Instant Pot: Northern Bean and Ham Soup

I often forget I’m a blogger.  I get in the middle of things and suddenly think “crap-I forget to take step by step photos”.  That happens to me an extra lot when it comes to cooking in the Instant Pot….another problem, I don’t really cook with recipes.  I make things up as go.  I’m writing this recipe down for all of you but I’ll likely never look at the recipe again….what I have in the house for ingredients is what gets thrown in.

Here’s a peak at the soup all finished but let me explain my cooking….


We had left over ham in the refrigerator.  It needed to get used up….so I went to the cupboard to see what kind of dried beans I had.  Great Northern beans are an awesome compliment to ham and I had some, so that was perfect.  I put the beans and ham in the Instant Pot.  I added some chopped carrots  and celery (both also in the refrigerator and needed to be used)  I chopped a large onion and added that too.  I added salt (only a half teaspoon as the ham was salty), pepper and 2 Tablespoons of ham soup base.  Then I filled the water to the 3L line….about 7 cups worth.

I put the lid on, closed the release and pushed the beans button.  I don’t pre-soak my beans at all.  Then I went and sewed.  I came down two hours later.  The timer had gone off and the  Instant Pot had kept the soup warm.  I opened it up and didn’t need to release the pressure as it had naturally released.

I fished out the ham pieces and cut them up returning them to the pot.  The soup now looked like this…


It would have been fine with me but Hubby is not a soup lover.  He tolerates it as I love it so much.  Hearty soups like this I can pass by him much easier.  To make it even better for him I decided to thicken the juice a little bit.

I turned the Instant Pot onto saute.  I mixed 2 Tablespoons of corn starch in 1/4 cup water.   Then I stirred it into the soup.

This thickened the liquid making the soup appear even heartier.

The soup was wonderful!!

Teasingly I told Hubby that if he dies first I am going to buy another set of 4 cup Pyrex containers and make soup and freeze it so I can pull it out whenever I want some.  I told him the freezer will likely be filled with frozen soup and I’ll eat soup for most every meal from fall to summer.  I also jokingly said I would love to be the soup maker for a restaurant.   He laughed and said he believed me.

The Instant Pot makes soup so easy.  In my before Instant Pot life I would try to make soup but my busy life always had me burning it.  To date, I have NEVER burned anything in the Instant Pot.  If you’re looking for some good hearty comfort food for a cold day, this certainly fits the bill!

10 thoughts on “Instant Pot: Northern Bean and Ham Soup”

  1. Ham and Bean soup is our favorite!! I use Northern Beans the most, but sometimes use Navy beans…. I don’t have an Instant Pot, but do mine in the Crock Pot…not as fast as your Instant Pot, but the house smells so good with soup cooking all day…. We don’t eat soup much this time of year, but in cold weather here in Virginia, I make some kind of soup or a pot of chili almost every week. Good eating!!
    And it gives me more quilting time!!!

  2. Now you made me hungry for ham and bean soup. I haven’t made it in a while. I’ve never heard of ham soup base, I’ll have to look for it. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Jo, next time throw a couple of diced russet potatoes in the pot with everything else. They will thicken in nicely and add more flavor. One of our favorite soups of all time! Now I’m hungry for it! hahaha

  4. That soup looks good, it’s one of my favorites. My dh, also, is a soup lover and he eats it year round. You should freeze some in single containers just for when YOU feel like having some :)

  5. Angela Bowling

    I use pretty much the same ingredients as you, but I usually add salt pork unless I have ham in th freezer. I peel and cut up one potato and add tomato juice to my bean soup and I also cook in on the stove top.

  6. After reading your recommendation about the Instant Pot, I bought my hubby one for his birthday two years ago. It sat all alone, no matter no many how times I remind him as he pulls out the old crock pot. It wasn’t too long after I sent him one of your posts about the Instant Pot, that he got it out and threw a frozen roast in. He liked it so much, that he has been using since! Thought that I had better write and thank your for introducing us to the Instant Pot!

    Thanks again, Tami

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