Winter is here and what's better than a hot bowl of soup to keep warm? One of the easiest and best ways to cook soup is using an instant pot. Instant pot recipes have become all the rage, and our recipe for instant pot black bean soup is not only delicious but highly nutritious. Unlike most soups that you have to slow cook all day, this recipe's cook time is only 30 minutes. The total time including prep time is 40 minutes. The pressure cooker works its magic to get all the flavor into the soup in a fraction of the time.
Weeknight meals and meal planning can be tough, especially with several different dietary restrictions. This soup is vegetarian, but can easily be made into a vegan black bean soup. This soup is easily customizable based on toppings or add-ins.
For those watching their weight, you'll love the nutritional information for this soup. There's less than 300 kcal per serving of soup. The beans make this high in fiber, and the vegetable broth adds loads of vitamin A and vitamin C. You'll also get the benefit of additional calcium from one serving of soup.
Black Bean Soup Recipe
The first step in making this soup is to gather all your ingredients.
You'll need 2 cups dried black beans, vegetable broth, 3 cloves garlic, 1 diced red bell pepper, 1 red onion, chipotle chili powder, smoked paprika, ground cumin, cilantro, bay leaves, lime juice, kosher salt, and black pepper.
Set your instant pot to the saute function and add a splash of olive oil, chopped onion, cilantro stems, and red pepper. Saute for 3 minutes, until onions are translucent.
Next, add in your dried black beans seasonings, bay leaves, and vegetable broth, until the broth is 1 inch above the beans. Close the lid and pressure cook on manual high pressure for 30 minutes.
You can either quick release or do a 5-minute pressure release on the instant pot. Once the lid is removed, you'll need to remove the bay leaves and get your immersion blender. Take your immersion blender and puree the soup until you reach your desired consistency.
You can eat the soup plain, but the garnishes are what gives it the extra oomph. We suggest serving with some lime wedges, a dollop of sour cream, avocado, scallions, and tortilla chips. To give this soup a Mexican flair and some heat, add some chopped jalapenos. Adding sour cream is a great way to counteract any spiciness and keep you from burning your tongue, while tortilla chips or crackers add a deliciously crunch texture that goes great with the beans.
Customize Your Soup
One of the best parts of instant pot black bean soup is the ability to customize it based on your preferences.
If you want to increase the potassium level, you can add lentils to the soup. If you're not a fan of red onion, use a yellow onion. If you do not have bay leaves, use fresh or dried oregano. You can also add in your favorite veggies. You can easily make this a taco-style soup with the addition of taco seasoning. If you are not vegetarian, you can use chicken stock for the vegetable broth. On the flip side, you can substitute 3 cups of water to eliminate the broth.
Instant pot black bean soup is hard to mess up no matter what you do, and you don't even need a recipe to make it taste delicious. Add in some cayenne pepper, chili powder or diced spicy peppers to give it a bit of kick. When it comes to adding your favorite veggies, choose aromatic ones like carrots, celery, peppers and garlic. Saute the veggies before adding them to pot to draw out their aromas and get the maximum flavor from them.
Another in lots of dried herbs is another highly effective way to make your soup extra flavorful. Don't stop with bay leaves and oregano- add in dried thyme, dried sage, rosemary, an Italian seasoning blend, and even some cumin to make your soup pop with flavor. Make sure to taste your soup before serving and feel free to add in extra of whatever flavors you think it needs.
Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker
If you don't have dried beans, you can use 4 cans of black beans. If using pre-cooked beans, you only need to simmer for 15 minutes before blending.
If you don't have an instant pot, you can make this on the stovetop. You will need to adjust the cooking time, as well as add more water if using dried beans.
This soup freezes well, so we suggest making a few batches to store away from a quick lunch or dinner.
Products featured on Wide Open Eats are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
This post was originally published on January 17, 2022.