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.
Drain the beans well. Rinse out the Instant Pot if you used it for the quick-soak.
Place the onions and garlic in a food processor and pulse to chop very fine. Transfer to the Instant Pot and begin sautéing on medium heat. Use the processor to chop the bell pepper and celery and add them to the pot. Cook until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Remove about half of the vegetables and set aside.
Add the red beans, water, rice, and salt to the pot. Add about half of the seasoning mix. Seal the cooker, and set on high pressure for 25 minutes. When the cooking time is complete, allow the pressure to come down naturally for about 30 minutes. If pressure remains after 30 minutes, quick-release the pressure.
Check the beans. They should be done or just a little undercooked. If they are still hard, close the pot and bring back to high pressure for 5-10 minutes and quick-release.
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.)