|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 6 to 8|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 23g||29%|
|Saturated Fat 6g||32%|
|Total Carbohydrate 51g||18%|
|Dietary Fiber 14g||49%|
|Total Sugars 3g|
|Vitamin C 10mg||49%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
The Instant Pot makes cooking beans simple and quick. Typically, if making black bean soup on the stovetop, you’d need to soak your beans for a few hours beforehand. Most store-bought dried beans have been on the shelves for some time and soaking them is often recommended—it leads to faster and more even cooking. Using a pressure cooker allows you to skip this process and get dinner on the table in a manner that's much faster and with less fuss. It skips the soaking process altogether; think of it as though the beans are soaking and cooking simultaneously, and the soup develops even more flavor as a result. (Tip: Don't believe the hype that you have to discard the soaking liquid before you cook your beans; you're building flavor.)
Sometimes black beans can come out tasting bitter. To prevent this, be sure to use an appropriate amount of salt. This recipe calls for a tablespoon, but don’t forget to taste for salt when your soup is finished and add more if desired; it will depend on how salty your bacon is, too. You can purée the entire soup if you want it extra creamy, or leave it on the chunky side if you like a little texture.
Click Play to Learn How to Make Instant Pot Black Bean Soup
"The Instant Pot black bean soup was an easy preparation with excellent flavor, and what a great dish for the colder months! Since bacon can be a bit salty, I recommend starting with 2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt, then taste and add more later if it's needed." —Diana Rattray
8 ounces thick-cut bacon, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound dried black beans, rinsed and picked over
2 medium bay leaves
8 cups water
Sliced avocado, for serving
Tortilla chips, for serving
Pickled red onions, for serving
Sour cream, for serving
Thinly sliced scallions, for serving
Lime wedges, for serving
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Cook bacon and onion in the Instant Pot on the sauté setting, stirring occasionally, until most of the fat from the bacon is released and onions are tender, 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, salt, black pepper, beans, and bay leaves to the pot.
Add the water. Set the Instant Pot to high and cook for 1 hour. After the pressure cooking cycle is over, let the pressure release naturally for about 15 minutes then manually turn the pressure dial and release the pressure fully.
Unlock the lid, remove the bay leaves and discard. Remove half the beans with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Use an immersion blender to blend the beans remaining in the Instant pot until thick and creamy.
Return the reserved beans to the pot. Stir to combine and adjust the seasoning to taste.
Serve with sliced avocado, tortilla chips, pickled red onions, sour cream, scallions, and lime wedges, as desired.
- If there are browned bits stuck on the bottom of the pot when you are finished cooking the bacon and onions, add about 1 cup of the water; scrape up the browned bits, and then continue with step 3.
- Bacon is much easier to dice when it is partially frozen. For easy dicing, arrange the bacon strips on a baking sheet and freeze it for about 30 minutes before dicing.
- Leave the bacon out for a vegetarian black bean soup.
- Swap finely diced ham for bacon, if desired.
- For a vegan soup, skip the bacon and opt for a plant-based plain yogurt instead of sour cream.
- Swap sour cream for plain Greek yogurt as an alternative.
- For spicier black bean soup, add 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes.
- Add smoky heat with 2 minced canned chipotle chile peppers in adobo, with 1 tablespoon of the adobo sauce.
How to Store and Freeze
This soup will keep covered in the refrigerator for three or four days. If you'd like to store it for longer, it can be frozen (without sour cream on top, ideally) for at least three months and up to six months provided it's in an airtight container. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating or in the microwave or on top of the stove over low heat.
Do I need to soak beans before cooking in the Instant Pot?
No, you don't. You certainly can, if it's your habit and you like doing it that way. But this recipe is written in such a way that there's sufficient liquid to allow for the beans to cook, with enough liquid leftover to create a flavorful soup.
Can I substitute dried bay leaves for fresh?
Yes, you may swap out the fresh bay leaves with dried bay leaves, but they are not as strong in flavor. Use 2 medium dried leaves for each fresh bay leaf.