I love to travel and try new cuisines, but I’m writing this recipe during a global pandemic when travel is severely curtailed, so this Spanish bean soup is a way to bring a little bit of travel home.
Spain is one of the places on my bucket list.
I took six years of Spanish in school and considered minoring in it in college.
It’s one of my few regrets that I didn’t.
I still love the language and yet I don’t know that much about their cuisine.
This soup is my introduction, and there’s a funny story to go with it.
A misconception about Spanish food
Most people think Spanish food is spicy, but that’s a myth.
You can read about that and other Spanish myths here.
Knowing that, I searched recipes and found several for this soup.
When I made my own recipe, I included waaaay too much spice.
My son and I tried it as soon as we opened the Instant Pot and nearly choked ourselves with the spice.
Thankfully I have family members who love spicy food so I didn’t have to throw an entire pot of soup away.
Now I have a toned down version of that spicy soup that should be much more in line with what this lovely dish should taste like.
The best part is that it’s a fairly simple soup, as long as you can find the spices, which is why I included them in the recommended products for this recipe.
Just to clarify, Spanish food has spice and sometimes lots of it, but it’s to make food flavorful, not spicy.
One final note about this soup; some people might shy away from it because it has garbanzo beans, also known as chick peas, and they are unfamiliar with them.
The truth is that these lovely beans are creamy and soft in this soup and have a similar texture and flavor to a cannelini bean, so live a little and try them even if you’ve never had them before.
Tips for Spanish Bean Soup Success
Be sure to gather your ingredients before you start cooking, especially when you’re working with a new cuisine.
You don’t want to be in the middle of cooking and realize you’re missing an ingredient you need to make the dish.
Especially if you’re new to cooking, soups are a great place to start learning because leaving out an ingredient here or there is usually OK, but I always try to make a recipe exactly as it is written the first time and then adapt it to my own taste later.
Here are a some extra tips to make sure your soup is as yummy as possible.
- Assemble all of your ingredients in the order that you will use them.
- Peel and dice your onion.
- Mince the garlic.
- If possible, cook with someone and have them read the recipe to you as you cook because cooking is more fun with people and then you won’t skip any steps, not that I’ve ever done that (cough cough yes I have).
- If you’re cooking this on your own, read through the entire recipe before you start cooking. There are not that many steps, and I write recipes as if people are brand new cooking.
- Have fun. Cooking is a skill I believe anyone can learn and master with practice. Everyone who cooks well has messed up and thrown a meal in the garbage. If you mess up, there’s always the drive thru, but if you follow the steps here, you shouldn’t need that, at least tonight.
Let’s get cooking!
- 2 cans drained and rinsed chick peas/gartbanzo beans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoons Sazon Tropical
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 medium red potatoes, cubed
- 1 pound Sausage, Andouille, Chorizo and/or Kielbasa, diced
- 8 ounces bacon or smoked ham, diced
- 32 ounces chicken stock
- Select Sauté on your Instant Pot and add your oil, onions and potatoes.
- When the onion is softened, and the potatoes start to brown, add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more.
- Add the chicken stock 1/2 cup at a time, making sure you scrape up all the browned bits.
- Add the rest of the ingredients except the bay leaf and stir.
- Place the bay leaf on top.
- Press Cancel/Keep Warm, place the lid on the Instant Pot making sure the vent is closed, and set the Instant Pot on Manual for 5 minutes.
- Let the Instant Pot naturally pressure release for 10 minutes.
- Release the remaining pressure.
- Remove the bay leaf
- Stir and serve.
If you want to add even more Spanish flair to this soup, add a tiny pinch of saffron to the pot before cooking.
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- 365 Everyday Value, Organic Garbanzo Beans, 15.5 oz
- 365 Everyday Value, Organic Diced Tomatoes, No Salt Added, 14.5 oz
- 365 Everyday Value, Organic Bay Leaves, 0.15 oz
- Badia Sazon Tropical With Coriander And Annato, 6.75 oz
- Swansons Chicken Stock, 32 oz
- Pyrex Glass Measuring Cup Set (4-Piece, Microwave and Oven Safe ),Clear
- Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, Sterilizer, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Saute, Yogurt Maker, and Warmer, 8 Quart, 14 One-Touch Programs
- Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, Sterilizer, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Saute, Yogurt Maker, and Warmer, 6 Quart, 14 One-Touch Programs
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 472Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 1332mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 22g
All nutrition information is approximate and for informational use only. Your serving sizes and nutrition information may differ.
I like recipes that share pictures of the cooking process so I do that when I can.
So many times I’ve looked at something and wondered if it looks right so I include the pictures of the cooking process when I can.
Some days, my son, who is my photographer, and I are not professional photographers, but we try.
But even when our photos aren’t the greatest, I think they’re still helpful, and I hope you do too.
Follow along with pictures of the cooking process.
All original images in this article by Christopher Bemmes
Additional Instant Pot recipes you might like
Final notes about this soup and Spain
Especially if you like thicker soup, you can add a bit of cream s to the soup mixture.
Also, most recipes call for serving the soup with crusty bread which you can dip in the yummy broth.
If you would like to learn more about Spain and Spanish culture, my friend Becki has some great book recommendations set in Spain.
Click here to read more about that.