I had been a long time super-fan of the black bean soup at Panera.
Case in point – one time my mom and I were driving back to Minnesota from the east coast, and we started getting hungry for lunch some time after passing through Chicago.
We were both craving the black bean soup from Panera and decided we wouldn’t stop anywhere until we saw a Panera sign. Well, we ended up driving all the way through Wisconsin before we got our lunch!
So I was surprised and sad to see it taken off the menu nowadays. Maybe we were the only ones who liked it that much, who knows!
Anyway, I wanted to recreate a vegan version of the soup to make at home.
My vegan black bean soup is easy and economical to make. It uses dry black beans and a few other ingredients to make a rich, dark, and super flavorful soup that’s very similar to the one they served at Panera.
I make my soup in the Instant Pot because it saves all the time and hassle of having to soak beans overnight, then babysit a pot on the stove for hours. No thanks to that!
This soup requires NO soaking of the beans. Just dump them into the pot with the rest of the required ingredients and the Instant Pot will do the rest!
Instant Pot Vegan Black Bean Soup
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups onion chopped
- 1/2 cup celery chopped
- 1/2 cup carrots chopped
- 1 tsp fresh garlic minced (about 1-2 cloves)
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups dry black beans
- 4 cups water
- 2 Tbsp vegetable bouillon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- vegan sour cream (I like Tofutti)
- Sauté onion, celery, and carrots, and oil in Instant Pot for about 5 minutes. Add cumin, red pepper flakes, and garlic, and sauté another 2 minutes. Deglaze the pot with the balsamic vinegar.
- Add beans, water, bouillon, and salt, and stir contents of pot.
- Pressure cook on high pressure for 50 minutes. Do a quick release when done.
- If desired, blend 1/2 of the soup to make it smoother. Serve with toppings such as vegan sour cream and pepitas.