Easy Instant Pot Black Bean Soup Recipe

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During the week, easy meals are essential. This black bean soup recipe is one of my favorite recipes to make lately, as it’s a nice break from the many chicken dishes we tend to make in the Instant Pot.

Why Make Black Bean Soup in the Instant Pot?

Beans are a time consuming ingredient to prepare and cook. First, there’s the soaking step, which does help with digestion, reducing the tummy issues that can come from eating a bowl of beans.

Instant Pot Black Bean Soup

Then, after about 12 hours of soaking, the beans are ready to be cooked for hours in the slow-cooker or on the stove-top.

Instant Pot Black Bean Soup

The Instant Pot just laughs at this laborious task and says, “Let me show you just how quick and easy it can be to cook dry beans.”

Real Food Crash Course

Instant Pot Black Bean Soup

Okay, the Instant Pot doesn’t actually laugh (it is just an appliance), but it certainly would if it could. In the Instant Pot, or any electric pressure cooker you may choose to use, beans are ready to enjoy in under 90 minutes (total).

And here’s the best part…soaking isn’t required. So if you’re like me and you can’t seem to remember to soak the beans the night before, the electric pressure cooker says, “No problem, sweetheart! I’ve got you covered.” (Pressure cooking beans is thought to make them easier to digest.)

adding spice to Instant Pot

Now you can certainly use the Instant Pot to make plain ol’ black beans, but you can also use this time-saving appliance to make my favorite meal: Cuban-inspired black bean soup.

stirring soup in Instant Pot

Having lived in Tampa, Florida for most of my life, this makes sense, right?! Tampa is known for authentic Cuban-style cooking, from the plantains to mouth-watering Cuban sandwiches to black beans.

adding tomatoes to soup in Instant Pot

How to Make Black Bean Soup in the Instant Pot

To make this black bean soup in the Instant Pot, you’ll need to purchase dried black beans.

Don’t let this intimidate you.

opening Instant Pot lid

When purchasing dried black beans, make sure your source is as fresh as possible. If you’re purchasing the beans from the store, make sure there’s a quick turnover happening on the shelves or you’re getting your beans from the bulk bin section where the beans are refreshed often. Old dried beans will result in hard-to-cook beans, which isn’t fun for anyone.

spooning soup into bowl

The difference between this soup and a “normal” pot of black beans is the the flavor and consistency.

  1. To build flavor, first sauté a few key veggies: poblano pepper, onion, and garlic cloves.
  2. Once sautéed, add seasoning: cumin, paprika, oregano, and salt
  3. Add canned diced tomatoes, veggie broth (or chicken broth), and bay leaves.
  4. Set the Instant Pot to cook for 30 minutes with the valve sealed. (If you’re new to the Instant Pot, check out this post for 16 tips and tricks that will help you confidently use this appliance.)
  5. Once the cooking time is over, let the Instant Pot naturally release pressure for 20 minutes. This is an important step to ensure the beans are fully cooked. Then release any remaining pressure before opening the lid.
  6. If you’d like a creamy and thicker black bean soup, add some of the soup to a tabletop blender or use an immersion blender in the Instant Pot and blend the mixture until you reach the desired consistency. If you’re using a tabletop blender, only blend a portion of the soup and then add the blended portion back to the pot and stir.

spooning soup into bowl

How to Serve Instant Pot Black Bean Soup

Think of black bean soup as a delicious base just waiting to be topped with your favorite ingredients.

sprinkling green onions over black bean soup

Here are a few of my favorites to serve with this soup…

  • cilantro
  • lime juice: squeeze some fresh lime juice over a bowl of soup
  • shredded cheese
  • sour cream
  • sliced green onions
  • pickled red onions
  • tortilla chips
  • rice or quinoa
  • salsa: we love this fermented salsa
  • avocado slices or chunks: toss them with lime juice and salt for extra flavor
  • crispy tortilla strips: cut a tortilla into strips and cook in oil on the stove-top until crisp

black bean soup ready to be served

3 Ways to Use Instant Pot Black Beans

Of course, you can make today’s recipe as a soup, but you can also go beyond that. Here are 3 ways to use this recipe…

  1. Soup: Top the soup with sour cream, chopped avocados, cheese, and green onions (if desired). For a creamy soup, use an immersion blender to blend the soup for just a minute or two to puree some of the beans.
  2. Multi-Purpose Beans: Use water instead of the broth and strain the beans from the liquid before serving. Store some of the beans in the liquid to keep the beans from drying out. Serve the beans with rice and toppings, in burritos or enchiladas, tortillas for tacos, etc.   
  3. “Refried” Beans: Spoon some of the beans (or all of the beans) into a bowl and add just enough cooking liquid to help puree the beans into a thick and creamy consistency. Add more liquid, if needed, to reach your desired consistency. Serve the beans in taco shells, burritos, or as a side dish with shredded cheese and green onions–my favorite!

Instant Pot black bean soup

More Instant Pot Soup Recipes

Soup is one of my favorite foods to make in the Instant Pot. Here are a few more soup recipes to try in your Instant Pot…

Instant Pot black bean soup

Instant Pot Black Bean Soup

An easy from-scratch black bean soup made with dried beans in the Instant Pot. This recipe makes enough for dinner and lunch throughout the week, or freeze the extra for the future.

Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American, Cuban
Keyword Black Bean Soup, Cuban Black Bean Soup, Instant Pot Black Bean Soup, Vegan Black Bean Soup
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Time for Instant Pot to come to pressure before cooking begins, this time varies 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 278 kcal
Author Kristin Marr

Ingredients

  • 1 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 poblano pepper seeded and diced (approx. ¾ cup)
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 medium carrots peeled and cut into ¼” thick rounds (approx. 1 ½ cups)
  • 1/2 large yellow onion diced (1 generous cup)
  • 1 TB cumin
  • 1 TB paprika
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 lb dried black beans
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes undrained (use juice and tomatoes)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt this will need to be adjust to taste after cooking
  • 1 ½ cups frozen corn kernels optional

Special Equipment:

Instructions

  1. Rinse and pick through the dried beans to check for rocks and misshapen beans. Set aside to drain.

  2. Prepare all vegetables (chopping, mincing) before turning Instant Pot on to Saute.

  3. Once hot, add the olive oil to the Instant Pot. Add the chopped vegetables, sprinkle with a few pinches of salt, and sauté for a few minutes until beginning to soften and sweat.

  4. Add the cumin, paprika, and oregano. Stir for just a minute to bring out the flavors in the spices.

  5. Press the Cancel button on the Instant Pot.

  6. Splash in some of the broth and make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the insert (this is an important step to avoid the burn notice)--use a wooden spoon to remove any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add the black beans, broth, tomatoes, bay leaves, and salt. Stir to combine.

  7. Lock the lid and set to Manual, High Pressure for 30 minutes. Make sure the valve on top of the lid is set to Sealed.

  8. Once the cooking cycle ends, let the pressure naturally release from the pot for 20 minutes, then carefully release the remaining pressure from the pot.

  9. Taste the soup and add more salt, if needed. The amount you add will depend on if your broth was salted as well as the tomatoes. Tasting is the key to salting your food well.

  10. For a thick and creamy soup, blend the soup with an immersion blender to desired texture. Or use a slotted spoon to remove some beans (about 2-3 cups) to a tabletop blender and puree. Add the pureed beans back to the pot.

  11. Stir in frozen corn, if desired.

  12. Serve with sour cream, shredded cheese, cilantro, sliced green onions, avocado, a squeeze of lime, tortilla strips, etc.

  13. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days, or freeze.

Recipe Notes

This recipe is suited for the Instant Pot and dried beans. If you'd like to use (cooked) canned beans on the stove-top, I recommend this black bean soup recipe from Cookie and Kate

Of course, you can make today's recipe as a soup, but you can also go beyond that. Here are 3 ways to use this recipe...

  1. Soup: Top the soup with sour cream, chopped avocados, cheese, and green onions (if desired). For a creamy soup, use an immersion blender to blend the soup for just a minute or two to puree some of the beans.
  2. Multi-Purpose Beans: Use water instead of the broth and strain the beans from the liquid before serving. Store some of the beans in the liquid to keep the beans from drying out. Serve the beans with rice and toppings, in burritos or enchiladas, tortillas for tacos, etc.   
  3. “Refried” Beans: Spoon some of the beans (or all of the beans) into a bowl and add just enough cooking liquid to help puree the beans into a thick and creamy consistency. Add more liquid, if needed, to reach your desired consistency. Serve the beans in taco shells, burritos, or as a side dish with shredded cheese and green onions--my favorite!

Instant Pot black bean soup

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