This delicious Instant Pot Bean with Bacon Soup needs no pre-soaking of the beans and is ready in just about an hour!
Bean with Bacon Soup is one of my favourites. I grew up with the Campbell's™ canned stuff and while I've moved beyond the can, the flavours are still a favourite. I have a stove-top Bean with Bacon Soup on my site already, but I just had to re-create it for the Instant Pot, too.
I experimented with a few different ways to adapt this soup for the Instant Pot and found that doing a quick pre-cooking of just the beans produced the best results. It only adds a little time to over-all soup and made a big difference in the texture of the soup.
Beyond that, it's just a quick saute of the bacon and vegetables, then everything goes into the pot to cook. At then end, add the flavourings and thickener and it's ready to go!
Cook's Notes for Instant Pot Bean with Bacon Soup
Be sure to dice your carrots fairly small. You don't want big chunks of carrot in this one.
I like to use my immersion blender to break down some, but not all, of the beans. It thickens the soup nicely, but still leaves plenty of whole beans in the soup.
I love adding liquid smoke to this soup. The flavour is great. You can find liquid smoke in the same part of the store where you would find Worcestershire sauce etc.
Don't forget to salt your soup! Salt is critical for bringing out the great flavours.
Make it Vegetarian! Simply omit the bacon (or use a vegetarian "bacon") and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. Liquid Smoke is vegetarian, by the way.
I found the flavour of this soup was even better when it was made ahead and refrigerated. The extra time really gives the flavours a chance to develop. So don't hesitate to make it ahead and re-heat later.
If you have a 3 quart Mini Instant Pot, be sure to half the recipe below so there isn't too much for the smaller pot. Simply change the Serving below in the recipe card from 6 to 3 and it will calculate the half recipe for you!
Instant Pot Bean with Bacon Soup
For pre-cooking beans:
- 1 cup dried navy beans
- 4 cups water (approximately)
- 4 slices bacon (diced)
- 1 cup carrot (finely diced)
- 1/2 cup onion (diced)
- 1 Bay leaf
- 4 cups chicken broth
- Reserved pre-cooked beans from above
To finish soup:
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/4-1/2 tsp liquid smoke (Optional)
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup water
- Salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
- To pre-cook beans: Add beans to Instant Pot and enough water to just cover, about 4 cups. Set Instant Pot to HIGH Pressure Cook for 10 minutes, with vent in the sealing position. Allow for a 10 minute Natural Pressure Release, then release the remaining pressure manually. Drain the beans and set aside. Rinse out Instant Pot liner and return to Instant Pot.
- For the soup: Set Instant Pot to SAUTE at normal heat setting. Add bacon and cook, stirring, until bacon starts to brown. Add onion and carrot and cook, stirring, until onion softens. Add bay leaf, chicken broth and reserved pre-cooked beans to the pot. Stir to combine. Cancel Saute and place lid on Instant Pot with vent in sealing position. Set the Instant Pot to HIGH Pressure Cook and set the time for 25 minutes. After cooking, allow for a 10 minute Natural Pressure Release, then release any remaining pressure naturally and remove lid.
- To finish soup: REMOVE BAY LEAF from soup and discard. Set Instant Pot to SAUTE at low heat setting. Add the tomato paste and liquid smoke, if using. Using an immersion blender, a potato masher or by removing about 1/3 of the soup to a blender, blend the soup slightly, so that some of the beans are broken down, but some remain whole. Add cornstarch/water mixture to soup and cook, stirring, until soup thickens. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
No Instant Pot? Here's the Stove-top Version of my Bean with Bacon Soup