Basic Bean Soups in an Instant Pot

Posted on:

Making a healthy meal is easier using the Instant Pot. Instant Pot pressure cooking speeds up the cooking process, and because it does so automatically you don’t have to stand over a stove at all. If you don’t already have an Instant Pot, I heartily recommend you consider adding one to your kitchen.

<< insert link to Instant Pot Duo Mini here >>

But what to make in the Instant Pot? Soup! Yup, soup is super easy to make - just add ingredients, turn it on, and your soup will be ready shortly. Now, there are lots of recipes for soup that you can use but here is a very simple way to make virtually any soup of your own imagination. There are few key ingredients that make any soups delicious. Let’s start with the basics.

Soups that feature beans, lentils, peas or barley are all very similar in how to make them and don’t need to be a big project if you use the Instant Pot. Let’s make a simple bean soup today. There are a few key ingredients: Onions, potatoes, celery, carrots and the “protein”. What I mean by protein here are the beans that provide a good amount of protein and make the soup richer and more hearty.

Let’s start by chopping up an onion about the size of a tennis ball. Chop to the size you typically see in soups, about the size of a penny, not too large and not too small. Now chop three to four carrots. Peeling them is not necessary. Just wash and chop into little disks. You can use as many as you like. Carrots make soups taste sweeter. Then chop celery. One or two sticks should be enough because too much celery could make the soup maybe a little too “celery-ish”. Now peel and chop up a couple small potatoes. Red potatoes or Yukon gold are good potato choices as they cook up to a creamy texture. And in general potatoes add a bit of creaminess to the soup’s consistency. So when you look at how much onion, carrot, celery and potato you chopped, you probably want about similar amounts of each, about one quarter to one half cup of each. Of course, use more of any one of them to suit your own taste preferences.

Now comes the magic of the Instant Pot. With these four basic ingredients you can make any type of bean soup. Put your four chopped veggies into the Instant Pot. Now we pick the protein. This can come right from a can! That’s right, you can use canned beans! This cuts down the cooking time since even in an Instant Pot dried beans take some time.

There are many tasty beans available, ranging from light-colored Great Northern beans, to red pinto beans and kidney beans to black beans. So here is you chance to experiment. Each type of bean has a different flavor profile, the darker have a more pronounced the taste while lighter colored beans tend to have more subtle flavors. They are all good, just different. Here is a preparation key: Use one can of beans and rinse them in a colander before adding to the soup. The rinsing removes the “foamy stuff” - the bubbles - which many of us can’t easily digest as the foam creates gas in the digestive system. Rinse the beans and that issue pretty much goes away. After rinsing, add the beans to the Instant Pot.

Now comes the flavoring. I often use one of two simple ways to make a really tasty homemade soup. I either add vegetable broth or a vegetable bouillon cube. Yes, this is easy! I always have bouillon on hand. I really like The Organic Gourmet brand. They have several versions, each a little different. The vegetable broth I also try to have on hand and especially like is by Pacific Organics because the broth is quite rich in flavor.

<< insert link to The Organic Gourmet vegetable bouillon cubes here >>

<< insert link to Pacific Organics Vegetable Broth here >>>

So now I simply pour one to two cups of the broth over the veggies and beans, or toss in a vegetable bouillon cube. Then I add some water to cover the other ingredients to about an inch over them. That’s about the right amount of liquid to make a soup that’s not too dilute and not too thick. I error on less liquid because the veggies also contain water so once cooked the soup will be more fluid. And you can always add more water, but it is really difficult to take it out! Then put the lid on, press the Soup/Broth button for a 15-minute cooking time, and you are done. Often I will use the Keep Warm feature so that after the cooking is done, I can enjoy hot soup when I want it a little later. Or I might use the timer feature to start the cooking sometime in the morning for soup at lunch or dinner, or I might put everything in the pot, pull it out of the fridge when I get home from work, set it in the Instant Pot cooker and turn it on so I can have fresh soup by the time I am freshened up. The Instant Pot makes the cooking easy no matter your timing strategy.

When cooking is done, I stir the soup a bit to get everything evenly mixed. Also, stirring a bit encourages the beans to make their “sauce” that thickens the soup a bit and sort of melds the ingredients together in the thickened soup. I also might purée the soup. When I want to change the consistency, puréeing creates a thicker, smoother texture that is really nice with bean soups. I use the Cuisinart Quick Prep Hand Blender and blend until I like what I see, adding a bit more water or broth if needed. Pro tip: Be sure to turn the blender off before taking it out of the soup! I have made my share of messes :).

<< insert link to Cuisinart Quick Prep Hand Blender here >>

One last thing: Taste and add a little salt and/or pepper plus any other spices to suit your taste.

You are ready to eat. Any extra is easy to store in the fridge and reheat whenever. Soup is so great for lunch, and especially convenient to have if you are going into the office again - take home(made) with you.

In summary, with this simple soup cooking approach using ingredients you likely will have in your kitchen, it’s easy to make soup whenever you want it. The prepping of the veggies takes the longest, though still only a few minutes, and my sharp knife and Epicurean cutting board make prep work go quickly.


Plant Powered People

Vegan Nutrition Tips, Ideas & News for making plant based menu choices. Add more plants to your diet one step at a time with our ideas & suggestions.


© 2021 All Rights Reserved.
Review our Terms Privacy Policy Disclaimer