • Stir in half and half, then thicken by adding 1/2 c. Ultra Gel gradually, stirring constantly. Allow to thicken for five minutes, then add another 1/4 c. if you want it thicker.
  • Stir in half and half

Fresh Potato and Leek Soup

Potato and leek soup--pure comfort food!  This classic French soup has a place in any kitchen--easy-to-find ingredients and mild flavors--perfect for a chilly Sunday afternoon.  Or a quick weekday meal--pair it with  crusty bread and curl up with a blanket!



1003 cal


51 g


115 g


21 g
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Fresh Potato and Leek Soup
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  • 1 1/2 c. finely chopped leeks, with tops
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 T. butter or margarine
  • 4 c. regular strength chicken broth
  • 3 c. peeled potatoes, 1/2" dice
  • 1 c. half and half or heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¾ c. Ultra Gel®
  • chopped parsley


  • Saute leeks, onion, and garlic in butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until tender but not brown.
  • Add chicken broth and potato; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  • Add half and half and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add ULTRA GEL gradually, stirring constantly with a wire whisk. Heat to serving temperature (do not boil).
  • Serve immediately, garnished with chopped parsley, or puree, using a handheld blender before serving.

Leeks look like really big green onions, and are a very mild and flavorful member of the same plant family.  I put the lemon in the photo to help show how big leeks can really be!  I've seen them in a variety of sizes, so I think a measurement of the quantity of "sliced/chopped leek" is more accurate than "one leek".  Leeks are often used in soups and other dishes where their mild flavor is treasured.

Leeks sometimes pose a challenge to clean, as they often have dirt packed firmly in the leaves.  This is because during the growing process, dirt is piled up around the leek plants to help develop more of the tender white part.  That just means that you need to be careful about washing.  The white and light green parts are most commonly used, so the green fibrous leaves can be peeled back during slicing and any dirt rinsed away.

It's always a good idea, though, to put sliced leeks in a colander and rinse them well before cooking.

Lazy man's trick--you can measure multiple items in the same measuring cup if it is big enough to "add to".  Here the diced onions were measured, then the diced leeks added to them.  Less dishes to wash!

Saute the onions and leeks in the butter until the vegetables are tender.

Then add the potatoes and chicken broth, cover, and cook until the potatoes are tender.

Add the half and half or heavy cream, then stir in the Ultra Gel® gradually with a wire whisk.  Continue heating at a low heat to serving temperature. Keep a close eye on it--it will scorch easily!

If you want the soup thicker, add more Ultra Gel®, a tablespoon at a time.  If you want it thinner, add more chicken broth or half and half.

You can serve it "chunky", or use a hand-held blender to smooth it into a silky smooth creamy puree that soothes both the stomach and the soul.

Hearty Hamburger Soup

Cool evenings call for warm soup, and here's one that makes a pound of lean ground been go a long way.  Lots of nutritious veggies and a soothing milk base.  Light on calories and long on flavor!



1610 cal


52 g


164 g


143 g
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Yields 10 servings

Hearty Hamburger Soup
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  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 t. seasoned salt
  • 1 c. onions, diced
  • 1/2 c. red or green pepper, diced (opt.)
  • 1 c. carrots, diced into ¼” pieces
  • 1 c. diced potatoes, ½ “ dice
  • 1 c. water
  • 2 t. beef bouillon (paste preferred)
  • 1 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/8 t. pepper
  • 2 c. tomato juice
  • 4 c. milk
  • 3/4 c. ULTRA GEL®


  • Brown the ground beef with the seasoning salt in a heavy 4-quart pan until no pink remains. Add the onions, green pepper, carrots, and diced potato and cook for about ten minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent. Stir in the water and beef bouillon, then cover and cook on a low heat until all the vegetables are tender.
  • Stir in tomato juice and heat to a boil. Add milk, then stir in ULTRA GEL gradually, using a wire whisk. Continue heating to serving temperature. Please, don’t let the soup boil after the milk is added or the liquid might curdle, resulting in a soup that isn’t smooth!


Southwest Chicken Soup- Don't Cook your Chicken to Death!

Here is a low-cal any-weather soup that is so satisfying you will make it again and again. I think it has just the right amount of heat--even my most wary family members eat it with gusto (and corn chips) and the more adventurous add a little cayenne. And although it looks like it has alot of ingredients, in truth it is a "dump" recipe--where full cans of ingredients are used. Don't you hate recipes that call for odd amounts of canned ingredients, leaving you with bits and pieces in your refrigerator which often are wasted? This recipe seems big, but it goes to work nicely for lunch, or even freezes for a quick meal on a future day.



5578 cal


290 g


467 g


67 g
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Southwest Chicken Soup- Don’t Cook your Chicken to Death!
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  • 2 T. vegetable oil
  • 2 lb. chicken breast cut in 1" cubes
  • 1 T. chile powder
  • 1 1/2 t. ancho chile pepper
  • 2 t. cumin
  • 1/2 c. green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 c. onion, diced
  • 4 t. minced garlic
  • 1/2 t. ground black pepper
  • 1-10 oz can diced tomatoes and green chiles (Rotel is good)
  • 2-15 oz cans black beans, drained
  • 1-15 oz can corn, drained
  • 1-15 oz can tomatoes, diced
  • 4 c. chicken broth
  • 1/2 c. Ultra Gel®


  • Heat the oil to shimmering in a heavy dutch oven. Add the chicken and brown on all sides on a medium high heat, then continue to cook until no pink remains. Remove the chicken pieces to a bowl and reserve.
  • Add the chile powder, the ancho chile pepper, and the cumin to the pan and stir while continuing to heat until the seasonings are fragrant.
  • Add the green pepper, onion, garlic and black pepper to the seasonings and stir until the vegetables are crisp-tender.
  • Add the diced tomatoes and green chiles, drained beans and corn, the diced tomatoes and the chicken broth and stir to combine. Then add the Ultra Gel® gradually while stirring with a wire whisk.
  • Bring the ingredients to a boil, then add the browned chicken pieces back to the soup and serve.
  • Corn chips are a nice accompaniment, and cheese, tomato, and sour cream are welcome garnishes.

First, cut the chicken into cubes.  You may need to trim it a little but this isn't hard work.  Just a hint:  If you get jumbo breasts (the kind that are usually on sale for the best price), each lobe of the chicken breast will be roughly one pound.   Hate cutting up chicken breasts?  Just cut straight through into about 1 inch slices, then turn them on their sides and cut again if needed.  Really--it's fast. . .


Heat the oil, then add the chicken pieces and stir  while cooking untill all pieces are cooked all the way through and no pink remains.  Then remove the chicken pieces to a covered bowl for later use.

And here is where I get on my soapbox and preach the virtues of not overcooking chicken!!  The old days of killing the tough old red rooster and cooking it all day for chicken soup are gone.  The chicken most commonly available in supermarkets comes from chickens that are between 6 and 8 weeks old.  The breast is tender and easily overcooked.  Think of an expensive pieces of tender beef steak--would you cook it for hours on end and expect a tender, juicy product?  When cooking chicken, cook to a safe temperature (165 degrees), then serve for juicy, flavorful meat. (As a disclaimer, I like dark meat cooked to 170 degrees).

Add the chile powder, chile pepper, and black pepper to the pan.  Don't wash the pan first--those flavorful chicken bits will add flavor!  Heat until the chiles are fragrant.  


Just a note on chile pepper vs chile powder--don't get these confused!!  In the US, chile powder is a combination of dried, ground chile peppers with paprika, onion, and other flavorings.  It is quite mild and recipes frequently use substantial amounts.  Chile pepper will have only the dried peppers.  There are many different chile peppers with different flavor profiles--you may want to have several.  The secret is to check the ingredient statement before purchasing a powdered chile product to get an idea of how potent it is.

Add the green pepper, onion, garlic, and black pepper to chile seasonings in the pan and stir over medium high heat until the vegetables lose their crispness.  Add an extra tablespoon of oil if the mixture is too dry.

Add all of the canned goods to the vegetables, then add the chicken broth.  Stir in the Ultra Gel® with a wire whisk and heat the soup to boiling.

Add the chicken back to the boiling soup and cook for 2 or three minutes to heat the ingredients evenly and blend the flavors.

Rich and delicious!  The Ultra Gel® gives the soup some body--The vegetables and meat don't sink to the bottom.  Perfect quick meal for a chilly day--or any day!

Incidentally, you can make this soup even faster by using pre-prepped chicken (see World's Best Meal Prep Chicken ).  A package of frozen, pre-prepped chicken can be microwaved for about a minute, then added to the soup at the last step.  Best ever!!

Jalapeno Popper in a Bowl!

Looking for that perfect dish for the holiday pot luck?  Something easy to prepare, portable, but a little unusual?  Try this warm, rich, satisfying takeoff of a favorite holiday appetizer.   Who doesn't like a Jalapeno Popper?



2553 cal


194 g


202 g


104 g

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Jalapeno Popper in a Bowl - Perfect for Holidays!
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  • 1/2 lb breakfast sausage (I use turkey sausage)
  • 3 c. frozen southern-style hash browns
  • 3 c. chicken broth
  • 1 T. chicken bouillon granules or powder
  • 1 T. dry minced onion
  • 2 c. half and half or evaporated milk
  • 6 T. Ultra Gel* (available at Amazon or
  • 3 oz cream cheese (cut into 1-inch cubes)
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups diced green peppers and jalapeno peppers--adjust proportion to your family's tastes, but don't skimp on the jalapenos!
  • Diced peppers for garnish.


  • Combine frozen hash browns, chicken broth, bouillon, and onion in a heavy saucepan or four-quart slow cooker on high heat setting.
  • Meanwhile, brown sausage in a shallow pan. Add to saucepan/slow cooker when browned. Turn slow cooker to low if desired.
  • Cover and cook until potatoes are tender, but not mushy (about 2 hours on high or three on low if using a slow cooker.)
  • Add half and half or evaporated milk and stir to combine.
  • Stir in Ultra Gel gradually with a wire whisk.
  • Add cream cheese cubes and parmesan cheese and heat until smooth and hot (protect from boiling).
  • Adjust thickness by adding more Ultra Gel if too thin; more milk or chicken broth if too thick.
  • Add diced peppers just before serving for the popper "crunch". Garnish with reserved diced peppers.

Add chicken broth to heavy sauce pan or slow cooker

Add southern style hash browns. In different areas of the country, these may be called by a different name, but they are frozen, packaged, cubed potatoes that have not been fried.

Add chicken bouillon

and dehydrated minced onion.

Brown sausage in a frypan. I'm using turkey sausage and there is very little fat. If excessive fat accumulates during cooking, pour off and discard.

Cook until the potatoes are tender, then add the evaporated milk.

Gradually stir in the Ultra Gel. The product will begin to thicken. Add the parmesan cheese and cream cheese cubes and stir until smooth.

Add the sausage.

Seed and devein desired number of jalapenos, then dice. Do not add to soup until ready to serve to get the jalapeno "crunch"! I wish I could give you an exact amount of jalapenos to use for the perfect degree of flavor and heat, but there are too many variables. Some jalapenos are just hotter than others, even when you buy them from the same box. And different people like different degrees of heat. Rest assured, however--the milk base of this soup will temper any heat, so don't worry too much about getting it too hot.

Green peppers also provide crunch! And without the heat. Again--don't add until just before serving.


Potato Soup in Ten Minutes - Naturally Gluten-Free for Celiac Awareness Month

Who doesn't need a ten-minute "go-to" meal that's warm, nourishing, creamy and delicious?  That uses pantry staples and has lots of variations?  We all do, for the days the meeting went late, the kids have soccer, piano, cheer (you fill in the rest. . )  Add some crusty bread and fresh veggies and you have a meal anyone can love!  And the soup is gluten-free!

Potato Soup in Ten Minutes!

2 T. butter

1 T. dehydrated minced onions

1 1/2 cans chicken broth*

1 T. chicken base (paste preferred)

4 cups frozen Southern-style hash brown potatoes**

1 can evaporated milk

1/3 cup Ultra Gel® modified Food starch***

Melt butter in a heavy 2 qt pan.  Add dehydrated onions and stir while cooking until the onions are amber-colored.  Add chicken broth and chicken base and bring to a boil.  Add frozen hash browns (microwave them for 2 minutes first in a covered container for extra speed).  Cook until the potatoes are tender.  

Add the evaporated milk and stir in the Ultra Gel® gradually.  Continue to stir over a medium heat until thick.  Garnish as desired and serve.

*If making gluten-free, check the ingredients on the chicken base carefully!

**Southern Style hash browns are in a cube shape and have not been previously fried.  (Kitchen Hack--you can use frozen french fries--just reduce the butter to 1 tablespoon and break them up as much as you can.)

*** Ultra Gel® is an  instant, gluten-free modified corn starch that can be used to thicken hot or cold liquids.  It can be purchased at https:/ or through Amazon prime.  Search for "The Real Ultra Gel".