This recipe for Instant Pot Cuban Black Bean soup is fire for so many reasons! But before we dive into the recipe let’s talk about why I love this soup so very much.
Cuban black beans might be my favorite food to get in all of Florida. They truly are the food of South Florida. While my family isn’t Cuban, we spent a lot of family celebrations at Cuban restaurants. They were our go-to. And the black bean soup was always a favorite (along my other favorites like ropa vieja and picadillo (recipe coming soon!)).
The most critical part of Cuban black bean soup?
The sofrito. In this instance it’s a combo of red onions, green bell pepper, garlic and some spices that give the beans some good flavor. Beans by themselves are notoriously bland so you definitely have to gussy them up with lots of spices and a healthy amount of salt.
The Instant Pot Saves LOTS of Time!
I remember when the Instant Pot first came on the scene, I was skeptical. But Billy was the only who truly converted me. My favorite part about cooking dry beans is that they are SO affordable. They’re so much cheaper than the can. And you can control the flavor from the beginning–huge advantage!
This is the simplest way to make black beans because it requires zero soaking of dried beans. And that’s because when you make black beans in a pressure cooker, they don’t need to be soaked—huge timer saver! This results in super fast Instant Pot cuban black bean soup!
I sautéed the sofrito in the Instant Pot and a natural release that lasts about 20 minutes, I blended it up the soup with an immersion blender.
That’s it! Traditionally Cuban black bean soup is made with a ham hock or pieces of bacon, but I wanted it to be vegan/vegetarian. I’m trying to incorporate more plant-based recipes into my diet and this is a nice addition to my rotation of healthier recipes that I like to make during the week.
And I would be mean if I didn’t link to some other Instant Pot Recipes here on A Cozy Kitchen:
Instant Pot Cuban Black Bean Soup:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 red onion, peeled and roughly chopped (a tablespoon reserved for garnish)
- 1 green bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt , plus more to taste
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon Mexican or Italian dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 dried or fresh bay leaves
- 1 pound dried black beans
- 6 cups water
- 1 avocado, pitted and sliced
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- Cilantro Leaves
To Make the Instant Pot Cuban Black Bean Soup:
- Turn your Instant Pot to the "medium sauté function." Add the olive oil and when warm, add the red onion, bell pepper, garlic cloves, salt, ground cumin, coriander, oregano and crushed red pepper. Cook until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- Add the bay leaves, black beans and water. Stir until combined. Place the lid to the Instant Pot on and press “cancel." Then, turn the Instant Pot to “pressure cook” and set the timer to 40 minutes. Make sure the pressure knob is on “seal.”
- When the Instant Pot comes to pressure the timer will begin. When the timer goes off, do not do a quick-release. Allow the machine to do a natural-release which will continue cooking the beans further.
- When the natural release is done, you’re welcome to remove the lid, making sure you do it pointing away from yourself. Remove the leaves of bay leaves and discard. Using an immersion blender, blend the black beans until they’re smooth and cohesive. This will thicken the soup quite a bit, going from kinda watery to a good soup consistency.
- Alternatively, you can transfer this to a blender in batches.
- Divide amongst bowls and garnish with avocado, a dollop of sour cream, some of the reserved red onion and cilantro leaves.
- Soup lasts up to 1 week when stored in an air-tight container in the fridge.