Instant Pot Vegetarian Tomatillo, Bean, and Squash Stew

I haven’t tried this on Nora yet, but it was a big hit with everyone else (my mom and husband). As with all my Instant Pot recipes, quantities are approximate and substitutions welcome.

  • 1 cup dried white beans
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • about 3/4 lb tomatillos
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 large onion
  • several cloves of garlic
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1 heaping tbsp salt
  • 1 heaping tsp cumin
  • black pepper

Soak the beans and chickpeas in boiling water in the Instant Pot for 2-24 hours (depending on schedule convenience). Drain the water and rinse the beans thoroughly. (The soaking is skippable, but I think it helps with gas.)

Microwave the squash for 5 minutes and let it cool (also skippable, but makes peeling much easier). Halve it, scoop out the seeds (save them for roasting!), and peel the squash (I used a knife to cut away the flesh). Cut the squash into rough chunks and put it into the pot with the beans.

Dice the onion. Mince the garlic. Peel and halve the tomatillos. Seed and mince the jalapeno. Add the vegetables to the pot. Add stock or water to about the level of the beans (I could have gotten away with less, since the vegetables juice out so much). Add the salt, cumin, and a generous grind of black pepper.

Cook on high pressure for 25 minutes.

When the stew is done, use a potato masher to mash the soup. The squash and tomatillos will basically dissolve, leaving you with a greenish soup and very soft beans.

Instant Pot Cheat Sheet

I was never quite sure what was the difference between all the Instant Pot buttons – “Beans/Chili,” “Meat,” “Poultry,” and “Steam.” As it turns out, they’re all basically the same but with different cooking times, with the exception of the “Steam” button, which heats at full power continuously while it’s coming to pressure. The cheat sheet below is very convenient.

http://www.pressurecookingtoday.com/instant-pot-duo-and-smartcooker/

  • Soup – high pressure 30 minute cook time. Press soup and the Adjust button once (more) to cook for 40 minutes. Press soup and the Adjust button twice (less) to cook for 20
  • Meat/Stew – high pressure 35 minute cook time. Adjusted to more – 45 minute cook time; adjusted to less  – 20 minute cook time.
  • Bean/Chili – high pressure 30 minute cook time. Adjusted to more – 40 minute cook time; adjusted to less – 25 minute cook time.
  • Poultry – high pressure 15 minute cook time. Adjusted to more – 30 minute cook time; adjusted to less – 5 minute cook time.
  • Rice – cooks on low pressure and is the only fully automatic program. It’s for cooking white rices and will adjust the cooking time depending on the amount of water and rice in the cooking pot. (I prefer to cook rice for a shorter time on high pressure.)
  • Multi-grain – high pressure 40 minute cook time. Adjusted to less – 20 minutes cook time. Adjusted to more – 45 minutes warm water soaking time and 60 minutes pressure cooking time.
  • Porridge – high pressure 20 minute cook time. Adjusted to more – 30 minute cook time; adjusted to less 15 – a minute cook time.
  • Steam – high pressure 10 minute cook time. Adjusted to more – 15 minute cook time; adjusted to less – 3 minute cook time. Use this function with a rack or steamer basket because it heats at full power continuously while it’s coming to pressure and you don’t want food in direct contact with the bottom of the pressure cooking pot. Once it reaches pressure, the steam button regulates pressure by cycling on and off similar to the other pressure buttons.

Instant Pot Black Bean and Barley Stew

I’m discovering that I like keeping track of my Instant Pot recipes so I know how much beans and salt to put in, and how long to cook for. But the rest is open to improvisation, and it always somehow comes out good. Instant Pot cooking seems to be very, very forgiving.

  • 1.5 cups dried black beans
  • 1.5 cups pearled barley
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (optional, for soaking)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, sliced into rounds
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 dried chili pepper, minced
  • 1.5 tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Soak beans and barley in boiling water with apple cider vinegar in the Instant Pot for 2-24 hours. Drain and rinse thoroughly until water runs reasonably clear. (I’m pretty sure soaking is optional, but I’m still in the habit of doing it if I have time.)

Fill the pot with water or broth to 2 inches above the beans and barley. Add the remaining ingredients. Cook on the “Beans/Chili” setting for 25 minutes.

Just before serving, pour the olive oil on top and stir it in. (Optional, but tasty.)