Instant Pot Basic Bean Soup
Instant Pot Basic Bean Soup
- The Two Main Ingredients:
- 1 pound dried Great Northern or Cannellini beans (with dud beans picked out – no need to rinse or soak!)
- 6 cups broth of your choice (I used 6 teaspoons Garlic Better Than Bouillon + 6 cups water. You can also just water if you don’t have broth but broth adds more flavor)
- The Optional Flavor Enhancers:
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) salted butter OR 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 tablespoons (3 cloves) garlic, crushed or minced
- Covered In Your Cupboard:
- ANY spices in your cupboard that you enjoy (NOTE: see the yellow “Jeffrey Sez” section for what I used)
The whole point of this recipe is for you to best make use out of your favorite seasonings you likely already have on-hand in your cupboard to achieve a flavor result that is beyond satisfactory and elevates basic beans and broth into a spectacular soup! There are NO right or wrong rules here – just be sure to start with smaller amounts of spice to avoid overkill. From there, you can adjust to taste.
For what I experienced myself (and greatly enjoyed), the spices I used are:
- 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (or oregano)
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- A few dashes hot sauce
- A few shakes of bacon bits (either 4 strips, freshly crumbled or jarred)
While I sautéed an onion in butter and garlic in Step 1 for a great flavor foundation, you do NOT need to do this if you don’t have these ingredients on hand. Instead, you can add in 1-2 teaspoons each of garlic powder/granulated garlic and onion powder in Step 4. But if you don’t have these spices either, don’t fret! Make up for it with anything that’s tasty to you.
Want to add in some frozen veggies? Good call! Stir them in at the very end with the spices in Step 4. The heat of the soup will warm them up in a few minutes.
Want a ham hock tossed in with the beans? Yum! Do it in Step 2 and remove in Step 3.
While not necessary, if you DO soak the beans in water for 4-8 hours before using, they are prone to be slightly softer with more even cooking than if you don’t soak them.
Don’t have dried beans and only canned? Use 3-4 cans and reduce pressure cook time to 5 minutes with a quick release.
- This step is optional for extra flavor! Add the butter or olive oil to the Instant Pot. Hit Sauté and adjust so it’s in the More or High setting. Once the butter’s melted and the oil’s heated (about 3 minutes), add in the onion and sauté for 3 minutes. Then, add in the garlic and sauté for 1 minute longer.
- Pour in the broth followed by the beans. Stir, secure the lid, move the valve to the sealing position, hit Keep Warm/Cancel and then hit Pressure Cook or Manual at high pressure for 35 minutes. When done, allow a 20 minute natural release (meaning you do nothing for 20 minutes) and then follow with a quick release.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove 1 cup of the beans and set aside. Take an immersion blender (suggested) or potato masher and purée/mash the beans into the soup. Then, return the reserved cup of beans (NOTE: Should you wish to have a thin soup without puréeing, simply skip this step).
- Add in any spices you see fit to taste (NOTE: see the yellow “Jeffrey Sez” section for what I used).
- Ladle into bowls and enjoy!