I’ve been playing around with my new pressure cooker and having fun remaking slow cooked meals in it as well as recipes that I just cook on the stove top in a regular pot. I made some chicken stock and the flavor was incredible. The pressure cooker is the opposite of a slow cooker. Both have their place in the kitchen, and there will be days where I get dinner started early and make Asian Chicken Stew in my crockpot, and other days when I’m running late, and make Turkey Bolognese Sauce in my pressure cooker.
For this Pressure Cooker Cuban Black Bean Soup, I modified my Crockpot Cuban Black Bean Soup recipe, ramping up the spices a bit to even more flavor.
One of the foods that I’ve been wanting to try in a pressure cooker is dried beans. I love using dried beans, but sometimes the thought of cooking them for an hour before I can use them just gets in the way. Beans are really easy to cook and so much better if you make them yourself instead of canned beans. Not only can you control the amount of salt added (canned beans tend to be high in sodium), but you can also add layers of flavor that you just can’t get in canned beans.
With the pressure cooker, cooking beans on a weekday is a no brainer. All you have to do is soak the beans overnight. You can also soak them in water and keep them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook them. I actually left my beans soaking for a day and half because I was busy using my pressure cooker to make chicken stock the other night.
This recipe for black bean soup took just 15 minutes to cook at high pressure, before I turned off the heat and let the pressure release naturally for another 15 minutes. I was skeptical that the beans would actually be cooked. However, when I tested the beans after the they had rested 15 minutes, the beans were just tender. If you want your beans cooked until they are really soft, I would increase the cooking time.
For a creamier texture, I used an immersion blender to puree some of the soup in the pot, leaving some beans chunky for texture. The best part about using the pressure cooker for this Cuban Black Bean Soup was that I was able to serve a healthy soup for lunch to my kids when they were home one day.
Topped with avocado, tomatoes, red bell peppers, onions and scallions, and a drizzle of sherry vinegar, the boys really enjoyed this black bean soup.
- 1 pound dried black beans, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- ½ cup red wine
- 4 cups water
- chopped red bell pepper
- chopped tomatoes
- chopped avocado
- finely chopped red onion
- minced scallion
- Heat oil in a 5 quart pressure cooker. Add onion, red bell pepper, garlic, bay leaf, cumin and oregano. Saute until onions are soft and spices are fragrant, about 4-5 minutes. Add pre-soaked beans, black pepper, salt, vinegar, red wine and water.
- Cover and seal pressure cooker according to manufacturer instructions. When pressure cooker reaches high pressure, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, watching to make sure pressure cooker maintains high pressure. If necessary, turn off heat to regulate pressure, and turn back on as necessary. Turn off heat and let pressure release naturally for 15 minutes. Release any remaining pressure according to manufacturer instructions. Remove lid and use immersion blender to partially blend beans in soup, if desired.
- Serve with assorted garnishes.