Cooking the beans and rice at the same time results in a rich, creamy main course soup with all the flavors of traditional New Orleans red beans and rice, vegan style!
Check the beans carefully for rocks and other debris and wash them well. Either soak them overnight with enough water to cover them by two inches; or do a quick-soak: put them in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker with at least 2 inches of water covering them, seal the cooker, and set it on high pressure for 1 minute. Allow the pressure to come down naturally; don’t open the pot for at least 30 minutes.
Add the reserved vegetables and seasoning mix to the pot along with the tomatoes. If the soup seems too thick, add extra water. Use the sauté setting on low to cook the soup for about 20 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom often. Just before serving, add the smoked salt and additional salt to taste.
Serve sprinkled with sliced green onions and hot sauce as needed. If you like, slice up a little vegan sausage such as Italian Fauxsages to serve on the on the side.
This makes about 8 large servings of 1 3/4 cup each. Nutritional info does not include optional vegan sausages. On the new Weight Watchers Freestyle program, each serving counts for 2 smart points (from the rice.)