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Easy Spicy Zucchini Rice Soup (Instant Pot Pressure Cooker)

Simmer a serious amount of zucchini with citrusy chile spice and rich vegetable broth, make it a brighter green with fresh parsley or basil, and, when the vegetables are soft and tender, blend everything to creamy smooth. Finally stir a big handful of cooked brown rice for this nourishing spicy zucchini rice soup!

Spicy Zucchini Rice Soup ready to eat with spoon and napkin in background


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This time of summer when the temps are cooler but we’re still pulling zukes upon zucchini from the garden, if those green cylinders could speak they’d be saying, “Turn me into a really tasty easy soup–simmer me in vegetable broth with a hint of fresh chile spice, make me smooth and creamy, and then give me all those toothy nuggets of brown rice.”

Dear zucchini, your wish is this recipe.

Spicy zucchini rice soup is easy to put together. Cook it in a pressure cooker and it comes together even faster!

The second trick to speedy soup is to use an immersion blender to puree the veggies and broth right in the cook pot. Stir in the cooked brown rice, and cook until it’s heated through. 

ingredients for spicy zucchini rice soup chile, onion, parsley, celery, zucchini and garlic

One of the reasons I love to make soup is that soup recipes are flexible. I am always coming up with new soups depending on what’s in the fridge and freezer. That’s how this soup happened.

The week I created this recipe, we found zucchini, chiles and herbs in our farm share box. Then there was the tub of cooked brown rice in the freezer. Yup–easy spicy zucchini rice soup!

pressure cooker and immersion blender for spicy zucchini rice soup

If you don’t have a stash of leftover rice, cook the rice beforehand. Then when zucchini tell you it wants to be soup, you’ll be in the conversation, rice ready. Why not make some ahead and have it in the freezer for this and other recipes?

Spicy Zucchini Rice Soup horizontal shot of ready to eat soup

Keep it vegan: Omit the cheese and garnish your soup with lightly toasted pumpkin seeds and/or slices of avocado.

Spicy Zucchini Rice Soup notes:

  • The first time I made this zucchini soup, I used aji crystal chiles, a light green spicy chile that came in my farm share box. They brought a sweet citrus flavor dimension to the soup. Serrano chiles also have a citrusy flavor so that’s what I use now.
  • With an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, spicy zucchini rice soup can be on the table in ½ hour!
  • No pressure cooker or Instant Pot? Simmer the vegetables and broth until the zucchini is very soft, about 20 minutes.
  • In my kitchen, an immersion blender is as indispensable for soups as a pressure cooker. It’s a no muss–no fuss blender for hot liquids.

Make it a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something delicious!

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5 from 2 votes
Spicy Zucchini Rice Soup
Easy Spicy Zucchini Rice Soup
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

You’ll love this healthful hot soup in the fall, when there’s a chill in the air, yet the zucchini harvest is still going strong. Serve with a salad for a light and simple supper. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Course: Soup
Cuisine: Vegan Friendly, Vegetarian
Keyword: Instant Pot, pressure cooker, zucchini
Servings: 6 servings.
Author: Letty Flatt | Letty's Kitchen
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion , or 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 5 cups coarsely chopped zucchini
  • 1 serrano chile, seeds removed (see note)
  • 1 large or 2 small stalks celery , optional
  • 4 parsley sprigs , or about 8 basil leaves
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • fine sea salt , as needed
  • 1 cup cooked short grain brown rice
  • Grated cheese , optional (I used Pecorino Romano)
  • sliced avocados and/or pumpkin seeds
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil on medium flame. Sauté the onion and garlic several minutes. With the Instant Pot, do this on the Sauté function. (see note) Add the zucchini, chile, celery, if using, and the parsley or basil. Pour in the vegetable broth—it will barely, or not even, cover the vegetables in the cookpot.

  2. With the Instant Pot, manually set the time to 6 minutes. Quick release the pressure using the top vent.

  3. For stovetop pressure cooker—bring to pressure and cook for 6 minutes. Quick-release the pressure under cold running water. 

  4. For regular stovetop cooking without a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, cover and simmer the vegetables and broth until the zucchini is very soft, about 20 minutes.

  5. Puree using an immersion blender or puree in batches in a blender jar. (see note) Season to taste with salt.

  6. Add the cooked rice, and heat until the rice is hot.
  7. Serve with cheese, if desired. Or garnish with pumpkin seeds and/or slices of avocado.
Recipe Notes
  • Spicy zucchini soup freezes well! Make it now, thaw, reheat and enjoy later!
  • The first time I made this zucchini soup, I used aji crystal chiles, a light green spicy chile that came in my farm share box. They brought a sweet citrus flavor dimension to the soup. Serrano chiles also have a citrusy flavor so that's what I use now.
  • Use caution with the chiles. You want flavorful spiciness that doesn’t overwhelm the soup--so remove the seeds and veins before chopping the chile.
  • No pressure cooker or Instant Pot? Simmer the vegetables and broth until the zucchini is very soft, about 20 minutes.
  • No immersion blender? Puree the hot soup in a regular blender in batches. Fill the jar no more than half full and hold the lid on tight. 

9 comments

  • Teri Thomas

    I’m glad you included a shot of the aji crystal chile – a new one for me. Reply · 16 September, 2014

  • Very impressive CSA. I am dying to get my hands on some Aji peppers in preparation for my Peruvian cooking adventure. Gorgeous ‘cross-seasonal’ soup. GREG Reply · 18 September, 2014

  • mmmmmm! That bowl looks so comforting yet fresh! I love creamy soups when the weather gets cold and I’ve never made a smooth soup using zucchini – it looks so enticing!!! I could easily cozy up with a big bowl of this soup any day this fall and winter! Reply · 21 September, 2014

    • Letty

      I love that this soup is creamy yet creamless… Thanks Julia! Reply · 21 September, 2014

  • […] and Parmesan, Kalyn’s Kitchen Julia Child’s French Onion Soup, Hip Pressure Cooking Easy Spicy Zucchini Rice Soup, Letty’s Kitchen Lentil Orzo Soup, Pressure Cooking Today Creamy Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup, […] Reply · 1 October, 2014

  • Susan Packard

    Finally made it to your site. This soup looks awesome. I have beaucoup yellow zuccs, no brainer. Miss you. Reply · 6 October, 2014

    • Letty

      Thanks Susan. Sounds like you are having fun in your garden. Missed you in Abi-cize today. Reply · 6 October, 2014

  • Louise

    If you don’t have an intra pot or pressure cooker, can it be made on the stove top?? Reply · 5 days ago

    • Yes. I give directions in the recipe. All you need to do is cook it longer in your saucepan, until the zuchinni is nice and soft. Reply · 5 days ago

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