Instant Pot Ham and Bean Soup

I bought my Instant Pot  in Nov. 2016…I have used it about every day, multiple times a day, and can’t imagine my gluten-free life without it!!  It reduces my stress levels involving food prep significantly, especially since my diet has had to evolve so greatly.(But if you do not have an IP, don’t worry, a good old slow cooker can help you out, just cook on HIGH for about 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours.  I’m just not so good at planning that far in advance.)

This turned out so tasty that my son, who is learning a lot of new vocabulary, told me “Congratulations for how well this turned out.”  Nobody’s a more honest taste-tester than a kid!It’s now one of my son’s favorite soups, which he calls “camping soup” ever since we read about what cowboys ate back in the day.

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IP Ham and Bean Soup

1 lb. beans         (or four 14-16 oz cans of beans…see notes below for                                                                      LOW FODMAP alternatives and why you might want to soak them.)
1 lb ham or ham bone with meat (you could use 1/2 cups if you’re saving money.  —                                        edited Nov 2, 2019: This week I found nitrite free ham at Aldi.)
2 c. carrots, shredded or chopped
1/2 to 2 cups  sliced celery+ chopped celery leaves
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. smoked paprika (optional, but adds depth of flavor)
8 cups chicken broth or water
1 c sliced fresh chives (or 1 Tbsp dried) OR  1 small onion, diced
cherrywood smoked sea salt (you can use regular salt or other smoke                                      flavors)
1 tsp garlic (I omit)
1-2 bay leaves (optional)
1 tsp thyme (optional)

cherrywood smoked sea salt to taste (you can use regular salt or other smoke                                                    flavors) 
and pepper
to taste

1. Combine the above ingredients in the instant pot.
2.  Set IP to manual for 25 minutes (and release pressure naturally, or 30 minutes and release when it beeps.)
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While I prefer Northern Beans/white beans,  this recipe works with red beans and you can use mixed beans.

Recently I became aware that onions and garlic really upset my stomach (possibly due to chronic SIBO/leaky gut issues) and I had to start removing that from my cooking.  While beans are not Low FODMAP in general, they do not bother my stomach when I’ve soaked them overnight.

If you’re a serious LOW FODMAP eater, you can also swap the beans for canned lentils or chickpeas/garbanzo beans (though I’ve yet to find canned lentils, honestly) and only cook the soup in the IP for 4 minutes to let the flavors infuse. I also do not use garlic or onions; I swap them out using a handful of garlic chives chopped (yeah, those exist!) and a cup of regular chives chopped.  If I have neither, 1/4 tsp of asafoetida or hing powder sauteéd a bit in oil before adding the other ingredients will give it that nice flavor without discomfort! (GF version of hing/asafoetida here, otherwise they usually pack it with wheat flower)

I keep shredded frozen carrots in the freezer as well as celery a lot of times to speed up food prep time, but you can use fresh.

(We’ve also been using these digestive enzyme capsules for myself and my husband, and for the kids chewable digestive enzymes , and nobody felt bad or gassy after eating.  With chronic fatigue and high stress overall in our family, I felt it necessary to use digestive enzymes for a time until we’re seeing improvement.  After all, the saying “You are what you eat” is not so accurate; it’s more like, “You are what you absorb.”  Malabsorption issues (leaky gut) can do a number on your health no matter what organic, healthy stuff you’re eating.  If you’re not digesting well, nothing else goes well, at least in my experience.)

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