Pressure cooker, Sunday dinner
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Instant Pot Soupe au Pistou (Provencal Pesto Soup)

A bowl of Provencal pesto soup in front of an Instant Pot and a jar of spices
Instant Pot Soupe au Pistou (Provencal Pesto Soup)

Instant Pot Soupe au Pistou. Pressure cooked Provencal pesto soup, with white beans and summer vegetables.

We’re heading to Provence (virtually, of course) for Soupe au Pistou, a bean soup with summer herbs and vegetables from the south of France.

(Provence is on my list of places I’d love to go when we’re cleared to travel again. That list is long, and getting longer. And, right now, I’d like to go…anywhere, basically. But Provence is definitely up there.)

Now, I’m definitely rushing the season, making this recipe in the spring. I’m ready for a taste of summer. (Is there anything that says “summer” to a home cook than making a big batch of pesto because the basil is out of control?) The soup is a ray of sunshine, even if the ingredients from my local grocery store are a little out of season, and I’m buying my pesto in a jar. (If it is summer when you read this, take advantage of the bounty of your local farmers market for the ingredients in this recipe.)

There aren’t many tricks to this recipe, other than the joy of pressure cooking dried beans. Normally, I don’t soak dried beans before pressure cooking, but this recipe is an example of the exception. I soak dried beans when I need to cut back on the cooking time for the other ingredients. I don’t want to pressure cook the summer vegetables into mush. And, even then, I simmer the pasta and zucchini after pressure cooking. They’re too tender for even the short pressure cooking time the soaked beans need.

Looking for a taste of summer in the South of France? Try some pesto soup.

Recipe: Instant Pot Soupe au Pistou (Provencal Pesto Soup)

Inspired by: Soupe au pistou – David Lebovitz

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A bowl of Provencal pesto soup in front of an Instant Pot and a jar of spices

Instant Pot Soupe au Pistou (Provencal Pesto Soup)

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 10 cups of soup 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Instant Pot Soupe au Pistou. Pressure cooked Provencal pesto soup, with white beans and summer vegetables.



Soaking the beans

  • 8 ounces dried navy beans (or Alubia Blanca beans), sorted and rinsed
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Pesto Soup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme (or fresh thyme leaves)
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 large carrots (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into ½-inch rounds
  • 8 ounces green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 14– to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes and juice (or 1 cup diced fresh Roma tomatoes)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 cup ditalini dried pasta (or other small shape like tubetini, shells, or elbows)
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into ½-inch rounds
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 6– to 8-ounce jar of basil pesto – 1 tablespoon per bowl of soup


  1. Sort and rinse the beans: Sort the beans, discarding any stones, dirt, or broken beans. Rinse the beans, then do an overnight or a quick soak.
  2. Overnight soak: Stir the beans, water, and 1 teaspoon of salt in a large bowl. Leave the beans on the counter to soak at least 8 hours, or overnight. Drain and discard the soaking liquid, and rinse the beans.
  3. OR: Pressure Quick Soak for 1 minute with a 30 minute rest: Put the beans and 6 cups of water in an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker. Pressure cook at high pressure for 1 minute (“Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot for 1 minute), then let the beans sit in the pressure cooker for 30 minutes. Drain and discard the soaking liquid, rinse the beans, and wipe out the pressure cooker pot.
  4. Sauté the aromatics: Heat the olive oil in an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker set to sauté mode (medium heat for a stovetop PC) until the oil starts shimmering. Add the onion and garlic, and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and the thyme. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften, about 5 minutes.
  5. Everything in the pot: Add the drained and rinsed white beans to the pressure cooker, then pour in the 6 cups of water. Stir in the carrots, green beans, tomatoes, and 1 ½ teaspoons of salt.
  6. Pressure cook for 15 minutes with a quick release: Lock the lid and pressure cook at high pressure for 18 minutes in an Instant Pot or other electric PC (Use “manual” or “pressure cook” mode in an Instant Pot), or for 15 minutes in a stovetop PC. Quick release the pressure.
  7. Cook the pasta and zucchini, season, and serve: Open the pressure cooker lid, tilting it away from you to avoid the hot steam. Set the Instant Pot to sauté mode adjusted to high (use medium-high heat in a stovetop PC). Add the pasta and zucchini, bring to a boil, and boil for the time on your pasta package’s directions (my ditalini took 10 minutes). Stir in the fresh ground black pepper, then ladle into bowls, and stir a tablespoon of pesto into each bowl. (Eyeball this – it doesn’t have to be a precisely measured tablespoon.) Serve, passing extra pesto at the table in case anyone wants to add more. Enjoy!


Want to add a little smoky pork to this vegetarian recipe? Add a hunk of salt pork or a smoked ham hock to the soup bowl.

Have other summer vegetables you want to add? If they’re harder vegetables, add them with the carrots and green beans so they are pressure cooked. If they are tender vegetables, add them with the zucchini, so they are only simmered at the end.


6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker)

Fine Mesh Strainer

  • Category: Sunday Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Provencal

Keywords: VInstant Pot Soupe au Pistou (Provencal Pesto Soup), Pressure Cooker Soupe au Pistou (Provencal Pesto Soup)

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Pressure Cooker Beef Stew Provencal (Beef en Daube)
Instant Pot Fingerling Potatoes with Herbes de Provence
Instant Pot Flageolet Beans with Lamb
My other Instant Pot and Pressure Cooker Recipes

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Filed under: Pressure cooker, Sunday dinner


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


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