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Instant Pot Black Bean Soup (Vegan!)

Transform dried black beans into this flavourful vegan soup! Using the Instant Pot makes it a breeze to cook dried black beans from scratch (no need to soak them!). Made with vegetables like carrots, bell pepper and corn, this soup is a satisfying, nutritious meal.

black bean soup in a white bowl garnished with sour cream, sliced jalapeno, diced red pepper and diced avocado, with a spoon inserted

Instant Pot Black Bean Soup is a great option when you need an easy pantry meal. With a base of dried black beans, broth, spices and canned diced tomatoes, the Instant Pot pretty much does all the work for you.

You’ll love this vegan black bean soup because

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  • you don’t need to soak the beans
  • it uses simple ingredients
  • it has awesome flavour
  • the Instant Pot makes it a hands-off recipe
  • it’s healthy: the soup is a good source of fibre and plant-based protein

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this black bean soup. See the recipe card below for exact quantities and detailed instructions.

  • Olive oil – for sautéing the onion and garlic
  • Red onion
  • Garlic
  • Vegetable broth
  • Carrot
  • Red bell pepper – or any colour you have!
  • Dried black beans
  • Spices: cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder
  • Fire-roasted tomatoes – regular diced tomatoes work, too
  • Frozen corn
  • Salt
  • Lime juice – to taste, to brighten the flavour
black bean soup ingredients in small bowls: diced carrots, red bell pepper, dried black beans, diced tomatoes, minced garlic, diced red onion and spices

How to make it

Start with sautéing the onion and garlic. Turn on the Sauté function on the Instant Pot. Heat olive oil then add the onion. Sauté until softened, about 3 minutes, then add the minced garlic and continue to cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Turn off the Sauté function and deglaze the insert with a bit of broth, if necessary.

Next, add the remaining broth, carrots, bell pepper, black beans, cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder and water. Do not stir, but check that the beans are evenly submerged in the liquid. Put the lid on the Instant Pot, set the vent to sealing and cook on Manual High pressure for 45 minutes.

black bean soup in an Instant Pot before being blended, next to a light blue linen

At the end of cooking time, allow for a Natural Pressure Release. Once pressure is released, open the Instant Pot, give the soup a stir and scoop out about 2 cups of beans and vegetables into a bowl. Set aside.

Use an immersion blender to blend the remaining soup until smooth. Or, you can blend it in batches in a high-speed blender (only fill it halfway for safety reasons), then return it to the pot. Add back the reserved beans and vegetables, along with the corn. Stir until well combined and season with salt and freshly squeezed lime juice. Serve immediately with garnishes.

a ladle of black bean soup held over an Instant Pot filled with black bean soup

Tips for Success

Dice the vegetables to be around the same size as a black bean. This is more for presentation, it won’t affect the taste!

Deglaze the insert, if necessary. If it looks like any onion or garlic is stuck to the bottom, use a bit of broth and a spatula to scrape it off before continuing. This will prevent a burn warning.

Be sure the black beans are in an even layer and well submerged. You want about an inch of liquid above the beans to ensure even cooking. You can adjust the amount of water, if necessary.

Don’t stir. Tomatoes are notorious for causing a burn warning. Don’t stir the ingredients once they’re added.

Season well with salt! Different brands of broth vary widely in their salt content so I haven’t recommended a specific amount of salt. I added about a teaspoon to start, then tasted before adding more.

Variations

Make it smooth. I like having the the extra texture of the beans and vegetables along with the corn, but you could blend everything rather than reserving 2 cups of beans and vegetables. If you do this, you may want to skip the corn and you can reduce the pressure cooking time to 30 minutes.

You can skip the vegetables. This soup would still be great even without the carrot, bell pepper and corn. I like to add them for the extra nutrition, but you’ll still have a delicious soup without them!

Go wild with garnish. Some suggestions are diced avocado, diced bell pepper, sliced jalapeño, fresh cilantro and corn chips. If you’re not vegan, sour cream, full fat greek yogurt and grated cheese all taste great. Of course you could also use vegan shredded cheese!

black bean soup in a white bowl garnished with sour cream, sliced jalapeno, diced red pepper and diced avocado

More Instant Pot Soup Recipes

black bean soup in a white bowl garnished with sour cream, sliced jalapeno, diced red pepper and diced avocado, with a spoon inserted

Instant Pot Black Bean Soup

Laura Lawless, BASc
Transform dried black beans into this flavourful vegan soup! Using the Instant Pot makes it a breeze to cook dried black beans from scratch (no need to soak them!). Made with vegetables like carrots, bell pepper and corn, this soup is a satisfying, nutritious meal.
Servings 6
Calories 334
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Inactive time 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, small dice
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 medium carrots, small dice
  • 1 red bell pepper, small dice
  • 2 cups dried black beans
  • 1.5 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 14oz can fire-roasted tomatoes (or sub regular diced tomatoes)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • salt (to taste, I started with a teaspoon)
  • freshly squeezed lime juice (to taste)

Instructions
 

  • Turn on the Sauté function on the Instant Pot. Heat the olive oil, then sauté the diced red onion until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and continue to sauté, stirring continuously, until fragrant. Turn off the Sauté function. If you notice any food stuck to the bottom of the insert, add a small amount of the broth and deglaze the bottom of the insert (use a spatula to scrape up any bits of food stuck to the bottom).
  • Add the remaining broth, carrots, bell pepper, dried black beans, cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, fire-roasted tomatoes, and water. Don't stir, but make sure the beans are evenly submerged in the liquid. Put the lid on the Instant Pot, set the vent to sealing and pressure cook on Manual High pressure for 45 minutes (see note 4 for a time-saving tip). It will take up to 20 minutes to come to pressure.
  • At the end of cooking time, allow for a Natural Pressure Release (NPR). This will take about 20 minutes. Once the pressure is released, open the lid, give the soup a stir and scoop out about two cups of the beans and vegetables into a bowl and set aside. Then, use an immersion blender to blend the remaining soup. Alternatively, you can carefully transfer the soup in batches to a regular high-speed blender (don't fill it more than halfway), then return the blended soup to the insert.
  • After the soup is blended, return the reserved beans and vegetables to the pot and add the corn to warm up. Stir until well combined and season with salt and freshly squeezed lime juice, to taste. Serve immediately with garnishes like avocado, sour cream, additional diced bell pepper, sliced jalapeño, lime wedges or grated cheese. Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator and eat within 4 days.

Notes

  1. This recipe makes 4 very large bowls or up to 6 as a side/lighter meal. 
  2. Inactive time indicates the time it takes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure and release pressure. 
  3. This recipe was tested in a 6-quart Instant Pot model. 
  4. If you’re planning to blend all the soup, you can reduce the cooking time to 30 minutes. The extra 15 minutes gives the beans that won’t be blended a more pleasing texture. 
  5. To make this on the stovetop with canned beans, use four 15-oz cans of black beans (drained and rinsed). After sautéing the onion and garlic, add the carrots and bell pepper and sauté until softened (10-15 minutes), then add the broth, cooked beans, spices and canned tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil over medium/high heat, then turn the heat down and to maintain a simmer for up to 30 minutes, or until the beans are very soft. Follow the same instructions as above for blending and seasoning. 

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Equipment

6-qt Instant Pot
Chef’s Knife
Immersion Blender
Ladle

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 334kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 568mg | Potassium: 1367mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 4740IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 135mg | Iron: 6mg
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Hey, I’m Laura!

Creator of The Recipe Well


I love food and cooking, but hate doing the dishes. I use my nutrition degree to create easy, approachable recipes that will help you find your happy place in the kitchen.

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