Instapot Creamy Tomato Soup with Caramelized Onions

Is it cold where you are? We are in Georgia and it was 70 degrees on Christmas, but today it is 24 degrees. I love the cold because it makes me feel like it is okay to stay in the holiday spirit for just a littttle bit longer!

This soup is perfect for the cold weather! I would honestly eat it any time, but the creamy heat just warms you from the inside out.

Last month a was a little under the weather and my amazing husband came home early to bring me Panera tomato soup and grilled cheese. That combination brings back so many memories for me. My grandma would warm a can of campbells tomato soup with a little milk and cheddar anytime I was sick. This is slightly more grown up, but the same yummy idea.

The caramelized onions pair really well with the tomatoes and cream. Topped with lots of cracked black pepper and grilled cheese croutons, you will definitely win over kids and adults alike!

Creamy Tomato Soup

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Servings 4 servings


  • Instapot


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 cup sliced yellow onion
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 slices sour dough bread
  • 1/2 cup cheddar
  • 1/2 cup grated parm


  • Heat up the instapot and add the olive oil. Once the oil is warm add your onions and sugar. Keep them moving so they do not burn. Once the onions start to turn golden brown you can add the tomatoes and broth. Turn on your soup setting for 45 minutes.
    Once finished you can use an immersion blender to smooth out the broth or you can put a few cups in a regular blender. (Just make sure you wait until the soup is not boiling hot!) Add the cream, basil, and parmesan cheese. At this point you can salt and pepper to taste. I really like mine with lots of fresh cracked black pepper!
    Toast your sourdough with the cheddar on top. (I did mine really quickly in the air fryer) You just want the bread slightly crispy and the cheese melted. Cut into cubes for your topping.

This is an easy way to have a warm comforting dinner with hardly any effort! The carmelized onions and parmesan just take a traditional soup up a level. Enjoy!

Continue Reading

Spicy Beef Hot Pot

spicy beef hot pot

Hot Pot is one of those things that I think you either love or you hate. Most restaurants will have individual burners or share burners filled with savory broth. You cook a selection of meats and vegetables in your own simmering broth. Our favorite place also has a sauce bar. All you can eat chili oil? Sign me up! I did not go traditional today. I took all my favorite things from Hot Pot and made it a much easier clean up.

We had a new market open near us and I am almost embarrassed to tell you how many times we have been in the past 2 weeks. I say almost embarrassed because then I remember all the different kinds of dumplings and pork buns we have tried. Patrick is borderline obsessed with a little Ramen restaurant in the food court. Which is how this recipe came about this weekend. It has been threatening to snow flurry all weekend and every part of me wanted a rich beef soup. Not just any beef soup though. A hot pot style soup. Something with a rich broth and tons of goodies.

spicy beef hot pot

Most of these ingredients you can find right in your local grocery store. We purchased ours at a new local Asian market. If you have one close by definitely check it out! The herbs and vegetables are usually a fraction of the cost compared to local grocery stores. The selection is out of this world, and you can usually find really good deals on butchered meats.

spicy beef hot pot

I used pre-cubed rib eye. You can use any kind of beef you would like. Sliced brisket, stew meat, skirt steak sliced against the grain… anything works as long as you brown/sear the meat first.

Now lets talk about your heat tolerance. Mine is high- as in I tap out when fire comes out of my ears.  Patrick’s kids usually can handle fairly spicy, but I think this recipe would terrify them. So I am going to give you some options to make this family friendly.

If you are going to an Asian market you can pick up a hot pot starter. These are also available online or you could definitely make it yourself.

spicy beef hot pot

When searching for your hot pot base definitely take into account your heat preference. If you are more of a mild to medium spicy I would completely stay away from anything with Szechuan Peppercorns. I don’t think they are necessarily spicy, but sometimes you can get a bite that will unexpectedly numb your entire mouth. In theory I believe they are used to allow you to taste all the flavors in the hot pot, but if this is your first time making a recipe like this I would just skip them.

To build the base you will start by browning/ searing your meat. This is going to help tenderize the meat as well as build a lot of great flavor. Removed the meat then add in your broth and spices. Bring the broth to a rolling boil then drop down to barely a simmer before adding the meat back into the pot. Do not skip this step because it is going to give you super juicy bites of tender meat instead of chewy bites.

spicy beef hot pot

You can literally add anything to this soup. Some of my favorites are- mushrooms, cabbage, spinach, tomatoes, onion, egg, soup dumplings, noodles. Today we are using pork soup dumplings, shiitake mushrooms, garlic, Chinese noodles, and lots of fresh basil.

You can use any kind of dumplings you prefer, but I like the tiny bite size square dumplings. You can also have a dumpling sauce on the side for dipping. Yum!

Spicy Beef Hot Pot
Recipe Type: Soup
Author: Kellie Rice
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-3
Spicy broth simmered with rib-eye, garlic, and mushrooms. Poured over basil, dumplings and Chinese noodles.
  • 6 cups of beef stock
  • 1/2 pound of cubed or sliced steak
  • 1 tsp of canola oil
  • 2 tbsp of chopped garlic
  • 1 cup of fresh herbs
  • 1 cup of mushrooms
  • 4 oz or 2 servings of dried pasta such as Chinese noodles, ramen, or spaghetti
  • 2 cups of dumplings
  • 1/4 cup of hot pot base (Little Sheep is a good brand and I believe they sell it at Walmart)
  • Homemade Starter
  • If you want to make your own starter-
  • 1/4 cup of canola oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp of soy bean paste
  • 1 tsp of cayenne or white pepper (depending on your heat level)
  • 1 tsp of garlic
  • 1 tsp of crushed red chili (optional)
  • 1 tsp of whole cloves (optional)
  1. In a large soup pot heat 1 tsp of canola oil over medium heat
  2. Add in your meat careful not to crowd
  3. Brown/ sear your meat and set to the side
  4. Add in the chopped garlic and mushrooms
  5. Lower the heat and pour hot pot base over the top
  6. Add in the broth
  7. Bring to a boil
  8. Lower to barely a simmer (too hot will toughen your meat)
  9. Add the meat back in and simmer for 30-40 minutes
  10. minutes before serving add your noodles
  11. minutes before serving add in your dumplings
  12. Garnish with fresh herbs ( I love basil, but cilantro works too)
  13. Serve with a dumpling sauce and sriracha
  14. Or even a crusty hunk of bread

spicy beef hot pot

My Italian roots poked out a little here and I served mine with a load of crusty sourdough bread. Now before you judge my carbs on carbs on carbs just try a piece of warm bread dipped in this broth. It is so delicious!

I hope you enjoy my twist on a classic dish!

Continue Reading

Spicy Beef Ramen Bowl

spicy beef ramen bowl

Ramen is one of those super comforting foods that we turn to for an easy dinner. Long gone are the days when we fill our foam cups with water and wait for noodles to soften. While dressing up a ramen packet is not new to me, this is definitely a more sophisticated approach. I am lucky enough to live near several Asian farmers markets so some of these ingredients will be optional. Delicious either way.  Yesterday we went to pick up some soybean paste (which I seriously cannot find in any other grocery store in our area!) and I was lost in the 3 aisles of noodles. Rice noodles, mung bean noodles, green bean noodles, wheat noodles, soba noodles, egg noodles… so many noodles everywhere! I went with a classic ramen noodle, but we purchased a few others for later experiments.

beef ramen bowl

I started by slicing some sirloin steak very thin and browning it in my soup pot with a little vegetable oil. Removing the meat and setting it to the side I then browned some fresh chopped brussel sprouts.  Again removing from the heat and setting to the side. I added onion and mushrooms let that saute then drizzled some soy sauce to deglaze my pan. Turning the heat down I poured in the beef stock. Mixing in the brown sugar and spices. I recommend using a beef stock cube or half a packet of beef ramen seasoning to really get a bold beefy flavor.

beef ramen

I make my noodles in a separate pot tossing them into the broth once they have softened. Then comes my favorite part! The eggs! I know a lot of recipes call for a soft boiled egg on top, but we like to add our eggs straight into the broth and let them poach in the beef seasoning. So wonderful!

Spicy Beef Ramen Bowl
Recipe Type: Soup
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-3
Spicy beef ramen soup bowls! Layers of beef flavor with soft noodles and veggies.
  • 4 oz of sirloin steak sliced
  • 6 cups of beef stock
  • 2 beef ramen packs or noodle of choice
  • beef ramen seasoning or a beef cube
  • 1 tsp soy bean paste (optional if you cannot find)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of chopped brussel sprouts or cabbage
  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • 1 cup of chopped mushrooms
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp of chili paste (or sriracha)
  • 1/4 of low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  1. Prepare boiling water for the noodles.
  2. Add noodles and cook while preparing broth.
  3. In a large soup pot heat vegetable oil over medium high.
  4. Add in the meat and let it brown about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove meat and set to the side.
  6. Add chopped brussel sprouts and sesame oil to the pot and again brown over medium high,
  7. Lightly salt to taste, remove from heat and set to the side.
  8. Toss the onion and mushroom to the pot and begin to saute.
  9. Lower the heat to medium and mix in the brown sugar.
  10. Let the onions caramelize then add the soy sauce to de glaze the pot.
  11. Add in the garlic, chili paste, salt, and soy bean paste.
  12. Pour in the beef stock and stir.
  13. (Don’t forget to drain the noodles they cook fairly quickly)
  14. Bring the heat back up to medium high and add in the beef seasoning.
  15. Let simmer for another 10 minutes then pour in the drained noodles.
  16. Crack 2 eggs into the broth and let cook through.
  17. I like dropping the eggs into opposite ends so I can make sure both people get a whole egg.
  18. Pour soup into bowls and top with brussel sprouts and hot sauce.
  19. Enjoy!

beef ramen bowl

I hope you try out our go to easy dinner! These brussel sprouts are everrrrything right now! Don’t forget to let me know if you try it out!

Continue Reading

Spicy Mexican Chili

spicy mexican chili

Spicy chili is one of my favorite dishes to make. It is super simple and there are always left overs. Chili leftovers are perfect for next day omelets or hashbrowns. This chili has a little bit of a twist. I usually like a more traditional borderline Italian chili. This time I changed it up and went heavy on Mexican spices. I started with lean ground beef then picked up some thinly sliced steak with light marbling. Think fajita cuts.

spicy mexican chili


Layers of smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, fresh garlic, fresh cracked pepper, cumin, cayenne pepper and fresh onion all meld together with the fats from the meat and create the best base for this spicy chili. How spicy is obviously up to you. I love my chili to be nearly on fire! I know this is going to be one of my go to meals this fall/winter. I serve mine with a crusty piece of baguette, but crackers would be equally delicious.

spicy chili

Spicy Mexican Chili
Recipe Type: mexican, soup/stew
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6
Layers of smoky spices, lean cuts of beef, juicy tomatoes and red beans come together to make this amazing Mexican chili.
  • 1/2 pound of lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound of thinly sliced steak (fajita beef)
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 1 can of light red kidney beans rinsed
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 cups of beef or chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup of hot sauce
  • olive oil
  1. In a large soup pot heat a couple tbsps of olive oil.
  2. Cook the chopped onion and garlic until translucent.
  3. Add the meat and cook until no longer pink.
  4. Add in the spices.
  5. Let cook for another 5 minutes or so until the meat is thoroughly coated.
  6. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and stock.
  7. Add the beans.
  8. Let cook for the next 1 hour on low.
  9. Stir every 15 minutes or so.
  10. Add in the hot sauce, salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.
  11. Cook an additional 15 minutes.

The longer you cook this chili the better, but everything is done within the first hour. We are late eaters so I usually start this around 5 and let it cook over low for a few hours until we are ready to eat. This would also be great without the beans. I personally love the texture with the beans. I top mine with extra hot sauce, cheddar and sour cream. Patrick likes sour cream and chopped green onion. You can even trade out the sour cream for Greek yogurt! Yum!

I hope you try this recipe! Tag #kelliericecakes if you do!

Continue Reading

Broccoli Beer Cheese Soup

broccoli beer cheese soup

broccoli cheese soup

Broccoli cheese soup has always been my favorite comfort food. As soon as the air starts to cold down I start craving a warm cheesy spoonful of this soup. I still had some beer left over from my pretzel and cheese dip recipe so I added a splash or two.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to roast off the broccoli first. This adds so much depth and flavor to the soup. My boyfriend and I love roasted broccoli so this soup allows us to have a favorite in a different way.

I also recommend serving this soup in a crusty bread bowl! I am trying to slow down on the carbs so I skipped any added bread, but this soup would be perfect in a bread bowl topped with more cheese. Yum!

Broccoli Beer Cheese Soup
Recipe Type: Soup
Cuisine: American
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Cheesy broccoli soup with a splash of Red Hopps!
  • 1 crown of roasted broccoli chopped
  • olive oil
  • 8 ounces of shredded cheddar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups of half and half
  • 1/2 cup Red Hopps or chicken stock
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • Spices – garlic, pepper, paprika
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spread chopped broccoli onto a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and spices. I like to go heavy on the garlic and pepper. I recommend skipping salt in this recipe until the very end. The cheese is already very salty and the beer will intensify this.
  2. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the butter. Once butter has completely melted add in the flour and whisk consistently until the mixture starts to brown. Add in the beer and keep whisking. The mixture will thicken almost immediately. Pour in the half and half. Whisk until the ingredients look fully combined and reduce heat to medium low. Stir in the carrots and broccoli. You can use a hand mixer to emulsify the veggies, but since everything was already soft I just used a potato masher until I was happy with the consistency. If the soup looks too thick you can add more beer or half / half. Leave on reduced heat for 20 minutes stirring often. Add in cheese. You can add in more spices and salt if needed at this time.
  3. Serve topped with extra cheese and bacon crumbles!

broccoli cheese soup

Continue Reading