Minestrone is vegetable velcro. The Italian classic came from using up what was in season; start with a base of beans and pasta, and then throw whatever vegetables are available the pot. Here is my late summer/early fall Instant Pot minestrone; tomatoes, summer squash, potatoes, and some cabbage fill out this warming soup.
The key to this recipe is the beans and their broth; bean broth gives the soup body and depth. I usually cook dried beans without soaking. Not this time. I want to cook the beans and (most) of the vegetables together, so the flavors have time to mingle. Cabbage and potatoes are sturdy vegetables, but even they can’t stand up to the 30+ minutes under pressure that dried beans take to cook without soaking.
Unfortunately…wanting to cook soaked beans and remembering to soak them are two different things. When I forget to soak my beans overnight, I use this Instant Pot quick soak technique:
How to quick soak dried beans in an Instant Pot
Pressure cook the beans at High Pressure for one minute, then let them sit in the cooker for an hour. (The pressure will come down naturally during that time.) At the end of the hour, the beans are soaked and ready for cooking. It’s not absolutely necessary, but I add an onion and a bay leaf while quick-soaking; I might as well use the quick-soaking time to infuse some flavor into the beans. I discard the onion and bay leaf after the quick soak, but I use the quick-soaking broth in the minestrone; I want that extra flavor from the beans.
So, here it is: Instant Pot Minestrone, Fall Edition. Enjoy!Print
Instant Pot Minestrone. A warming bean, pasta, and vegetable soup, made with quick-soaked dried beans. Inspired by Lidia Bastianich’s Minestrone Recipe.
- 8 ounces dried Borlotti (cranberry) beans, Cannellini beans, or chickpeas (or a mix), sorted and rinsed
- 1 medium onion, peeled and halved (quick soak only)
- 1 bay leaf (quick soak only)
- 8 cups water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 ounces diced pancetta or bacon (optional)
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch half-moons
- 1 stalk celery, peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning (or dried basil)
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Quick-Soaked beans with water (above)
- 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- Large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 cup shredded cabbage (about 2 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 medium zucchini, trimmed and sliced into 1/2 inch moons
- 1 cup ditalini (or other small pasta)
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Grated pecorino Romano cheese
- Quick Soak the beans: Sort the dried beans, removing broken beans, stones, and any other non-bean material. Rinse the beans and add to the Instant Pot (or another pressure cooker). Add the onion and bay leaf, then pour in the 8 cups of water. Pressure Cook on High Pressure for 1 minute (Manual or Pressure Cooker mode in an Instant Pot), then let the pot sit for 1 hour to soak the beans. Discard the onion and bay leaf, but save the soaking water.
- Saute the pancetta and aromatics: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the Instant Pot over sauté mode until the oil is shimmering. (Use medium heat for a stovetop PC). Add the pancetta, onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Sprinkle with the crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning, and ½ teaspoon sea salt. Sauté until the onions soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the beans and their soaking water: Stir the borlotti beans and their soaking water into the pot. Add the crushed tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage, and the teaspoon of fine sea salt. Lock the lid on the pressure cooker.
- Pressure Cook for 15 minutes with a quick pressure release: Pressure cook on high pressure for 15 minutes in an Instant Pot (“Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot) or another electric pressure cooker, or for 12 minutes in a stovetop PC. Quick release the pressure in the pot.
- Simmer the zucchini and pasta: Remove the lid carefully, opening away from you – even when it’s not under pressure, the steam in the cooker is very hot. Set the cooker to sauté mode adjusted to high (medium-high heat), cover (but don’t lock the lid), and bring the pot to a boil. Stir the zucchini and pasta into the simmering beans and cook for 8 minutes, or the time listed on the pasta package. Stir in 1 teaspoon fine sea salt. Serve, sprinkling with grated pecorino Romano at the table.
Overnight Soak: Instead of quick-soaking the beans, soak them overnight; after sorting and rinsing, cover the beans with water and let them sit for at least 8 hours, up to 18 hours, at room temperature. (Skip the onion and bay leaf). Drain the beans, discard the soaking water, and replace it with 8 cups of fresh water, then continue with step 2 of the recipe.
Other vegetables: Want to switch up the vegetables in the soup? Add hardier root vegetables (parsnips, turnips, sweet potatoes, kale, etc.) with the potatoes and cabbage before pressure cooking. Add tender vegetables (spinach, corn, green beans, etc.) with the zucchini and pasta to simmer after pressure cooking.
6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker)
- Category: Weeknight Dinner
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Instant Pot Minestrone, Pressure Cooker Minestrone, Instant Pot Soup, Pressure Cooker Soup
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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