Smoky ham and white bean soup made easy in the Instant Pot, no need to presoak the beans.
I think my favorite thing to make in my Instant Pot so far, has been soup. I’ve made a lot of soups and my pressure cooker is my go-to for making chicken stock (or bone broth, if you prefer). Instant Pot Ham and White Bean Soup is so easy and so good. We love it.
I used to never make soups from dried beans because I was always turned off by having to soak them overnight. Don’t have to do that with the Instant Pot. I didn’t and they were perfectly tender. I wanted cannellini beans, but couldn’t find dried, so I used Great Northern beans, which is probably the preferred white bean to use anyway. You need a one-pound bag of beans.
I love ham shanks for soups, they are meaty and add so much flavor. You could use a smoked ham hock but you won’t get any meat to shred for the soup. You’re better off with shanks or a meaty ham bone with some extra meat added. Just sayin’
I flavored the soup a couple different ways, each time I made it. I like fresh rosemary and thyme (or dried) a lot. I also like herbs de Provence. Whatever you got and like. And a bay leaf. That’s it. Well, along with the onion, celery, carrot and garlic, that’s it.
It all goes in the Instant Pot and you can walk away while it does all the work. While the actual cooking time is about 35 minutes, it takes awhile to reach pressure as well as naturally release the pressure. Count on about an hour and a half, start to finish.
Recipe Notes and Tips
- I do not presoak the beans and never have a problem with them cooking all the way. Use the manual pressure cook setting, set at high pressure. Do not use the bean or soup setting. I can not stress this enough.
- Make sure to use a natural release of at least 20 minutes before you open the pot.
- If the beans are not tender, remove the ham shanks and cook the beans under high pressure an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
- The soup will thicken upon standing as well as after refrigeration. I like it on the broth-y side but also like it after it sits for awhile and thickens.
- Use a ham bone, either leftover or shanks, to cook with the beans to make the best flavored broth. Add any leftover ham not on the bone at the end.
- Total time to make this soup is about an hour and a half. It takes some time to come to pressure and then the natural release time, but it’s all hands off and easy.
Instant Pot Ham and White Bean Soup is a favorite around here. We love a hot bowl of soup for dinner, with crusty bread and a salad. It’s even better the next day for lunch, and I usually manage to stash a quart in the freezer for later. I think you’ll like this, homemade soup is so tasty and comforting. Enjoy, Kelly
If you’re looking for Instant Pot recipes to try, you might like these favorites of mine:
- Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
- Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noddle Soup)
- Country Green Beans, Potatoes and Ham
- Easy Barbecue Ribs
- Split Pea and Lentil Soup
Instant Pot Ham and White Bean Soup
- 1 pound dried Great Northern white beans, picked over and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary and thyme, minced or 2 teaspoons dried, or 2 teaspoons herbs de Provence
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 pounds meaty, smoked ham shanks
- 8 cups water
- 2 sprigs parsley
- Turn Instant Pot on sauté setting and heat olive oil in insert. I use the medium heat setting for sautéing. Add onion, celery and carrots and sauté until starting to soften, a few minutes. Add garlic, stir a few seconds until fragrant, then add herbs and bay leaf, stir and turn off sauté function.
- Add the dried beans to the pot along with the ham shanks. Pour in 8 cups of water and combine gently. Toss in 2 sprigs of parsley.
- Close lid and seal pressure cooker. Cook on high pressure and set timer for 35 minutes. It will take about 25 minutes to reach pressure and then the timer will start. When finished cooking, let pressure naturally release for 20 minutes.
- Manually release any remaining pressure, carefully open pot. Remove ham shanks to cutting board and shred/cut meat into bite-sized pieces. Add back to soup and season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve with a little hot sauce on the side.