One-Pot Wonders

Instant Pot Ham Bone Soup

October 12, 2019
Author Notes

One day last winter, my neighbors and I were making many batches of Christmas cookies at my house and had plans to go later in the evening to see all the pretty Christmas lights at City Park here in New Orleans. Pressed for time, I needed an easy, warming, pantry type meal I could throw together in between batches of cookies to steel ourselves for hours of walking around in the cold. My neighbors had generously bequeathed the Thanksgiving ham bone to me, (because, um no, a twenty pound turkey is not enough meat for the six of us) so I wanted to return the favor by making something with it for all of us. This soup that I call, "Left Over Thanksgiving Ham Bone Soup" is what I came up with. Happy Soup Season, Everybody. Please enjoy with reckless abandon. —DoubleNegative

  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Serves 4-6
Ingredients
  • Bone Broth
  • 1 Ham Bone
  • 1 Onion, medium, quartered
  • 3-4 Garlic Cloves, halved
  • 2 Celery Stalks, halved
  • 2 Carrots, halved
  • 2 teaspoons Peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 12 cups Water, or to cover bone
  • For the Soup
  • 1 cup Pinto Beans, dry and unsoaked
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin, ground
  • 1 Chile Powder, optional
  • 3-4 cups Greens, roughly chopped, such as Kale, Collards or Chard
  • Ham, reserved from the bone
  • 1 teaspoon Salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Herbs, such as Parsley or Cilantro, or scallions, optional
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Bone Broth
  2. Place everything in the Instant Pot and cook at high pressure for 30 minutes.
  3. *Note: Never fill your IP past the 2/3 mark, please adjust water level accordingly, depending on the volume of your ham bone and vegetables. If the water comes up to around the 1/2 mark on your pot that is fine.
  4. If you have time, you can natural release to let the flavors meld, but if not, feel free to quick release.
  5. Cool the ham bone and pull off any meat left on the bone. Reserve for later.
  1. For the Soup
  2. First adjust the broth for salt. If it is already too salty for your taste, add a little fresh water.
  3. Along with the ham bone broth, place beans, cumin, and Chile powder if using into the IP and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes.
  4. *Note: The beans will likely be very soft after 25 minutes at pressure, assuming they are not too old, so if you like a firmer bean, reduce the pressure cooking time down to 20 minutes then use a quick release method and test for doneness. You can pressure cook incrementally at this point or use the saute function to get your beans to the texture you prefer.
  5. Using the saute function, add the greens and cook to desired degree of doneness, about 5 - 10 minutes depending on the heartiness of the green. Even less, if you use something tender like baby spinach.
  6. Add in the reserved ham meat, to warm through.
  7. Adjust for salt or pepper, if needed. Top with herbs, if using. Accompany with tortillas or crusty bread for soaking up that tasty IP broth.
  8. *Note: (I know, I'm sorry) Soup in the Instant Pot is so very adjustable and forgiving. Could you throw the dry beans in the bottom of the pot, put the bone and veggies in a strainer/or steamer basket and only pressure cook this whole soup for 25 or so minutes, then add the greens and have dinner on the table in 30 minutes? Probably, yes, though I haven't done it. Could you change out all the seasonings and use a couple of cans of any flavored beans you like instead? I think so. Could you add maybe a half cup of wild rice to make it a little heartier? Uh, yep. Could you cook the beans for 20 minutes under pressure, let it natural release and have the soup not be ready for 2 or more hours? Yes, and that is probably what I would do, while I drank wine and ate cheese with my guests. Could you keep this soup on warm indefinitely and let your guests dive in whenever they (or you) start feeling a little too tipsy? By all means.

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