Instant Pot Ham and Bean Soup - an Instant Pot makes this classic soup ready in about an hour! So rich and comforting, it tastes like it's been simmering all day. A hambone or leftover ham, white beans, carrots, celery, onions and optional rosemary create this amazing bowl of soup! Everyone loves this yummy soup!
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Ham and Bean Soup vs. Senate Bean Soup
When I was young, I actually did volunteer work at a hospital just because every Thursday they had Senate Bean Soup. I loved it that much then and I continue to love it now!
You might be wondering is there a difference between ham and bean soup or senate bean soup (or you might not be and it's just me who ponders weird things like this.) I actually thought they were the same thing, but it turns out that Senate Bean Soup is much simpler.
Senate bean soup contains ham hocks, navy beans, and onions. This is the version I remember from the hospital and while I loved it, I add carrots and celery to mine. Mainly because practically every single soup I make starts out with carrots, celery and onions - which is also called a French mirepoix.
Instant Pot Beans to Soak or Not to Soak
The big question that comes up with making Instant Pot Beans is whether to soak or not soak beans. You will find everyone has an opinion and the side that they fall on.
Having cooked beans weekly in my Instant Pot, I am firmly on the side of soaking. Yes, you can make good beans without soaking, but I think you can get more evenly cooked consistent beans with soaking. It doesn't have to soak overnight, I start mine soaking in the morning.
In the morning, I place 2-3 cups of dried beans in a medium bowl. I cover the beans with water by about 3 inches and let them soak until it is time to start cooking. Then I drain and rinse them.
Instant Pot Ham and Bean Soup
Making this Instant Pot Ham and Bean Soup is so easy! It is the perfect use for leftover ham.
Tips for making this easy Instant Pot Soup:
Use whatever white beans you have or like. I've made this with great northern, navy and cannellini and they all work!
This is a great way to use leftover ham. After I cook a ham, I usually freeze several bags with about 4 cups of cubed ham in each one using my food saver. I used one of those bags for this soup. I also freeze the ham bone, which is even better in this soup!
This recipe will work in both a 6 quart or an 8 quart Instant Pot. Even though there are only two of us, I have an 8 quart so that I can make lots of leftovers to freeze. I put my FoodSaver to good use!
I added a sprig of rosemary to these beans, but it is totally optional.
To salt or not to salt. There is a huge debate on whether or not to salt beans while cooking. I salt them at the beginning just like I do everything that I cook and my beans always come out tender and perfectly seasoned. With this recipe, I use less salt depending on how salty the ham is.
East Steps for Making Instant Pot Soup
Start soaking the beans in the morning. When you are ready to cook, chop the carrots, celery, onions and garlic. Turn the Instant Pot to Saute and cook the vegetables for a few minutes and then add the ham. Saute for a couple of more minutes. Press Cancel to turn the instant pot off. Add the beans, broth, water, rosemary sprig (if using) and salt and pepper.
Lock the lid on the Instant Pot, make sure valve is set to sealing. Set for High Pressure with a time of 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes when the Instant Pot beeps, let the pressure reduce naturally for 10 minutes. Then turn the valve to unsealing and let the pressure release.
When the pressure indicator has dropped, unlock the lid. Remove the rosemary sprig, stir and taste to adjust seasoning.
Some other Instant Pot Recipes you may like:
No more standing over a stove stirring with this Instant Pot Herbed Polenta.
You can cook pasta right in the pot with your sauce in this Instant Pot Ground Pork and Pasta!
Look for more Instant Pot inspiration with The Best Instant Pot Cookbooks
Instant Pot Ham and Bean Soup
- In the morning, place beans in a bowl and cover with water by about 3 inches.
- About an hour before you are ready to eat, drain the beans.
- Turn the Instant Pot to the saute function. After a couple of minutes add the oil.
- Add the carrots, celery, onions and garlic to the pot. Stir occasionally while the vegetables soften for about 3 minutes. Add the ham and cook for about 2 more minutes.
- Press off to cancel the saute function. Add the beans, broth and the water and salt and pepper. Use only about ½ teaspoon of salt, depending on how salty your ham is. Top with rosemary sprig if using.
- Lock the lid on the Instant Pot and set to high pressure for 20 minutes. When the timer beeps, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then do a quick pressure release.
- Remove the rosemary stem (if used) and stir the soup. Taste and adjust seasoning.
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