Instant Pot Bean Soup
Coming at you hot with my Instant Pot Bean Soup! This meal is delicious, nutritious and will take you a third of the time it would if using the stove top. This soup is good on its own or you can add extra vegetables, meat, or serve with a cooked grain like rice and fresh herbs.
My family loves beans, so I make my Instant Pot Bean Soup about once a month. I keep it interesting by alternating between a bean mix and just one type of bean––black beans are our favorite! You can certainly add ham or bacon if you need more fat and heft, but a garnish of sour cream, avocado or salsa is just as good!
Beans are one of the most common foods eaten around the world, thanks to their versatility and affordability. Many varieties are even grown in the U.S. On average, a ½ cup of beans provides 7+ grams of fiber and protein. Fiber can lower cholesterol, improve gastrointestinal function, increase feelings of fullness and reduce overall risk of chronic disease. Compared to a 5-ounce steak with 44 grams of protein, a cup of beans has 15 g of protein. 1 It is not as good of a protein source, but it is full of other vital nutrients so include it in your meal rotation.
Beans are also an excellent source of folate, which is necessary for production of red blood cells and development of an embryo’s nervous system. Beans may reduce risk of a number of diseases such as, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer due to the high fiber, antioxidants and other bioactive components. 2
Beans and Flatulence
We have all heard the schoolyard rhyme, “Beans, beans, the musical fruit. The more you eat, the more you toot! The more you toot, the better you feel. So let’s have beans at every meal.” I went down a rabbit hole trying to find the origins of the song, to no avail. Leave a comment below if you know! But, I can share why beans cause flatulence also known as gas or farts.
Beans are a type of legume that are high in oligosaccharides, a type of fiber. Oligosaccharides are broken down by bacterial fermentation in the intestines producing a gas mixture of hydrogen, carbon dioxide, methane and sometimes sulfur. For some people oligosaccharides tend to gas more gas production. These gases are then ideally moved out of the body as a fart. But, people that have irritable bowel syndrome may find that the gas pools inside the body causing bloating. 3
We know the long-term benefits of bean consumption are great, so please do not be scared of beans. My Instant Pot Bean Soup should not be seen as a bowl of farts. A study examined the relationship between bean consumption and flatulence. It found that flatulence was mostly high for people that rarely eat beans. After a few weeks of frequent bean consumption, flatulence returned to normal levels. So go ahead and enjoy my Instant Pot Bean soup today, and try my other bean recipes linked below.
Types of Beans to Use
I recommend using a bean mix the first time you make my Instant Pot Bean Soup. There are many types, but my two favorites are Goya’s “16 Bean Soup Mix” and Bob’s Red Mill “13 Bean Soup Mix.” It is one of the most affordable meals you can make with a 1 lb. bag of beans costing $2.50-$6. Using a bean mix gives you so many colors, textures and each bean has a slightly different nutrition profile giving you an optimally healthy soup!
Using just black beans with their creamy, mild taste is another delicious option for my Instant Pot Bean Soup. I like adding cumin to black beans because it has a deep earthy and hearty flavor with a hint of citrus zing. Cumin will really makes black beans shine. A delicious topping would be sour cream or plain yogurt. Salsa would also be great, and store bought is fine––try mixing an avocado into the salsa.
Toppings are not just for pizza, and are most welcome with my Instant Pot Bean Soup. If you are using a bean mix I like topping with a thick slice of parmesan cheese or my Cheese Crips. If you want more of a bright herby topping try my Arugula Chimichurri or my Avocado Green Goddess Dressing.
Let’s Get Cooking!
Follow this simple recipe for a simple vegetarian meal. You can feel free to double the recipe, it freezes very well! All the toppings I talked about are optional, but really help if you are feeding something that is bean-averse. Enjoy!
- Publishing HH. Meat or beans: What will you have? Part I: Meat. Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/meat-or-beans-what-will-you-have-part-i-meat. Accessed February 29, 2020.
- Garden-Robinson and McNeal – NUTRITION, HEALTH BENEFITS, PREPARATION AND USE IN.pdf. https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/food-nutrition/all-about-beans-nutrition-health-benefits-preparation-and-use-in-menus/fn1643.pdf. Accessed February 29, 2020.
- Winham DM, Hutchins AM. Perceptions of flatulence from bean consumption among adults in 3 feeding studies. Nutr J. 2011;10:128. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-10-128
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 2 carrots diced
- 1 pound bag dried beans any type of combination you like
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups unsalted vegetable stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with liquid
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Press the “Sauté” button on the Instant Pot. Once preheated, add olive oil and onion, celery, and carrots. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add beans, water, stock, bay leaves, parsley, oregano, and thyme. Put the lid on the pot, making sure the valve is set to “Sealing.” Press the “Manual” button and set to high pressure for 45 minutes.
- When the cooking cycle is complete, allow the pressure to naturally release for approximately 20 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure.
- Mix in tomatoes, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
- Mash some of the beans to thicken, if desired.