Making soups in the Instant Pot is so fast and easy, and our family especially loves this Ham & Bean soup. Now I will admit I was not a quick Instant Pot convert. When I first got it, I tried a few different types of recipes. I was expecting dinner in 20 minutes and quickly realized it wasn’t going to work that way. As I learned, when using the pressure cooking option, you have to plan for warm up and warm down time. My 15-minute cook time turned into nearly an hour. Fake news– fake advertising– I was irritated and put it back into its box in my pantry.
Well, I kept hearing raves about the Instant Pot and when I was in a pinch one day and wanted to make a lentil soup, I decided to try it again. The big appeal for me was being able to dramatically reduce cook time for dried lentils and beans. Having realistic expectations for total prep and cook time, I planned accordingly and was pleased with the results. My family loved the soup!
New Year, New Food Plan
With 2019 came a commitment to eat more healthy, a commitment we’ve made many times and we find ourselves having to double down on every so often. For me, it usually happens when my clothes feel tight. While I don’t weigh myself regularly, the fit of my clothes shifting is a red flag.
Soup and salad is something we all like. Truly healthy soup and salad can be a little challenging, but if you pay attention to ingredients and modify as needed, it’s a satisfying meal!
Ham & Bean Instant Pot Soup
This is an easy and tasty soup to make. The link to the recipe is at the bottom of this article. I start by using the quick-cook method for beans, which simply involves placing the dry beans in water and bringing them to a boil on the cooktop for five minutes, removing from heat, covering and leaving alone for an hour. You can skip this step and put the dry beans directly in the Instant Pot, which I’ve done before when I don’t have time to do the quick-cook method. It works just fine but I would suggest increasing the cooking time by five minutes in the Instant Pot.
While the beans are doing their thing, chop the onion, carrots, tomatoes and saute in the Instant Pot on the saute setting for ~five minutes. I always at least double the carrots in the recipe because we all like them. I also go easy on the ham because it isn’t the healthiest and I personally pick it out of my bowl.
Once the veggies are sautéed and the beans have spent an hour in solitary (the covered pot), dump everything into the Instant Pot. I use chicken broth unless my college-aged, vegetarian daughter is home, in which case I use vegetable broth and omit the ham altogether.
When the soup is done cooking, you can leave it on the Warm setting and serve whenever you’d like. Combine this hearty, delicious soup with one of the salads below and you’re good to go!
For a couple of terrific salad options to accompany this soup, click on the links below:
- An Everyday Vinaigrette
- Kelly’s Salad: Southwestern Flavors with a Cilantro/Lime/Jalapeno Dressing
- The WBS: Arugula, pea & mint salad
- Corn Salad: Versatile and Quick