Instant Pot Italian White Bean Soup

Instant Pot Italian White Bean Soup

After returning from summer away from home, getting back in my own kitchen felt like climbing into a pair of comfortable old jeans. One of my first moves was to pull out my Instant Pot. I had missed it and with fall approaching, the timing felt right. Plus, I had been percolating an Instant Pot white bean soup for weeks. (yes, while other people sit on beaches thinking about what SPF to apply, I think about making soup).

I decided ahead of time not to pre-soak the beans. I’ve been reading up on the pros and cons of the pre-soak and have concluded that there’s not much to be gained from it. Sure it can trim your cooking time, but if you’re relying on the speed of a pressure cooker, that’s not much of an issue. And from what I can gather, the notion that pre-soaked beans minimizes the potential for, ahem, gas, is debatable.

Next was to figure out the direction to take my soup. I settled on flavors inspired by the soups of Italy, so I picked up a pound of cannellini beans, along with tomatoes, kale, and Italian sausage. After piling my ingredients into the Instant Pot, I added a Parmesan rind on a whim, which added a good punch of flavor to the finished soup.

After an hour in the pot, the beans were tender and the broth tasty. It was exactly the sort of soup I’d been hoping for back on the beach when I should have been thinking about applying more sunscreen.

I bet you’ll like it too.

4.97 from 26 votes
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Instant Pot Italian White Bean Soup

A flavorful and nourishing soup done in the Instant Pot. No need to pre-soak the beans means one less step to run under. Make it meaty using Italian sausage, or leave it out for a very tasty vegetarian soup. Plenty of grated Parmesan just before serving is the finishing touch. When considering total cooking time, remember that it will take a while for the Instant Pot to come to pressure before it kicks into cooking mode. 

Course Dinner
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 6 - 8
Calories 250 kcal
Author katiemorford

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups dried cannellini beans
  • 1 small chunk Parmesan cheese (it should have the rind and be at least a couple of ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with the liquid
  • 8 cups low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 links pre-cooked Italian sausage (optional if you want a vegetarian/vegan soup)
  • 1 large bunch kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Pick over beans to eliminate any little stones or debris. Cut the rind off the Parmesan cheese.
  2. Press “Saute” on the Instant Pot. When the pot is hot, add the olive oil, onion, carrots, and celery. Saute, stirring regularly, until the onion is tender, about 8 minutes. Hit “Cancel” on the Instant Pot.
  3. Add the cannellini beans, garlic, tomatoes with their juices, chicken broth, bay leaf, oregano, fennel, thyme, and the rind of the Parmesan cheese. Put on the lid to the Instant Pot, be sure the valve is closed, and set it to  “Manual” (high pressure) for 1 hour.

  4. When the Instant Pot is done, leave it to release steam naturally for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, carefully turn the steam valve and let the steam release.
  5. Open the lid and taste a couple of beans to make sure they are tender. (If not, cook on Manual for another 5 to 10 minutes and check again).

  6. When the soup is done, remove the Parmesan rind and bay leaf and discard. Add the kale, sausage, and salt and stir well.
  7. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and pass the Parmesan cheese at the table to garnish.

Comments

09.06.2017 at 3:59 AM #

Kit Broihier

Sounds perfect! Thx for the idea–need to figure out how to really use my Instant Pot.

09.06.2017 at 3:59 AM #

katiemorford

I’m still learning. I’ve had a few fails, but this one turned out well. Hope you enjoy.

09.06.2017 at 7:07 AM #

Diane Norwood

This looks so delicious and I think I’m the last RD to finally take the Instant Pot plunge this summer, so thanks for the real-food idea! Will try it out this week and it will solve our back-to-school dinner dilemma! And I shared it on my FB page, The Wandering RD. 🙂

09.06.2017 at 7:07 AM #

katiemorford

Glad to hear you finally took the plunge…and hope you like the recipe. Thanks for sharing. I will check out your page!

09.13.2017 at 12:58 PM #

Bernie

Your recipe does not have the amount of olive oil in it. Going to try and make it today. Looks delicious!

09.13.2017 at 12:58 PM #

katiemorford

Ahhh. will add it now. Thanks for letting me know!

10.01.2017 at 8:45 AM #

Julie

When do you add the sausage?

10.01.2017 at 8:45 AM #

katiemorford

You add it along with the kale at the very end. The recipe calls for pre-cooked sausage, so it just needs to be in the pot long enough to get warm.

10.15.2017 at 7:27 AM #

Debra

How much is a small chunk of Parmesan cheese?

10.15.2017 at 7:27 AM #

katiemorford

A few ounces would be plenty.

10.29.2017 at 11:31 AM #

Chris Beloni

Made this several times, delish! I used uncooked sausage and cooked in IP, and removed before sauteing onions etc. Then added cooked sausage back in according to recipe.
One question: if I was do double recipe, how much would I increase cooking time?

10.29.2017 at 11:31 AM #

katiemorford

Hi Chris,

Glad you like the soup! As for doubling the recipe, it’s my understanding that you don’t have to increase the cooking time. You do need to make sure your pot has plenty of room to accommodate everything. Here is a link to a site that has more info on doubling an IP recipe: https://www.hippressurecooking.com/halve-or-double-pcs/

11.07.2017 at 2:02 PM #

Gina

This is my new favorite! Making it for the third time right now. I did scale the recipe up just slightly to use 2 cups of dry beans, since the pound bags I buy are almost exactly two cups. Instead of adding more water or cooking time I presoak them half way in whey to break them down a little.
I love how creamy the broth gets from the bean starch (plus I use bone broth which is a little thicker). A few people have tried it and can’t believe I didn’t add cream or a roux.

11.07.2017 at 2:02 PM #

katiemorford

I love what you’ve done with the recipe. Nothing like homemade broth in a soup, especially the richness of bone broth.

11.12.2017 at 12:41 PM #

Kara

Looks delicious! How many servings does this make?

11.12.2017 at 12:41 PM #

katiemorford

It makes 6 to 8 servings!

11.12.2017 at 4:01 PM #

Kate Twitchell

Hi! I’m about to hit start on the instant pot, and I realize you haven’t indicated if this recipe calls for high or low pressure on the IP. I’m going to assume the former, but perhaps add this direction to the recipe? Thanks, and it looks delish thus far.

11.12.2017 at 4:01 PM #

katiemorford

Hi Kate,

Yes! High pressure. I added a little note to indicate as much. Thanks for the comment.

Katie

11.29.2017 at 11:46 AM #

Alison

Sound great. But I already presoaked beans to reduce gas, would you know if this would change the cooking time? Thanks

11.29.2017 at 11:46 AM #

katiemorford

Good question. Since I’ve never done this soup with soaked beans, I can’t say for sure. I’d probably cut the cooking time to 45 or 50 minutes, do a natural release for 20 minutes, and then check them. You can always tack on a little more cooking time if the beans are not quite done. Let me know how it goes.

12.12.2017 at 5:33 PM #

John

Great recipe, thanks! I used fresh baby spinach as I had no kale and added a 1/2 cup spiral noodles at the end and recooked for 5 mins under pressure with a quick release, made a really nice soup. I soaked my beans for 4 hours and cooked for 1 hour, they were done perfectly.

12.12.2017 at 5:33 PM #

katiemorford

Hi John,

Thanks for the comment…and I love hearing how you adapted the recipe!

Katie

01.06.2018 at 9:18 PM #

Lori

This was delicious and very easy to convert it to plant-based (vegan) with no oil. Sauteed with veggie broth at beginning. Other than that, just used the veggie broth and didn’t add sausage. I never soak beans and it took about 80 minutes of high pressure. Didn’t have kale, so added spinach. Thank you very much. Just put the yummly app on my phone and this was my first added recipe!

01.06.2018 at 9:18 PM #

katiemorford

Oh good…thanks for sharing your vegan version. That will be helpful to others. (love Yummly!)

01.08.2018 at 12:30 AM #

Pam Hochman

Katie,
Got an instant-pot for my birthday and just starting to use it. I’m happy that this recipe of yours will be my inaugural dish!

For those who like slightly more precise instructions, how big/small is the “small chunk” of cheese supposed to be?

Thanks! Pam

01.08.2018 at 12:30 AM #

katiemorford

Oh good. I bet you will learn to love the Instant Pot. I included a note about the cheese. Really, what you are after is a piece of rind that is at least a few inches to flavor the soup, plus some cheese to grate over the top.

01.13.2018 at 9:27 AM #

Dana Dixon

Soaking beans, grains, and nuts is IMPORTANT to reduce/remove lectins and enhance digestion and bioavailability. I would advise soaking beans 12 hours in water with a sprinking of kelp and a few fennel seeds, then pouring off that water before putting in the instant pot. Makes them more digestible and hugely reduces potential for flatulance. This why I don’t use canned beans of any kind.

01.18.2018 at 5:59 PM #

Ivy

What if I wanted to use canned beans? How would that change the cook time/temp?
Thanks!

01.18.2018 at 5:59 PM #

katiemorford

Hi Ivy, without doing it myself, it is a little tricky to sort out because I am guessing you might want to adjust the volume of liquid a bit too (beans absorb a lot of liquid). If it were me, I would probably try the following:

cut the liquid in half

cook on manual for 20 minute and release naturally for 10 (if veggies are not tender, do a little longer)

remove the rind and bay leaf and add about 3 cups of beans, sausage and kale and stir well.

check the liquid and add more if needed

Let me know how it goes!

02.23.2018 at 9:27 AM #

Lenette

Sounds delicious. Wondering if there is there anything (non-dairy) that I can use as a substitute for the parm cheese?

02.23.2018 at 9:27 AM #

katiemorford

You can leave it out. It will still be plenty tasty.

03.04.2018 at 2:36 PM #

Linda

I did the 4 hour soak; 1 hour cook recommended by John. Other changes to the recipe: I had 3 cups left over beef stock, so combined that with the chicken stock. I couldn’t add all 8 cups of liquid because I had reached the max fill line of my instapot, was short about 3/4 cup. I used more garlic because the bulb I had on hand was starting to go, so salvaged what I could and put in about 5 cloves. I also did not have kale so used baby spinach and all 5 links of Italian sausage from the package I had. The cook time was perfect and the liquid was fine. I thought the flavor needed something so added a couple of tablespoons of white wine vinegar and that did trick. Thanks for the inspiration!

03.04.2018 at 2:36 PM #

katiemorford

I love hearing all your tweaks on the recipe…and I always think a little acid…vinegar or lemon…can brighten a pot of soup. Good tip.

04.23.2018 at 6:57 AM #

Sheila

This recipe came out great. I used pre-soaked navy beans and decreased the broth from 8 cups to 6 cups which worked well. I did not have Italian sausage and substituted chopped smoked turkey meat. Not having the Italian sausage probably changed the overall flavor, I found it needed a little more seasoning but fresh cracked pepper did the trick. I will definitely make this again.

04.23.2018 at 6:57 AM #

katiemorford

Sounds like you made brilliant substitutions. I appreciate the comment and I’m glad you like the soup!

07.03.2018 at 7:05 PM #

Linda Byberg

I just got an instant pot and this is the first beans I’ve made. I used a meatless Italian sausage from trader Joe’s to keep it vegetarian. I followed the recipe exactly and it was so yummy. I’ll never use canned beans again, hopefully. Thanks

07.03.2018 at 7:05 PM #

katiemorford

Awesome! I love hearing that.

07.03.2018 at 7:05 PM #

katiemorford

Awesome. And so great to hear the meatless sausage worked for you. I’m going to have to try that next time.

10.30.2018 at 1:59 PM #

Chris Beloni

Made this several times with sausage. Making vegetarian version for a friend tomorrow, really delicious!
I add homemade pesto when serving for an extra dose of flavor!

10.30.2018 at 1:59 PM #

katiemorford

I’m so glad…and adding pesto is a brilliant idea. Thanks for sharing!
-Katie

11.11.2018 at 6:05 PM #

Melissa

This is delicious! I had country sausage so I cooked it in the IP first with added Italian seasoning. I took it out and put it in the fridge to wait until the end. I also used half of a (diced) butternut squash instead of carrots (preference). At the end I threw in a bag of frozen kale instead of fresh. I don’t believe the taste changed drastically with these changes.

Thank you! I’ll make this again.

11.11.2018 at 6:05 PM #

katiemorford

Those all sound like terrific riffs on the recipe. Glad you liked it.

11.13.2018 at 7:53 PM #

Carol

I used chicken Italian sausage links, removed meat from casings and browned in olive oil on saute setting 1st. Than continued with recipe using 2cups less chicken broth. I couldn’t find dried canelli beans so I used dried great northern beans. I added the kale and meat and then brought back to pressure for a couple of min. It was delicious!

11.13.2018 at 7:58 PM #

Carol

Sorry spelled cannellini beans incorrectly!
I also used my own canned diced tomatoes from my summer garden!

11.13.2018 at 7:58 PM #

katiemorford

Sounds wonderful…how lucky to have a stash of home-grown tomatoes. Thanks for sharing!

12.04.2018 at 8:53 PM #

Pam Hochman

We love this recipe, but you might want to think about increasing the cooking time and total time that you indicate up front… I can prep it in under 15, but there’s 1 hour 35 minutes cooking plus the time the instapot takes to get to pressure, so it’s really closer to 2 hours between start and finish, maybe more.

But it is delicious!

12.04.2018 at 8:53 PM #

katiemorford

Glad you like the soup! Good points regarding cooking time. Unfortunately, I use a standard form for my blog recipes that doesn’t allow for much flexibility, for time ranges, or explanation about cooking times. I’ll include something in the headnote about the additional time to come to pressure, etc. Appreciate the thought.

01.09.2019 at 5:58 PM #

LinZ

Great recipe! Thank you! My only changes: browned the sausage first, then removed and set aside; increased garlic to 5 cloves; added about a tsp. of smoked paprika and crushed red pepper, plus a couple sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped, and their stems (which I removed at the end). Your instant pot cooking time was spot on starting from dried beans. Perfect soup for this cold January night!

01.09.2019 at 5:58 PM #

katiemorford

Yay! I love all of your swaps and changes. Thank you for sharing.

01.29.2019 at 2:30 AM #

Jess V

Hi, with sauteing the carrots and then cooking them on high pressure how were their overall texture? We’re they mushy or still firm? I’m not a fan of super soft, mush in your mouth veggies, especially carrots.
How would you describe the texture of the carrots once the soup was finished?
Thanks! I’m excited to try this recipe.

01.29.2019 at 2:30 AM #

katiemorford

I feel like they are tender, but not mushy, but you could always delay adding the carrots to the saute pan to make sure they are to your liking. Just saute them a little less than everything else.

03.08.2019 at 5:24 PM #

Elizabeth

How I do this with a ham bone.

03.08.2019 at 5:24 PM #

katiemorford

I would put the ham bone in the pot with the beans, tomatoes, etc. Then, you can pull the meat off the bone and into the soup!

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