Cozy up with a bowl of Instant Pot Bean Soup with Pearl Barley! Hearty and wholesome, this simple bean soup recipe is made easy with canned beans and pantry basics!
I saw a meme this morning. It said:
2020: A year of hell.
2021: Hell froze over.”Source: Unknown
As I type this, our relatives in Texas are amidst a deep freeze, dealing with rolling blackouts, snow, and cold homes. It seems that most of the country is suffering from cold weather, and all I can think of is soup.
Now, I know soup can’t solve their problems, but I know it’s the comfort food I crave any time I need extra coziness, and this pearl barley soup is so nourishing, whether you have snow or not.
Made in a pressure cooker, it’s one of those simple meals that are wholesome and comforting, and utterly simple. I hope it keeps you warm, healthy, and satisfied!
How to Make Instant Pot Bean Soup
This recipe uses a pressure cooker such as an Instant Pot to make this cozy soup even faster. I like to use canned beans since it makes it even faster, but feel free to use dried beans, just account for the extra cooking time.
The time saver with the pressure cooker in this recipe is with the pearl barley. If I were to cook this normally, I would soak the barley for 10 to 15 minutes in hot water and cook it over the stove for about 30 minutes. Using a pressure cooker eliminates the soaking!
Start by rinsing and draining your canned beans well. This helps to “de-gas” the beans and prevent uncomfortable bloat.
Start by sautéing the vegetables in the pressure cooker, just to give it a little time to soften. Then add the bay leaf, Herbes de Provence, and barley.
Then it’s time for the vegetable stock! If you prefer chicken stock, that is also delicious, but I swap it for vegetable stock when I need vegetarian meal. Set the pressure cooker to cook for 15 minutes. Keep in mind, it will take a little time for the pressure cooker to come to pressure!
Once the soup is cooked, add the spinach and season with a little sherry vinegar. Simple and done!
More Cozy Soup Recipes
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Instant Pot Bean Soup with Pearl Barley
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup pearl barley
- 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
- 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth can substitute chicken broth for a non-vegetarian option
- 1 15-oz can white beans such as Great Northern beans or cannellini beans
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt to taste
- 1 pinch Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- Stir in the bay leaf, pearl barley, and Herbes de Provence, and stir until the barley is well coated. Stir in the vegetable stock, beans, salt, and pepper.
- Lock in the Instant Pot/pressure cooker lid. Pressure cook on high for 15 minutes. Depressurize the pressure cooker and set the cooker to the simmer function (or sauté if your pressure cooker doesn't have that button).
- Drop in the spinach and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Let it bubble for about 2 minutes to wilt the spinach, and stir in the sherry vinegar.
- Serve hot with crusty bread, and enjoy!
Instant Pot Bean Soup Tips
- Make it vegetarian: use vegetable broth. The recipe will also be vegan!
- What greens can I use in this soup? I use spinach, but use whatever you have on hand. Kale and swiss chard work nicely here, too.
- Canned beans or dried beans? I use canned beans because it means I can make the soup even faster. Be sure to drain the liquid and rinse the beans well. If you have dried beans and the time, go for it!
- What beans can I use? Great Northern beans or cannellini beans work perfectly here, but you can also use navy beans or your favorite white beans.
- Pearl barley or hulled barley? Pearl barley is easily found in markets but has had its outer husk and bran removed. Hulled barley is the whole grain variety and definitely more wholesome, however takes more time to cook. Use whichever you have, however, if you use hulled barley, add an additional 5-7 minutes of cooking time.