One of the nice things about the colder weather we’ve been experiencing is that it’s just right for enjoying a warm bowl of soup! I don’t tend to eat a lot of soup at any other time of year, but I often make a LOT of it in the fall. I’ve built up quite the collection of soup recipes over the years, but there’s nothing quite like revisiting a soup from your childhood for a heartwarming dose of nostalgia!
My mom used to make us Navy Bean Soup fairly regularly when I was a kid. The delicious simplicity of it was lost on me as a child, but I’ve since seen the error of my ways. :-) It’s deliciously savory and goes great with a warm slice of buttered bread.
The only real drawback of my mom’s original recipe is that it’s one of those all-day crockpot ordeals. And since I rarely have the forethought to execute an all-day crockpot meal, I decided to see if I could replicate it in my beloved Instant Pot. And it turned out just as I hoped it would! It’s super fast, super inexpensive, and – you guessed it – super delicious. Give it a try! (And for those of you purists out there, never fear. I included the original crockpot instructions at the bottom of the post!)
My Mom’s Navy Bean Soup
- 16 oz bag navy beans
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 slices smoked bacon, chopped (or 1 ham hock)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 10 cups water (or chicken broth)
Instant Pot Version
Place the chopped bacon pieces in your Instant Pot, then select the “Sauté” function. When the bacon starts getting crispy, add the chopped onions to the pot too.
When the bacon is crispy and the onions are soft, add the beans, water and/or stock, and salt and pepper. (The soup turns out just fine using water, but if you like a deeper, more savory flavor, you can swap out some of the water for chicken stock. I’d try about 5 cups of each!) Place the lid on your Instant Pot, select “Manual,” and set the timer for 23 minutes.
When the timer goes off, let the Instant Pot release pressure naturally for 10 minutes, then use the Quick Release valve to release the rest of the pressure. If your soup looks a bit thin, here’s an easy fix! Use a ladle to scoop out some of the beans and blend until smooth in your blender. Pour the blended beans back into the soup and mix well.
Then it’s soup time! Serve with some fresh parsley, if desired. (If you prefer to make things the old fashioned way, get those directions below!)
Start by soaking the beans overnight. In the morning, rinse and drain the beans well, then add them to your crockpot.
Fill the crockpot 3/4 of the way with water, then add the chopped onion, a ham hock, and salt and pepper. (We subbed out the ham hock for bacon in the Instant Pot version, but the ham hock is pretty crucial for texture in this crockpot version. You should be able to find one at a butcher shop or a specialty grocery store!)
Turn your crockpot on low and let the soup cook all day. Then at dinnertime, serve warm and enjoy! :-)