Our Instant Pot bean soup recipe is a hearty meal in digital form.
If you’re on the search for soup ideas, put this one at the top of your list. It mingles tender lentils and chewy ham in a clear, savory, aromatic bath.
Plus, may we remind you that all is brewed inside your Instant Pot while you’re doing basically whatever. The equipment tenderizes the legumes all the way through in just 30 minutes, compressing flavors into each tiny morsel.
If you’d like to make the soup now, click here to jump straight to the instructions for this Instant Pot bean soup recipe. Or feel free to read on, because we have some great information for you that regards beans.
Is Bean Soup Healthy?
Bean soup is one of those rare straight-shooting dishes that are just as healthy as they sound.
Our recipe calls for 9 different types of legumes and veggies, bringing you plenty of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Meeting your daily requirements of these nutrients is one step towards a stronger body.
Truly getting the most possible nutrition out of this recipe took a little extra work in the form of some math. Don’t worry, we did the calculating for you — here’s how we made our bean soup even healthier.
What Makes Our Bean Soup Better than Others
The USDA recommends that we should consume moderate amounts of calories and limit consumption of saturated fats, sodium, and added sugars. We specifically kept a close eye on the calories and sodium for this bean soup.
Keeping the calories within the limit was pretty easy since we can adjust the portion size. From there, it also wasn’t too hard to allocate just the right amount of salt to keep the soup’s sodium content within bounds.
As a result, each serving of the soup complies with our healthy eating guidelines. It’s a healthy appetizer/side dish that goes well with many éntrees.
Bean Soup Ingredients
First, let’s take a look at our options for the legumes (the beans and lentils).
We used raw legumes, meaning we had to soak them overnight. Without the pre-soak, they wouldn’t become super tender even under the Instant Pot’s pressure.
You can also use canned goods if you haven’t got anything prepared. Make sure to rinse them well before using.
In terms of amounts, 5 oz of dry legumes turn into 16 oz after soaking, giving you roughly 500 calories no matter the ratio among these legumes. As long as you’re using 16 oz of legumes in total, feel free to give the proportions a twist of your own.
2. Veggies and Meat
We used 4 oz of diced carrots, celery, and corn. You can also adjust the ratio in the same way as the legumes.
For the meat, we initially tried ground pork but its flavor doesn’t compare to ham. You can use sausages as well if you prefer — smoked sausages taste even better.
3. Stock and Seasonings
Our soup was extra flavorful because the chicken stock we used was homemade. We roasted the chicken bones for a good 30 minutes, then spent hours simmering them with carrots, celery, and onions.
For convenience, you can use any store-bought chicken stock (or vegetable stock) that is low in sodium. We have our own recommendation for you linked in the recipe card down below.
In terms of the aromatics, there’s garlic, onion, butter, bay leaf (since it’s a soup), salt, and pepper — the basics. Once it’s done, we topped it with coriander for some freshness. Nothing fancy, really.
How to Make Bean Soup in an Instant Pot
Here’s a quick recap:
Soak the legumes
Saute the ham
Add aromatics, carrots, and celery
Add lentils, beans, corn, bay leaf, and butter
Add broth and cook
Season with salt and pepper
Sprinkle coriander on top and serve
Can I Use Frozen Beans?
Having plenty of leftover ingredients is pretty common, and some people choose to freeze them. This practice helps to store the ingredients for use months later.
For this bean soup, you can add (canned or pre-soaked) legumes that are frozen straight into the Instant Pot without prior thawing. They will become just as tender, requiring only an extra minute or two of cook time.
How to Thicken Bean Soup
This bean soup comes with a rather clear, thin broth. If you prefer a thicker one, there are two things you can do to achieve this:
- Add a mixture of cornstarch and water: mix 1 tbsp of each in a small bowl, then gradually stir them into the simmering soup. Add more if needed until the soup reaches your desired consistency.
- Add xanthan gum: this plant-based thickener is widely used in restaurants as it makes the stock’s flavors more concentrated. To use it, first ladle the soup into a bowl, add 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum, mix it really well, then add it back to the pot.
How to Store and Reheat Leftover Soup
If you’re going to finish the rest of the soup the next day or within that week, simply store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Bring it to a boil before you eat.
If you’re planning to store a large amount of soup to use within the month, it’s better to freeze it. Divide the soup into individual Ziploc bags, freeze them, and they’ll be ready to serve any time.
What to Serve With Bean Soup
Soups often go with garlic bread. It’s crunchy and nutty but turns soft and juicy when dunked into the savory broth.
Or, if you’re interested in an ultimate comfort meal, a pot roast is the perfect pairing. It’s all warm, cozy, and most importantly, has everything you need — meat, beans, veggies, and flavor complexity.
Instant Pot Bean Soup Recipe
- 0.5 oz pinto beans
- 0.5 oz black beans
- 0.5 oz lentils
- 0.5 oz split peas
- 1 oz kidney beans
- 2 oz chickpeas
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1.5 oz ham
- 1 tsp garlic ~ 1 clove, finely chopped
- 2 oz onions finely chopped
- 2 oz carrots diced
- 1 oz celery diced
- 1 oz corn
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 cup unsalted chicken broth
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp coriander finely chopped, more if desired
- Gather the legumes in a bowl and soak them overnight. Alternatively, you can measure out 16 oz of mixed canned legumes for this recipe, rinse them well, and set aside.
- Select the “sauté” mode on your Instant Pot. Add olive oil, heat it for 1 minute, then sauté the ham in there for 1 minute.
- Add garlic, onion, carrot, and celery. Cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the drained (or rinsed, if you’re using canned) lentils, beans, corn, bay leaf, and butter, and stir around a couple of times.
- Add chicken broth, close the lid, and switch the steam handle to “sealed” position. Select “meat stew” mode and adjust the timer to cook for 25 minutes.
- Place a kitchen towel or a piece of cloth over the valve (so the steam doesn’t get everywhere), and turn the steam handle to “venting” position. Stir in salt and pepper.
- Ladle the soup into serving bowls and sprinkle with a generous amount of coriander.