Pressure Cooker Smoky Ham Hock and Pinto Bean Soup

A Pressure Cooker Smoky Ham Hock and Pinto Bean Soup full of textures and flavor. You'll love how the tender ham give the soup a smoky flavor.

This comforting bowl of Pressure Cooker Smoky Ham Hock and Pinto Bean Soup is full of textures and flavors. You’ll love the tender & moist ham lending its’ smoky flavors to the fulfilling soup. 

Hi there! We’re Amy + Jacky, the husband and wife team from Pressure Cook Recipes.

Thanks Barbara for having us here and thank YOU so much for dropping by!

We love our pressure cookers and are CRAZY about delicious food!! We enjoy spending hours researching, testing, and tasting recipes together in our kitchen.

Making Smoky Ham Hock and Pinto Bean Soup in an Instant Pot

An Instant Pot is one of the most popular brands of electric pressure cookers. They are easy to use and your Instant Pot can help you create this Smoky Ham Hock and Pinto Bean Soup!

Today, we’re excited to share our newest creation with you! We love cooking beans in our pressure cookers, as it saves us so much time. Plus, we can never say no to a bowl of comforting soup (yes, even when it’s hot! hehe~) In fact, we once enjoyed a bowl of piping hot soup as we were sweating bullets at 100°F+ without any air-conditioning!! Such an unforgettable experience.

Making Pressure Cooker Smoky Ham Hock and Pinto Bean Soup

Ingredients

  • Smoked ham hock
  • Small onion
  • Garlic cloves
  • Cumin powder
  • Dried oregano
  • Ground black pepper
  • Bay leaves
  • Pinto beans
  • Homemade unsalted chicken stock
  • Season: Kosher salt to taste
  • Garnish: cilantro & minced tomatoes

A Pressure Cooker Smoky Ham Hock and Pinto Bean Soup full of textures and flavor. You'll love how the tender ham give the soup a smoky flavor.

Little Beans Cooking Experiment

Before developing the actual recipe, we first did a little pinto beans experiment to find the best cooking time for the desired texture and flavors.

Test 1
Cooking Method & Time: High Pressure for 30 minutes
Liquid: 3 cups of water
Release Method: Full Natural Release

Test 1 Results:
Beans’ Texture & Flavors – beans are fully cooked, tender with some chew & texture; full of flavors
Soup’s Texture & Flavors – soup is flavorful, but not as flavorful as Test 2’s results

Test 2
Cooking Method & Time: High Pressure for 50 minutes
Liquid: 3 cups of water
Release Method: Full Natural Release

Test 2 Results:
Beans’ Texture & Flavors – beans are soft cooked and less flavorful than Test 1’s results
Soup’s Texture & Flavors – soup contains more texture & much more flavorful than Test 1’s results

Using these results, we developed 2 different cooking methods for this recipe:

  1. Dump-and-Go Version: Easy no fuss method where you place all the ingredients into the pressure cooker, then set-it-and-forget-it. Season, garnish, and serve!
  2. More Texture & Flavors Version: Split the beans into 2 sets and place them into the pressure cooker at 2 different times. This method allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds from the 2 tests above. This version results in an overall flavorful dish full of texture.

Note: no pre-soaking or quick soaking required as we found it’s unnecessary for bean soup.

Watch the step-by-step video for this recipe:

Enjoy~

Pressure Cooker Smoky Ham Hock & Pinto Bean Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 smoked ham hock (2 pounds)
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 pinch dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups pinto beans (~412 grams)
  • 5 cups homemade unsalted chicken stock or (3 cups homemade unsalted chicken stock + 2 cups water)
  • A pinch of ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Garnish with cilantro and minced tomatoes

Directions:

Dump & Go Version

Clean pinto beans with cold running tap water. Place all ingredients (smoked ham hock, onion, garlic cloves, cumin powder, dried oregano, ground black pepper, bay leaves, pinto beans, and unsalted chicken stock) into your pressure cooker.

Lock the pressure cooker’s lid in place and pressure cook at High Pressure for 50 minutes. Turn off the heat and do a full Natural Release (roughly 20 minutes).

Season with kosher salt

Garnish with cilantro and minced tomatoes.

More Texture & Flavors Version

Clean pinto beans with cold running tap water. Place smoked ham hock, onion, garlic cloves, cumin powder, dried oregano, ground black pepper, bay leaves, 1 cup of pinto beans, and 3 cups of chicken stock into your pressure cooker.

Lock the pressure cooker’s lid in place and pressure cook at High Pressure for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and do a Full Natural Release (roughly 15 minutes).

Open the lid carefully and pour in the rest of the pinto beans (1 cup) and 2 cups of water.

Lock the pressure cooker’s lid in place and pressure cook at High Pressure for 25 minutes. Turn off the heat and do a Full Natural Release (roughly 20 minutes).

Season with kosher salt

Garnish with cilantro and minced tomatoes.

Extras: Add jalapeno peppers if you want some kick to your soup!

Soaking: no pre-soaking or quick soaking required as we found it’s unnecessary for bean soup.

More Easy Pressure Cooker Meals from Amy + Jacky:

Pressure Cooker Ribs Recipe

Pressure Cooker Ribs Recipe – Make these tender & moist ribs with incredibly flavorful homemade dry rub & BBQ sauce under an hour! We also have a step-by-step video at the end. 🙂

Hainanese Chicken Rice in Pressure Cooker Recipe

Hainanese Chicken Rice in Pressure Cooker Recipe – Have you ever tried this classic Singaporean comfort dish before? We made this budget & simple meal with flavorful chicken leg + fragrant oily rice + rich homey chicken soup + 2 sauces under an hour!

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A Pressure Cooker Smoky Ham Hock and Pinto Bean Soup full of textures and flavor. You'll love how the tender ham give the soup a smoky flavor.