How to Make Incredible Black Bean Soup in an Instant Pot
For Christmas, I received my very first Instant Pot, the most popular holiday cooking gadget as reported by Amazon. This amazing multi-cooker is part sauté pan, slow cooker, ricer, steamer, yogurt maker and most importantly, a pressure cooker
The first thing I prepared after receiving it were hard boiled eggs. I was a little skeptical that I could prepare 6 hard boiled eggs in 6 minutes that would be perfectly cooked and easy to peel but it was true.
Now it does take a little longer than 6 minutes. You have to let the pressure cooker get up to steam which can take a few minutes and then you have to let the steam out at the end which also takes a couple of minutes but the results are worth it.
Black Bean Soup
In the past, I would make my black bean soup using canned beans and be very happy with the results. Rarely would I start with dried beans that some say needed to be soaked overnight and then cooked.
Some say you just need to give them a quick soak before cooking and then there are others who say you don't have to soak them at all but just cook the beans 15 minutes longer.
Not sure who is right but for this Instant Pot Black Beans, I soaked them overnight before pressure cooking them for 7 minutes. That's right, just 7 minutes of pressure cooking.
Healthier Black Beans
More important to me than how long it takes to prepare this soup is control over the ingredients. Using dried beans instead of canned beans let me control how much salt was going into the soup.
After having by-pass surgery last year, I'm much more attentive to salt levels and other health factors in my cooking so it's nice to know exactly what I'm putting into a dish.
A Simple Black Bean Soup Recipe
I'm guessing there are scads of black bean soup recipes out there depending on country of origin and nationality and I hope to try many of them with my new 7 minutes soup maker. This one is about as basic as you can find.
Although I used a recipe right out of the book that came with the Instant Pot, I did make a couple of changes to fit my own personal tastes. Also, from what I've been reading about InstaPots, most recipes, especially soup recipes, can be adapted to work with this machine.
One of the ingredients I added to my black bean soup is Sazón from Goya. Sazón is a seasoning popular in Mexican and Spanish cooking that typically contains cilantro, achiote, garlic, salt.
Goya does have a no salt variety called Sazón Natural & Complete or you can make your own.
Homemade Sazón Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon powered garlic
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander seed
- 1 tablespoon toasted cumin seed, ground
- 1 tablespoon toasted whole black peppercorns, ground
- 1 tablespoon oregano, crumbled
- 1 tablespoon achiote (annatto) seeds
- 1 tablespoon salt
Combine all the ingredients and store in an airtight container. You only need about 1 ½ teaspoons of this Sazón mixture to equal one of those little packets from Goya.
Now that I'm reading about Sazón from Goya and its ingredients after the fact, I may not have made the healthiest heart choice but I don't think 1 ½ teaspoons is going to make that much difference and it does add some nice flavor.
Instant Pot Black Bean Soup Recipe
- Soak the beans overnight if you are going to prepare in the morning or you can let them sit all day until you are ready to prepare the soup. You can also soak the overnight, drain and store in the refrigerator until you going to cook them the same day.
- Using the sauté function on the Instant Pot, heat up the oil until hot. Add the chopped onion and sauté for a couple of minutes and then add the garlic. Be sure to keep stirring so the garlic doesn't burn. If you need a little more oil, add some.I have been reading that some people like to do the sauté part of their Instant Pot meals in a pan over the stove and then add it to the Instant Pot. Kind of defeats the purpose of getting this machine but I can see where they are coming from. I think you have more control of the heat in a pan over the stove than you do in the Instant Pot especially if you are cooking with gas.
- Add the drained beans, broth, bay leaves and Sazón. Stir to combine.
- With the Instant Pot plugged in and ready to go, put the cover on the machine, lock into place and select the Soup/Broth button. Set the cooking time for 7 minutes.
- You will see the machine say ON but it's going to take 5 to 8 minutes for the pressure to build up and the pressure valve to seat itself in the closed position. Once the pressure value is set, the timer will show 7 minutes and start counting down.
- When the 7 minutes are up, you'll hear a beep letting you know the soup is down. First thing you do is hit the CANCEL button to turn off the Instant Pot.
- It's then time to release the pressure from the Instant Pot and you have 3 choices, but we're only going to discuss the one they call "natural" release. Basically, there is nothing to do. The food continues to cook using the "residual heat and steam" but without the heating element on, the steam subsides, the pressure reduces, and the pressure release valve drops and opens.
- Once the pressure release valve drops, the lid will unlock and you can remove the cover from the pot. It's important when removing the cover from the Instant Pot you do so by tilting the cover away from you to prevent getting burned from any steam left in the pot.
- Carefully remove the bay leaves with a pair of tongs.
- Using an immersion blender, ricer or potato masher, mash the beans to your desired consistency. You could also transfer the soup to regular blender and puree the soup that way too.
- Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
- When serving, add a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt for an extra layer of flavor plus it looks really good when serving.