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Vegan Tuscan White Bean Soup in the Instant Pot

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Farro, an ancient grain similar to barley, adds texture and creaminess to this vegan version of Tuscan white bean soup with carrots and kale. Use Alubia Blanca or any small white beans, such as navy beans.

I’ve had a bag of Alubia Blanca white beans from Rancho Gordo sitting on my “bean shelf” for longer than I care to admit. I was overly optimistic a while back about turning myself from a canned bean user to a dried bean connoisseur and bought a bunch of Rancho Gordo beans, but as it turns out, old habits are hard to break. In order to cook with dried beans, you need to plan ahead to give them time to cook (and perhaps pre-soak), and I’m a last-minute kind of cook. The only times I plan ahead are holidays and (some) blog posts.

But the wonderful thing about Alubia Blanca beans is that they are so tiny that they don’t need to be soaked and they cook in the pressure cooker in about 45 minutes (including time to get to pressure and time to release pressure.) Even a never-plan-ahead cook like me can work with that time frame.

Alubia Blanca beans are about the length and width of black-eyed peas but not quite as plump. To me they taste similar to other white beans, such as Great Northern and Navy beans, and they hold their shape and firm texture after cooking.

I’ve been in the mood for a soup with beans and kale, so I decided to make a Tuscan white bean soup with these little beans. Soups with white beans and farro, the ancient grain that’s similar in size and texture to barley, are common in Tuscany, and I looked at a soup called Supper Soup of Sweet Squash, Farro, and Beans in The Italian Country Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper to get a sense of the flavor profile. Unfortunately, my butternut squash had gone bad, so I wasn’t able to use it this time, but the soup came out beautifully without it–incredibly hearty and filling and loaded with flavor.

I used a large bunch of kale and three large carrots and I suggest that that is the minimum amount of vegetables you should use. As written, this is a very bean-heavy soup, the kind that fills you up quickly. So feel free to throw as much kale as you want into it, and add a small butternut or other winter squash, too, if you’d like. Serve it with or over a thick slice of whole grain bread with a squeeze of lemon juice or a sprinkle of lemon zest.

I realize that most people don’t have Alubia Blanca beans, so at the end of the recipe, I’ve added cooking times and instructions  for other white beans. There are also non-Instant Pot instructions for those of you who prefer to make it on the stove.

Vegan Tuscan White Bean Soup in the Instant Pot

Farro, the ancient grain similar to barley, adds texture and creaminess to this vegan version of Tuscan white bean soup with carrots and kale. Use Alubia Blanca or any small white beans, such as navy beans.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound alubia blanca or other small white beans, dried
  • 1/2 cup farro (or pearled barley or buckwheat groats, see notes)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon No-Chicken Base or other vegetable bouillon
  • 2 medium onions chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 3 large carrots diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 ribs celery chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic minced or pressed
  • 16 ounces canned diced tomatoes (fire-roasted preferred)
  • 2 sprigs rosemary (or 2 teaspoons, lightly crushed)
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt to taste
  • 5 cups kale chopped (about 5 ounces without stems)
  • 3-4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked salt or 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • lemon zest or lemon juice to serve
  • sliced French bread to serve

Instructions

  • Rinse the beans and remove any debris, such as rocks or twigs, and any broken or discolored beans. Drain them and put them in the Instant Pot or other pressure cooker, along with the farro, bouillon, and 6 cups water. Lock the lid in place, make sure the valve is set on seal, and set the pressure cooking time for 20 minutes. When the time is up, allow the pressure to come down naturally for 15 minutes before releasing manually. Check to make sure the beans are tender or very close to tender. If they aren’t cooked all the way through, replace the lid and return the pot to pressure for another 2 or 3 minutes. Quick release the pressure, and check the beans again. Repeat if necessary.
  • While the pressure is coming down, heat a large skillet on the stove and saute the onions, carrots, and celery over medium heat until the onions begin to soften. (Add water by the tablespoon if they start to stick to the pan.) When the onions begin to brown, add the minced garlic and cook for another minute. Remove from the heat and set aside until beans are done.
  • Add the sauteed vegetables to the beans, along with the tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, basil, and both types of pepper. If the soup seems dry, add 1 to 2 cups more water. Add salt to taste. Set the pot on the lowest saute setting for 20 minutes. Cook, stirring often, until the flavors have a chance to blend.
  • A few minutes before serving, remove the rosemary sprigs and add the nutritional yeast, smoked salt or paprika, and kale. Cook until the kale is bright green and wilted. Check the seasoning and add more salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast to taste. Serve with hearty whole grain bread with a sprinkle of lemon zest or squeeze of lemon juice in each bowl.

Non-Pressure Cooker Instructions

  • Start by soaking the beans overnight; this will speed cooking. Place in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Add the farro and additional water, if necessary, and cook until beans and farro are tender. The time will vary depending on the beans used.
  • Follow steps 2-4 above.

Notes

Which bean you use determines the cooking time. Alubia blanca beans take about 20 minutes at high pressure, while these other beans take longer:

Navy beans: 25 to 30 minutes

Cannellini beans: 35 to 40 minutes

If you’re using beans with a long cooking time, I suggest dividing the cooking time in half, opening the pot halfway through and adding the farro then so it doesn’t overcook. Then return the pot to pressure for the remainder of the cooking time and use a natural release.

For Gluten-Free:

Instead of farro, use buckwheat groats or oat groats. Oat groats cook in about the same amount of time as farro, so follow the recipe directions. Buckwheat takes less time, so don’t add them with the beans. Instead, add the buckwheat groats to the pot along with the tomatoes and vegetables and make sure there is extra water to allow them to expand.

Nutrition Facts

Vegan Tuscan White Bean Soup in the Instant Pot

Amount Per Serving (1 bowl)

Calories 286
Calories from Fat 9

% Daily Value*

Fat 1g2%

Saturated Fat 0g0%

Cholesterol 0mg0%

Sodium 420mg18%

Carbohydrates 53g18%

Fiber 14g58%

Sugar 6g7%

Protein 17g34%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Course Main Course, Soup

Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean

Keyword bean soup, instant pot, pressure cooker, Tuscan

 

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Loaded Baked Potato Wedges with Creamy Cheese Sauce and Tofu Bacony Bits

Loaded Vegan Baked Potato Wedges – These crispy baked potato wedges are perfection! Baked until crispy and topped with vegan cashew cheese sauce, tofu bacon, and scallions. These just might be potato perfection!

loaded potato wedges drizzled with vegan cheese sauce

This easy recipe for Baked Loaded Potato Wedges will blow you away with the delicious combo of crispy baked potatoes,  tofu bacon bits, and a creamy vegan cashew cheese sauce.

While you could eat these loaded potato wedges as a meal or side dish, I love serving these as a shared appetizer or a Game Day snack. Having a few is delicious, but having a whole sheet pan on your own is quite gluttonous so you might want to share. If you’re hosting a party, a movie night or a game day get-together, make sure to put these delicious loaded potato wedges on the menu and you will be everyone’s favorite!

These Vegan Cheesy Potato Wedges are perfect for when you’re craving something cheesy and comforting. The potatoes are baked not fried.  They are baked on the same sheet pan as the tofu bacon which makes for easy clean-up. While the potato wedges are baking, we whip up my favorite vegan cashew cheese sauce. It only takes minutes and you’ll love the creamy rich texture. I like to make some extra and serve pasta with vegan cheese sauce and bacon the next day. You can also slice the potatoes into halves to make loaded baked potatoes!

loaded baked potato wedges on a a platter topped with vegan cheese sauce and tofu bacon

More Vegan Game Day Foods & Snacks

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  • Cajun Chickpea Fries

Continue reading: Loaded Baked Potato Wedges with Creamy Cheese Sauce and Tofu Bacony Bits

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