Press SAUTE mode on Instant Pot. Add butter or oil and once it’s hot add Bay Leaf and minced garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
Next add onions and saute until they soften.
Add diced carrots ,red bell pepper ,diced tomatoes ,water or vegetable stock, black pepper powder and salt.
Press CANCEL button on Instant Pot.Close the lid on the pot, and turn valve from VENTING to SEALING position.Set the pot to MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK (High Pressure) and set timer to 6 minutes.
When the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally. Open the lid.
Remove Bay leaf and puree soup using a hand blender until smooth.If you don’t have a hand blender ,puree in a blender in batches once slightly cooled.Then i usually sieve the puree but its totally optional.
Add dried basil, black pepper powder ,heavy cream or milk or half and half and stir well.It is entirely up to you which of these three you want to use just remember that the higher the fat content, the creamier the soup.
If you think soup is too thick ,you can add water or milk into soup and boil for 2 minutes.
Serve hot and top with croutons and a drizzle of heavy cream.