This Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot Cuban Black Bean Soup takes just 15 minutes to cook, just an example of how pressure cooking can save you time on busy nights. I used to use canned beans all the time because of the convenience. But, once I discovered how much more flavorful and easy to make dry beans were, I’ve been using the pressure cooking method to make big batches of beans. Cooked beans freeze well, so it makes sense to make a batch of beans and just pull them out whenever I want to add them to chili to make this Cuban black bean soup.
I’ve been playing around with pressure cooking for the past five years and have adapted many of my slow cooker recipes and regular stove-top recipes to pressure-cooked ones over the years. Not only does pressure cooking save a lot of time (it reduces cooking time by about 2/3), but I’ve found it makes incredibly flavorful stocks and tender braised meats. 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/Instant Pot Cuban Black Bean Soup, I modified my Crockpot Cuban Black Bean Soup recipe, ramping up the spices a bit to even more flavor.
I love using dried beans for this Cuban black bean soup recipe because the flavor agents are cooked along with the beans (e,g., onion, garlic, red bell pepper, cumin, oregano), adding more layers of flavors that you won’t get from canned beans.
When pressure cooking beans, I like to 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 fun part about this pressure cooker/Instant Pot Cuban Black Bean Soup are the toppings. I used fresh chopped avocado, tomatoes, red bell peppers, onions and scallions, and a drizzle of sherry vinegar, which the boys really enjoyed.
Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot Cuban 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
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 4 cups water
- chopped red bell pepper
- chopped tomatoes
- chopped avocado
- finely chopped red onion
- minced scallion
Pressure Cooker Instructions
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.
Instant Pot Instructions
Select "Saute" on Instant Pot and heat oil. 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. Select "Cancel."
Cover and seal Instant Pot according to manufacturer instructions. Select "Bean/Chili" setting and set timer for 15 minutes. After timer beeps, select "Cancel" and let Instant Pot naturally release pressure. Remove lid and use immersion blender to partially blend beans in soup, if desired.
Serve with assorted garnishes.