Meatless Meals: Instant Pot Black Bean Soup (a no-recipe recipe)

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

I have to admit, I'm generally a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants sort of cook. I love looking at recipes for inspiration, but when it comes down to it? I'll happily make all the substitutions I want, do my own thing, and I'm almost always happy with the result! So if you're a "must-have-exact-quantities-or-my-life-will-explode" sort of cook? This is probably not for you!!

BUT if you're comfortable (or want to get comfortable) improvising in the kitchen, this should be a good starting point for you!

It's not picturesque. Soup never is. But it's delicious!

This "recipe" was really borne of the conundrum, "I have too many random vegetables from my produce box, insatiable children who adore soup, and hey, dried beans are cheap!" And it has quickly become a staple in our house!

(No instant pot? Try these slow cooker black beans! Add extra broth and it'll be plenty for soup!)

Step one! Add some oil to your instant pot, and rough chop whatever veggies you'd like to use - I always try to use an onion (color doesn't matter), a sweet pepper, and a hot pepper if I have any. Hot peppers do NOT make this spicy, they just add an amazing depth of flavor! Try a poblano, those are my favorite, and make sure to either wear gloves or wash your hands very thoroughly before touching your face again after you cut it up. Saute until soft, then move on to the next step.

Next, add your spices: Plenty of salt, cumin, oregano, and mince up some garlic as well. Set aside two bay leaves to throw in later! Stir these up and let them saute a little before the next step.

Add some tomatoes! I like to throw in a small (14.5 oz) can of diced tomatoes, but you can use more or less.

Now for your beans! I get black beans in 2lb bags and I just use an entire bag for this, so the soup lasts us a few days (for the 6 kids who will eat it plus me). Throw in a couple bay leaves as well.

Now top it all off with broth! I always have homemade chicken broth ready to go (it is SO EASY to make!), and generally about 4 quarts is enough for this soup.

Stir everything around, close the lid and vent, and cook on high pressure for 40 minutes (I just keep my "bean/chili" button set to that for anything using beans!). Let it natural release for at least 10 minutes before releasing pressure the rest of the way.

Serve and enjoy! I will often scoop just the beans out to use with tacos/quesadillas/refried beans, and then serve soup for lunch the next day, with whatever fixings the kids want to add.

For me? Grated cheese and tortilla chips. The kids always add a big scoop of sour cream in addition!

This is an awesome meal for days when you need to fast or abstain, and can be super-filling without feeling indulgent. You can use your box grater or food processor to grate up whatever vegetables you have lying around and throw those in to sneak in some extra nutrients (they cook down to mush, I've added zucchini, carrots, turnips, rutabaga, you name it! Nobody's noticed!). I'll also sometimes use a stick blender to blend it smooth for kids (and husbands) who don't like chunks in their soup. 

Need the instructions again?

1. Add some oil to your instant pot on the saute setting. Rough chop your veggies (bell pepper, onion, hot pepper, whatever else you'd like) and saute until soft.

2. Add your spices (salt, cumin, oregano, minced garlic) and stir for a minute or two until garlic is soft.

3. Add one can diced tomatoes.

4. Add two lbs dried black beans, two bay leaves, and at least 4 qts chicken (or vegetable) stock.

5. Close lid and vent, and cook on high pressure for 40 minutes. Allow natural release for at least 10 minutes before releasing steam.

6. Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy! Use an immersion blender to blend smooth for a less chunky texture.

A few affiliate/referral links for you all:

This is a produce delivery service we use during the winter when the garden isn't producing - we've loved trying things we might not ever have tried, and the quality is excellent! We *do* sometimes end up with more veggies than we know what to do with, hence the frequent soups! You can get $10 off your first order here.

Our stick blender doesn't seem to be made anymore (it's been going strong for 12+ years though!), but this one looks similar and it's SUCH a handy kitchen tool!!

This is the instant pot I'm using in this recipe, for a smaller pot you'll want to reduce quantities accordingly. I've done this in both a 6qt and 8qt pot and in the 6qt pot I just add enough broth to reach the max line and it's thicker, but still very tasty!

I'll have my second meatless meals roundup ready soon! Just looking for a few more recipes to round out the list!


  1. My hubby cooked this for dinner because my kids love rice and beans and the adults were desperate for not rice and beans. It was a huge hit! Side note - you have a bit instapot

    1. God bless kids who love beans!! They know how to save our budget 😉 And it really is a big pot!! I used our 6qt one so much that I got an 8qt when it went on sale and I use both all the time!


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