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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

Click here to PIN Spicy Zucchini Rice Soup!


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 (affiliate link) to puree the soup. It stands right in the soup pot and eliminates the muss and fuss of transferring hot soup to the blender and the risk of hot soup exploding out of the blender. I think an immersion blender is a purchase worth every penny.

Once the soup is pureed smooth, either with an immersion blender or regular blender, stir the cooked brown rice into the pot, 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. The cooked rice has starch, even when cooked and adds a pleasing texture to what would have been s creamy 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.

More Zucchini Ideas:

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

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PS If you make this recipe and love it, please consider leaving a blog post comment. Your comments help other readers learn more about the recipe. If you’d also give the recipe a ✮✮✮✮✮ rating, I’d be delighted!

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  • 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

  • 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 · 16 August, 2019

    • 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 · 16 August, 2019

  • Tony Molledo

    This was delicious! Reply · 18 October, 2021

  • Crista

    Made it exactly as recommended, except for the cheese. Delicious, everyone loved it. Reply · 4 September, 2022

    • Hi Crista–I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe. One of my faves for what to make with zucchini. Reply · 6 September, 2022

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