This recipe is perfect for using up the quarter bags of dried beans, split peas, and lentils hanging out in your pantry. Remember that since different varieties of legumes cook at different rates, not every bean or lentil will be cooked to al dente perfection. By the time some have finished cooking, others will have collapsed into the broth, which only adds to the depth of flavor. If you’d like, stir some fresh or defrosted frozen greens (such as spinach, kale, or arugula) into the finished soup.

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Recipe Summary

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Set the Instant Pot or other multi-cooker to Sauté. Once hot, add the oil and the onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. (If the pot gets too hot, turn it off for a minute or two and let the residual heat cook the onion. Or, add a little more olive oil.) Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes, or until the tomato paste is lightly browned and fragrant.

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  • Add the beans, peas, and/or lentils, 5 cups of water, and the salt. (Add 6 cups of water for a brothier soup.) Lock the lid and set to cook on high pressure for 35 minutes, if using chickpeas and/or cannellini beans, or 30 minutes if not. When the cooking is finished press Cancel, and let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes.

  • Release any remaining pressure. Stir in the vinegar, and once cool enough, taste for seasoning, adding more salt, if desired. Serve drizzled with more olive oil and topped with fresh pepper.Note: If the beans aren’t tender after cooking, reattach the lid and bring the pot to pressure to cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.

Chef's Notes

Stove-Top Version: Soak the beans in water for 8 hours or up to overnight. (Lentils and split peas do not need to be soaked.) Drain. Cook the onion and tomato paste as described in Step 1 in a large pot on the stove-top. Add the beans, 6 cups of water, and the salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the beans are tender, starting to check at 40 minutes. It could take up to 90 minutes depending on the variety and age of beans. If the water level looks low, add more as cooking continues. Continue with Step 3 to finish the soup.

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