Good Ol' Southern Soup Beans for Pressure Cooker

Total Time
40mins
Prep 10 mins
Cook 30 mins

Up here, in the mountains of the south, we know that soup beans and bean soup are not the same thing. Soup beans is a term common in the Southern United States, particularly the regions around the Appalachian Mountains. It refers to pinto or other brown dried beans cooked with smoked pork as flavoring. Soup beans are usually served with cornbread and considered a main course, but can also serve as a side dish. In rural areas, where food was scarce during the winter, these dried beans were a staple food. I grew up on soup beans and every southern cook has a different way of making it. This is my version which is a combination of the way my Grandmother, Granny, and Mom made it. I like to use a pressure cooker to speed up the process, but you can use a regular pot, just keep an eye on the water level so it doesn't boil down. You have to crumble cornbread in it when you serve it for that down home authenticity.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 lb dried beans (pinto preferred, but almost anything will work, my school cafeteria always made them with navy beans)
  • 1 ham hock (salt pork, ham bone, or other salty pork)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter or 1 tablespoon bacon grease
  • 6 cups hot water

Directions

  1. Follow directions on bean bag for presoaking the beans.
  2. Drain and rinse beans, sit aside.
  3. In the pan melt butter (or bacon grease) over medium heat. Cook onions and garlic until soft and lightly brown.
  4. Add beans, ham hock, and water to pressure cooker. Put on lid and seal. Bring heat up to high.
  5. Once pressure has been reached, reduce heat to low and cook for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove the pressure cooker from heat and release the pressure with a quick release method. Remove the cover and test beans for doneness. If necessary cover and return the pot to pressure and cook for another 5 minutes.
  7. Remove the ham hock from the soup. Discard the skin and bones. Chop the remaining meat and add it back to the soup.
  8. Season with additional salt and pepper if necessary. Serve hot with crumbled corn bread.
Most Helpful

5 5

Really Good Recipe, I made these about 5 times now using lima or great northern beans. I buy a ham slice, cut it into small cubes and throw it in the pot when I start the beans. I Usually cook 10 minutes longer than the recipe states we like ours soft. Other than that I follow the recipe. Thanks for the Great recipe. Just like mom used to make.

5 5

YUM! Now I know the secret of making good beans. Mine came out a little mushy (but who cares?), so I might cook them just a tad less next time. They are really to die for. My husband was in heaven when he came back for seconds of these beans, cornbread and collard greens during his football game -- and he swears he doesn't like collard greens! Combined with these beans and cornbread, I believe he's been! Thanks so much for sharing. I might have to make another pot today.

5 5

5 stars for simplicity and taste. I am new to pressure cooking and was looking for a few good recipes. I had this in mind to make, until realizing I had not pulled out my navy beans to soak the night before. I already had all the other ingredients in the cooker, so figured I would throw in the beans, no soaking, and see what happened. Turned out great! I needed to cook mine about 5 minutes longer than directed here, but talk about a filling , no fuss recipe. Added some extra garlic and a about a tsp and half salt, cooked with a hamhock. Made with homemade cornbread and canned collards. Topped with hot sauce. DH and DS gobbled it up with no complaints. Thanks!