Make delicious bean soup in the Instant Pot in under 30 minutes. Hearty, comforting bean soup made with canned Great Northern beans or Cannellini beans in under 30 minutes.
(This recipe was first published in Oct 2020 and has been updated)
Soup season is my favorite time of year as a food blogger - So many opportunities to test out recipes! This Instant Pot white bean soup checks all those boxes for me – it's a hit with our kids, is super easy to make, 30 minutes only, and is high in nutritional value.
What matters to me, more than all of this, is that it is one deliciously hearty soup! All you will need is a nice crusty loaf of bread to dig in and have it piping hot while you're at it.
Why this recipe works
- Made in under 30 minutes
- Made with store-bought ingredients that are easy to find
- Vegan-friendly and high in nutrients
To make this Instant Pot bean soup, we will need:
- White beans: This recipe calls for canned white beans, but you can also soak dried white beans overnight and use those instead of canned. Two 5-ounce cans of white beans will give you enough soup to serve for 4-5 people. Make sure you drain your can of white beans before adding it to the Instant Pot. Use either Great Northern or Cannellini beans.
- Stock or broth: Use stock cubes or vegetable broth, whatever you prefer. If using broth, and 3 cups of broth, and omit adding additional water.
- Add spinach (optional ingredient): I also chucked in a handful of spinach at the end, to give this soup an extra boost of nutrition. You can add kale or your choice of greens.
Step by step instructions
Start by adding olive oil to the Instant Pot, hit the 'Saute' function, and let the oil heat up. Once hot, add the chopped garlic, bay leaves, and the chopped onion.
Recommended step - To add to the flavor profile of the soup, saute the onions before you add the celery. If you are in a hurry you can simply add in the onion and proceed. However, sauteeing the onions will add so much more flavor.
After sauteing the onions for 2-3 minutes, add the celery. Saute for a minute, add the cubed potatoes and carrots.
Add the drained white beans to the Instant Pot, followed by 3 cups of water add the stock cube. Or, add low-sodium vegetable broth instead of water and stock cubes. Add the black pepper powder, paprika, dried herbs, and more salt if needed.
Mix everything well, ensure there is no residue stuck to the bottom of the Instant Pot and cover with the lid.
Pressure cook for 6 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of natural pressure release. To make the soup thicker - use the back of a spoon to smash some of the cooked beans and thicken the soup.
Finally, add the baby spinach leaves mix well. You can add frozen spinach instead of fresh. Mix to combine.
Squeeze half a lemon into the soup - this will really improve the flavor of the soup. Serve the soup with a side of crusty bread, and if you are not vegan, you can add grated Parmesan or Cheddar as well.
And that's it! Your Instant Pot bean soup is now ready!
Pro Tips and Recipe Variations
Add tomato paste - Tomato paste gives the white bean soup umami and depth of flavor. Add it together with the stock/broth, before you pressure the ingredients.
Add dairy/cheese or coconut milk: Increase the richness of the soup by making it creamier. If you are not vegan, you can also add some half and half or grated Parmesan or Gruyere (my personal favorite) or Cheddar cheese at the very end. For a vegan alternative, use coconut milk or cashew milk instead.
Use fresh herbs: I used dried Italian herbs, but you can also use fresh thyme or rosemary to give it a lovely boost of flavor.
More Instant Pot Soups and Stews
Instant Pot White Bean Soup
- 2 cans White Beans (Great Northern or Cannellini beans) 1 can = 15 oz
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 3 Garlic cloves Minced or finely chopped
- 1 Yellow onion Diced
- 2 Bay leaves
- 2 Stalks celery
- 1 stock cube
- 3 cups water or use vegetable broth
- 2 carrots Peeled and chopped
- 2 Potatoes peeled and chopped
- Salt As needed
- ½ tbsp dried herbs Or use fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme
- ½ tbsp cracked black pepper
- ½ tbsp paprika
- ½ Lemon Juiced
- 1 cup Spinach or use frozen spinach
- In the Instant Pot, hit Sauté mode and add olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add chopped garlic and chopped onions and bay leaves.
- Cook until onions start to brown – 4-6 minutes.
- Add the chopped celery and sauté for a minute.
- Hit Cancel on the Instant Pot, add the chopped potatoes and chopped carrots.
- Add the dried herbs, stock cube and 3 cups of water, followed by the crushed black pepper, paprika and added salt if needed.
- Add the drained white beans.
- Mix well, ensure that no residue to stuck to the bottom of the pot.
- Hit Pressure Cook (or Manual) on the Instant Pot, set the time for 6 minutes. After the pressure cooking cycle is complete, let the Instant Pot rest for 10 minutes in Keep Warm mode. Then hit Cancel, and manually release pressure by opening the vent (Quick Pressure Release).
- Open the lid of the Instant Pot, and add the baby spinach (if using) . The spinach will wilt in the heat of the Instant Pot. Add the juice of half a lemon, and stir.
- Serve the soup warm, with an optional garnish of grated cheese.
- Use any variety of white beans you have. You can also use dried white beans that have been soaked overnight, and set Pressure Cook time to 15 minutes.
- You can add tomato paste to give the dish umami and depth of flavor. Add it together with the stock/broth, before you pressure cook the ingredients.
- Increase the creaminess of the soup by adding half and half or grated Parmesan or Gruyere (my personal favorite) or Cheddar cheese at the very end. For a vegan alternative, use coconut milk or cashew milk instead.
- I used dried Italian herbs, but you can also use fresh thyme or rosemary to give it a lovely boost of flavor.