Pressure cooker, Weeknight dinner
comments 21

Pressure Cooker Tuscan Bean Soup

Two bowls of Tuscan bean soup on colorful plates
Pressure Cooker Tuscan Bean Soup

Pressure Cooker Tuscan Bean Soup. A hearty vegetarian soup thanks to beans and my pressure cooker.

Tuscan Bean soup was one of the first times I thought, “you know, with enough beans, I could probably be a vegetarian.”2 Or, at least it was one of the first vegetarian recipes that didn’t leave me saying “that was good. But I’m still hungry – can we stop on the way home and get something to eat?”

This is also the recipe that introduced me to kale, back before kale was cool. I know kale is overdone – it has gone from “cool new healthy ingredient” to “New Yorker piece complaining about hipsters and their kale” in the space of a couple of years. That’s OK, because kale is in this recipe for old school reasons. This soup gets Tuscany through Italian winters. It’s a collection of odds and ends – dried beans, root vegetables, a Parmesan rind tossed in the pot to add flavor – and kale, a winter crop that loves growing in the snow.

Ingredients, ready to go

Cannellini beans are the traditional Tuscan white bean, but if you can’t find them, great northern beans make a good substitute.

Looking for a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs soup? Try Tuscan beans.

Recipe: Pressure Cooker Tuscan Bean Soup

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A bowl of Tuscan bean soup on a colorful plate

Pressure Cooker Tuscan Bean Soup

  • Yield: 68 servings 1x


Pressure Cooker Tuscan Bean Soup recipe. A hearty vegetarian soup from the heart of Italy, done in no time thanks to the pressure cooker.



Soaked beans

  • 1 pound dried cannellini beans, sorted and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt (or table salt)
  • 2 quarts water

Soup ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt (or table salt, or Kosher salt)
  • Pinch 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 (14- to 16-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 parmesan rind (optional – roughly 3 inches by 1 1/2 inches)
  • 1 (2-inch long) sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 ounces kale, stems removed, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Grated parmesan for garnish
  • Minced parsley for garnish


  1. Soak the beans: Sort the cannellini beans, removing broken beans, stones, and dirt clods. Rinse the beans put them in a large container with the fine sea salt, and cover with 2 quarts water. Let the beans soak for at least 8 hours, or overnight. Drain and rinse the beans.
  2. Sauté the aromatics: Heat the olive oil in the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat (sauté mode in an electric pressure cooker) until the oil starts shimmering. Add the onion, carrots, and garlic, and sprinkle with the ½ teaspoon salt and red pepper flakes. Sauté until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Pressure cook the beans: Add the drained cannellini beans to the pressure cooker and stir them to mix with the aromatics. Stir in in the water and diced tomatoes. Add the parmesan rind, rosemary, and thyme sprigs. Lock the lid, bring the cooker up to high pressure, and pressure cook at high pressure for 20 minutes in an electric PC, or 16 minutes in a stovetop PC. Quick release the pressure. (Or, cook for 15/12 minutes at high pressure, then natural pressure release for about 20 minutes. ) Remove the lid carefully, opening away from you – even when it’s not under pressure, the steam in the cooker is very hot.
  4. Simmer the kale, then serve: Fish out the parmesan rind and discard. Turn the heat under the pressure cooker to medium-high (sauté mode on an electric PC) and stir in the kale. Simmer, uncovered, until the kale is tender, about 3 minutes. Stir the fresh ground black pepper and balsamic vinegar into the pot, then taste. Add more salt as needed – the soup will taste bland without enough salt. (I add 2 teaspoons of fine sea salt to the beans). Serve, sprinkling each bowl of soup with fresh grated parmesan and minced parsley.
  • Category: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Italian
A bowl of Tuscan bean soup on a colorful plate
Pressure Cooker Tuscan Bean Soup

What do you think?

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

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Filed under: Pressure cooker, Weeknight 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.


  1. This was great in the Instant Pot! Easily veganized. We used a mushroom bouillon cube for umami taste, and some Instant pot veggie broth for part of the water. Beans were done to perfection following your directions. Used the immersion blender to make it a wee bit thicker. This is a keeper!

  2. This is a go to soup recipe for my family. I add celery to the aromatics and I also use my homemade chicken stock, since we aren’t vegetarians and I always have a big supply in my freezer.

  3. Zinsu says

    This is my favorite Instant Pot recipe so far. Thank you! I find I have to pressure cook for 22 minutes to get the right bean consistency.

  4. Christi says

    This soup exceeded my expectations. Surprisingly rich and delicious. The carnivores in my family loved it too and didn’t miss the meat. I didn’t soak my beans long enough so they were a little sturdy, but didn’t take away from the tasty soup. I’ll up my time a little bit next time. I’ll definitely make again.

    • Cannelini beans take a while – I’d go 40 minutes at high pressure with a natural pressure release…and then check them. Give them another 5 minutes under pressure (with a quick pressure release) if they still need it.

  5. Aaron Friedman says

    I will try this…with bacon…and possibly some celery.

    Instant Pot 8 quart rules.

    • Can I suggest diced pancetta instead of the bacon, if you can find it? More “traditional Italian” that way.

      • Steve Skubinna says

        Cotechino would be a terrific addition if you wanted meat… if you can find it. Generally the sausage is simmered whole in legumes, then removed, sliced into coins, and pan fried before topping each serving.

        Also, in many Italian “meatless” dishes an anchovy fillet is added to the sauteing vegetables. It breaks down and disappears and adds no fishy flavor, but the Italians like the “umami” it adds, even if they never invented the word or the concept.

      • I doubt that you’d be able to tell much difference between pancetta and quality bacon chopped into 1/4 inch dice in a soup. Plus it costs at least 4 to 5 times as much.

  6. TDL says

    I was surprised about the use of the Parmesan rind. I take it that it is removed prior to serving?

    Have enjoyed your blog for many years.

  7. Chris says

    Any thoughts on cooking time/approach if you used canned beans?

    I don’t always plan ahead to buy and soak dried, but I usually have a couple of cans on hand for a last minute cook.

    • Sorry, that’s such a different recipe that I can’t do it justice in a comment. Cook it on the stove, but be aware that the dried beans are the backbone of the soup – they give up starch and thicken the soup – it will come out thin without the dried beans.

  8. Hi Mike,

    Thanks so much for this Tuscan Bean Soup Recipe!
    I love hearty soups like this one, especially on a cold day. Gotta try it sometime. 🙂

    You gave me a good chuckle about hipsters and kale. Hehe~

    Pinning this right now! 😀


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