Appalachian Bean Soup
A comforting bowl of creamy pinto beans flavored with smoky ham. A winter staple in the Appalachian states. This recipe uses an Instapot but other methods of slow cooking or pressure cooking work just as well.
- 4 strips uncooked bacon chopped
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic optional
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper optional
- 1 lbs. ham hock or 1/4 lbs chopped sliced ham
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 pound dry pinto beans soaked
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- 1 can 14 oz can diced tomatoes or fresh
- Add the onions into the pot and saute the onions in the bacon grease for about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and saute for about 20 seconds. Turn off the Instant Pot.
- Add in the bacon, cayenne pepper, ham hock, chicken broth, tomato, and pinto beans.
- Cover the pot and secure the lid. Make sure valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 20 minutes. When time is up let the pot sit for 10 minutes and then move the valve to venting. Remove the lid.
- Stir in the salt. Add in pepper to taste. Shred off any meat you can from the ham hock.
- Ladle into bowls and serve. I can also be served over cooked rice.
Soaking the Beans
- Soaking the beans: I know there are recipes that say you don’t need to soak but I find that the beans turn out much better if they are soaked overnight (plus your tummy will thank you). Soak the beans overnight for 8-24 hours in plenty of water and then rinse and drain the beans. If you forget to soak overnight you can use the quick soak method.
- How to Quick Soak: Add the beans to your Instant Pot with 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil using the saute setting. Once the water is boiling then quickly cover the pressure cooker and and turn valve to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 2 minutes. When time is up slowly move valve to venting. If foam escapes then move valve back to sealing for 20 seconds and try again. Remove the lid. Then rinse and drain the beans and use them in the recipe.
- Slow Cooker Instructions: cook the bacon in a pan on the stove until crispy. Transfer the bacon to a slow cooker. Saute the onions in the bacon grease for 5 minutes then add in the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Transfer to the slow cooker. Add in the cayenne pepper, ham hock, chicken broth and pinto beans. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Stir in the salt. Add in pepper to taste. Shred off any meat you can from the ham hock. Ladle into bowls and serve.
- I used my 6 quart Instapot. Use your 8 quart pot with no changes. For the 3 quart pot you will need to halve the recipe, keep the same cooking time.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!