Are you looking for something different to make for dinner tonight? I have just the thing. Instant Pot Bean Soup!
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One of my favorite dishes is Honduran Sopa de Frijoles or Bean Soup. This soup has been a staple in my family since I was little and it’s super easy to make. It’s an incredible meal but making it the traditional way is a long process. And, if you’re like me, you don’t have time to be spending all day in the kitchen.
Well, I’ve created an Instant Pot version that can be made in a fraction of the time. You can find all the ingredients at your local grocery store and whip this soup up in less than 45 minutes! So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started on this incredible Instant Pot Bean Soup right away!
What is Sopa de Frijoles?
In Honduras, red beans are a staple in every home. Whether they are in a Red Bean Stew, Refried Beans, or enjoyed in dishes such as Baleadas, Casamiento, or Catrachas, beans are always present at the table in most homes in Honduras. The beautiful thing is, every time you cook red beans, you can enjoy some Bean Soup or Sopa de Frijoles!
Sopa de Frijoles (Bean Soup) is made from the broth leftover after cooking red beans. The broth is thickened by adding a little bit of the cooked red beans to it and blending them together. In Honduras, we like to finish the soup off by cracking an egg into it just before serving each bowl, so everyone gets an egg in their bowl of soup. It is amazing! I personally have to add a few drops of hot sauce before digging in.
Are Small Red Beans The Same As Red Kidney Beans?
Beans come in many different colors and shapes, each with its own distinctive flavor. The red beans we use in Honduras are different than the red beans here in the US. Central American Red Beans are smaller, darker, and have a silkier texture. They are referred to as Frijoles de Seda or Silk Beans. You can find these beans in the Hispanic section of your local grocery store. They are sometimes labeled Salvadorean Beans.
If you are interested in learning more about Central American food or want to add some new flavors to your cooking repertoire, then I encourage you to try these delicious beans!
Ingredients For Instant Pot Bean Soup
This traditional Hispanic soup has a handful of wholesome, fresh, common ingredients. You’ll be able to easily find them all at your local supermarket. Here is everything that you’ll need:
- Bean Broth: Honduran bean broth is a delicious and healthy broth that can be made using red beans. One of the best things about bean broth is that it can be made quickly and easily using an Instant Pot. Use my Instant Pot Red Beans recipe to make the perfect broth to use in this recipe.
- Red Beans: You can find these small red beans in the Hispanic section of most supermarkets. They may be labeled Salvadorean Beans. You will need two cups of cooked red beans for this recipe.
- Vegetables: This recipe requires that you rough cut tomato, yellow onion, and green bell pepper.
- Herbs: Garlic and cilantro are two ingredients that are commonly used in Hispanic cuisine.
- Spices: Cumin is a traditional Central American spice that is used in many Hispanic dishes. It is the primary spice used in this recipe. Black pepper, and kosher salt are also use and can be adjusted based on your taste.
- Eggs: Traditionally, bean soup is served with poached egg in Honduras. It’s so delicious!
- Optional Toppings: This bean soup is great topped with slices of avocado, crumbled cotija cheese, Mexican-style sour cream, cilantro, and hot sauce.
That’s everything. All the ingredients are healthy, wholesome, and delicious!
How Long Does It Take To Cook Bean Soup In The Instant Pot?
It’s a myth that bean soup has to take forever to make.
In fact, bean soup can be made quickly using the Instant Pot or any electric pressure cooker! It actually takes a fraction of the time it would take to cook on the stove and it tastes better too! You can’t beat that!
But be aware that there is some prep work to be done before making your bean soup.
Before Making Bean Soup
To make bean soup, you’ll need to have bean broth and cooked red beans on hand. So, you’ll need to cook the beans beforehand. Take that into account when making this recipe. Usually, I’ll make bean soup as a bonus when I cook red beans for other recipes like Refried Beans or Rice and Beans. Since I’ll have extra beans and broth leftover when making those recipes, I always use them to make this wonderful soup.
Cooking Red Beans And Making Bean Broth
Before making bean soup, you will need to cook the red beans. This process will yield plenty of cooked beans for the soup and you’ll have beans left over to store or to make another recipe like refried beans or rice and beans. You have a couple of options when cooking the beans.
Should I No Soak Or Quick Soak The Beans?
You have two options for cooking your beans, the No Soak Method, and the Quick Soak Method. Each method has its pros and cons. And each is better for certain recipes. Here is a quick breakdown to help you determine which method to use.
No Soak Method Pros
- Faster Cooking Time (+/- 1 hour)
- Fewer Steps
No Soak Method Cons
- More Burst Beans
It’s Best To Use The No Soak Method When: You’re short on time and presentation is not important to you. Best when making recipes like refried beans and bean soup.
Quick Soak Method Pros
- Fewer Burst Beans
Quick Soak Method Cons
- Slower Cooking Time (1 ½ hours)
- A Two Step Process
It’s Best To Use The Quick Soak Method When: Presentation is more important to you than time. Best for making recipes like red beans and rice.
Which Method Should I Use For This Recipe?
It really depends on what you will be using the beans you’ll have leftover for. Will you be using them for red beans and rice, or will you be using them for refried beans? Usually, when making this soup, I prefer to use the No Soak Method and make refried beans with the remaining beans.
But Won’t The No Soak Method Cause More Split Or Burst Beans?
We want to use the No Soak Method, because it’s the fastest method, and since this is a soup, we’re not so worried about how the beans look. Yes, the No Soak Method will result in more beans being split, however, we are just blending the beans into the soup. And, any remaining beans can be made into Refried Beans.
Cooking Beans Using The No Soak Method
Following the No Soak Method, add all the ingredients to the pressure cooker:
- 1 pound of small red beans
- 10 cups of water
- ½ a yellow onion, rough cut
- ½ a green bell pepper, rough cut
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 handful cilantro with stems removed
- 1 ½ tablespoons of kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Close the pot and set it to “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” and cook the beans at “High Pressure” for 35 minutes. Once the cooking time is complete, allow for a full Natural Pressure Release which may take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. The beans will be fully cooked at the 30-minute mark, so if you are in a hurry, you can release any remaining pressure at that time.
For complete instructions on cooking red beans using the No Soak Method, follow my Instant Pot Red Beans recipe.
Cooking Beans Using The Quick Soak Method
Using the Quick Soak Method will require a two-part process.
Part 1: To perform the Quick Soak Method, start by adding the following ingredients to your pressure cooker.
- 1 pound of small red beans
- 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 6 cups of water
Set the Instant Pot to “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” and cook the beans at “High Pressure” for 0 minutes. Once the cooking has finished, allow the pot to do a full Natural Pressure Release. This will take about 45 minutes to an hour. For more details, see my recipe on Quick Soaking Beans in the Instant Pot.
Part 2: After the quick soak, the beans will need to be cooked for an additional 30 minutes. So, now you can add the remaining ingredients to the pot.
- 4 additional cups of water
- ½ a yellow onion, rough cut
- ½ a green bell pepper, rough cut
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 handful of cilantro with stems removed
- 2 ½ additinoal teaspoons of kosher salt
Set Instant Pot to cook on “Manual” or “Pressure Cook”, “High Pressure” for 15 minutes. Once the cooking time has been completed, allow for a 15-minute natural pressure release. After the 15-minute NPR, release any remaining pressure.
After Making The Red Beans And Bean Broth
Once you have completed cooking the red beans using your preferred method, set aside 6 cups of the bean broth and 2 cups of the red beans for making the soups. The remaining beans and broth can be used to make refried beans, red beans, and rice, or bean stew.
Substitutions For Instant Pot Bean Soup
Do you have a question about substitutions for this recipe? Well, I have anticipated some of the questions that you might get asked and you’ll find the answers here. If you have any questions that are not covered below, please leave them in the comments section.
DO I HAVE TO ADD AN EGG TO THE SOUP?
No, not at all. The addition of a poached egg is the way we traditionally enjoy this soup in Honduras, but the soup is still fantastic without the egg.
CAN I USE A DIFFERENT TYPE OF BEAN?
Yes, you could use red kidney beans, pinto beans, or black beans. I would suggest that you allow them to fully Natural Pressure Release for both cooking methods.
How Do I Thicken Bean Soup?
That’s an easy one. Just add more beans! The more beans that you blend into the broth, the thicker the soup will become. This soup is already pretty thick but if you want it thicker, just keep blending in beans a ¼ cup at a time until the soup reaches the consistency that you want.
What Can You Eat With Bean Soup?
This Instant Pot Bean Soup can certainly be a meal on its own. It is very hearty and filling. At home, we enjoy it as lunch or dinner and usually just serve it with a side of tortillas or bread.
You can also have a side of rice with it, or even add the rice to your soup. My husband likes to top his soup with avocado, fresh crumbled cheese, Honduran Crema, and a splash of Tabasco sauce. I like mine plain with just the soup and an egg. If you’d like to serve it as an appetizer, you can serve a smaller bowl of soup and follow it with a traditional Hispanic meal.
Here are some essential prep tools, utensils, and appliances I used to make this recipe.
Appliances & Cookware
These are the appliances and cookware that I used to make this recipe:
Prep Tools & Utensils
Here are the prep tools and utensils that you’ll need:
12 Must-Have Instant Pot Cookbooks
If you’re looking for a cookbook with easy and reliable Instant Pot recipes, then check out my list of approved Instant Pot Cookbooks.
In order to make Bean Soup, you will need to make some Instant Pot Red Beans. My recipe is easy and it’s a dump and start recipe. Once you have the cooked red beans, you will follow this recipe for the soup. You will only use a little bit of the cooked red beans for the soup. You can use the rest for other dishes such as Red Bean Stew (Frijoles Parados) or Refried Beans.
This Bean Soup recipe includes Central American Red Beans, bean broth, fresh herbs, vegetables, cumin, and eggs. Here is a full list of all the ingredients you will need to make this traditional Honduran recipe:
(6) cups bean broth
(2) cups cooked red beans
(1) medium tomato, rough cut
(½) medium yellow onion, rough cut
(½) green bell pepper, rough cut
(2) garlic cloves
(2) tablespoons chopped cilantro
(2 ½) teaspoons ground cumin
(1) teaspoon ground black pepper
(¼) teaspoon kosher salt
Bean Soup is made using the bean broth leftover after cooking your beans. You can rough chop the veggies while you’re cooking the beans in your pressure cooker.
You’ll need to add the following to a blender: 2 cups of bean broth, 2 cups cooked red beans, tomato, onion, bell pepper, garlic, cilantro, cumin, pepper, and salt. Blend everything until smooth.
You will then add the bean broth that was leftover as well as the blended bean and vegetable mixture to the Instant Pot.
Close your pot and set it to sealing. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. When the cooking time is finished, allow for a 10-minute Natural Pressure Release. After that, you can manually release the rest of the pressure and when the pin drops, open your pot.
Next, you will set the pot to Sauté and adjust the level to ‘Normal’. Once the soup has come to a rolling boil, you can gently crack the eggs into the pot and let it continue to boil until the egg is cooked. About 3 to 6 minutes depending on how soft you want the yolk.
You can now serve each bowl of soup with an egg in it and enjoy it! Add whatever garnishes you’d like. There are some suggestions in the recipe card below.
I hope you will try this bean soup recipe soon and enjoy it as much as I do! Please let me know when you make a pot Sopa de Frijoles and what you added to it to make it your own!
IT’S YOUR TURN TO MAKE THIS BEAN SOUP!
Did you make this Bean Soup recipe yet? This bean soup is easy to make and it’s packed with healthy ingredients. It’s also seriously tasty. Please comment below when you make this soup and let me know how much your family enjoyed it.
5-Star Rating: If you loved my Instant Pot Bean Soup, I’d appreciate it if you could give this recipe a 5-star rating to show how much you loved it.
MORE INSTANT POT SOUP RECIPES
Looking for another Instant Pot Soup recipe? Here is a list of soups that you can also make in your Instant Pot that I know you’ll love:
- Instant Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup
- Instant Pot Taco Soup
- Instant Pot White Chicken Chili
- Instant Pot Vanilla Jalapeño Corn Chowder
For a full list of all my Instant Pot Soup Recipes, check out my Instant Pot Soup Recipes post.
Need a side to pair with your red bean soup? My Homemade Guacamole is the perfect match for this bean soup! Serve the guacamole with your favorite tortilla chips for a complete, satisfying meal. You can even serve a dollop of the guac on top of the soup. Yum!
Instant Pot Bean Soup
A THICK, RICH SOUP MADE WITH SMALL RED BEANS, VEGETABLES, AND POACHED EGGS
for the Optional Garnishes
- hot sauce traditionally served with a few splashes of Tabasco
- Honduran crema
- Cotija cheese grated
- avocado(s) sliced
- Make your red beans using my recipe for Instant Pot Red Beans. The recipe will yield enough beans and broth for this bean soup recipe.
prepare the Ingredients
- Make Bean & Vegetable Mixture: Place 2 cups of the bean broth, the beans, tomato, onion, green bell pepper, garlic, cilantro, cumin, black pepper, and salt in a blender and pulse until smooth.
- Add Broth & Vegetable Mixture to Pot: Add the remaining bean broth along with the blended bean and vegetable mixture to the Instant Pot.
set the Cook Time
- 10-Minute Cook Time: Close the Instant Pot, set the pressure release valve to 'Sealing' and cook on 'Manual' or 'Pressure Cook', 'High Pressure' for 10 minutes.
- 10-minute NPR: Once the cooking time has completed, allow for a 10-minute Natural Pressure Release. After the 10-minute NPR has finished, open the pressure release valve to release the remaining pressure.
poach the Eggs
- Bring Soup to a Boil: Open the pot and then set it to 'Sauté' and adjust the heat level to 'Normal'. Wait for the soup to come to a rolling boil, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add Eggs: Gently crack the eggs into the pot. Avoid breaking the yolks. Allow the eggs to cook for 3 to 6 minutes, depending on how soft you want the egg yolks. Allow 3 minutes for an egg with a soft center and 6 minutes for an egg with a well-done center.
- Turn off the Instant Pot and serve each bowl with an egg and add your desired garnishes.