Vegan Pinto Bean Soup Recipe

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The best vegan pinto bean soup recipe from scratch. Naturally thick and creamy like a stew but without the addition of any thickeners. It boasts deep layers of smoky flavors from Mexican seasonings, smoked paprika, bay and thyme. Serve over brown rice or wipe your bowls clean with a chunk of this crusty bread.
 

Pinto Bean Soup 

There’s no need for ham hocks, bacon, sausage or any meat at all in this good for you, hearty vegetarian / vegan pinto bean soup.
1-Pot goodness, simple, delicious and easy to make, It’s also gluten-free and can be made a stew or a soup by simply adjusting the water quantity. Add more water for a thinner consistency or cook longer and reduce until thick to your liking. You can literally just throw everything inside a heavy bottom stock pot, simmer away and you are guaranteed a healthy nutrient packed hearty meal. 

Ingredients

  • Dried Pinto Beans – Nutritious beans native to Mexico, their texture is somewhere between starchy and creamy with a mild but earthy flavor that takes on the beautiful aromas of the broth. It’s important to rinse and soak them for at least 6 hours or overnight for the best melt in your mouth buttery texture. Alternatively Italian Borlotti beans can be used where available but please NO Canned Beans!
  • Aromatics – Onion, carrot and carrot set the tone for the first layer of flavor followed by fresh herbs and spices.
  • Herbs – Thyme, bay and oregano are my go to choices for a long simmered soup such as this.
  • Mexican Seasonings – I like keeping a store bought blend of this mix in my spice drawer specifically for making this Mexican style pinto bean stew. It’s a perfect combo of cumin, dried onion, garlic, paprika, coriander, oregano and cilantro. All things considered you can add a good pinch of the mentioned spices and call it a day.
  • Paprika – Love using a combination of both sweet and smoked paprika here, you can use one or the other or adventure with a spicy one.
  • Water – There’s no need for store bought veggie stock here, use good filtered water and allow the flavor of the beans and aromatics to shine through and make the most delicious broth from scratch.
  • Smoked Salt – It’s recommended to wait until your beans soften before salting them. Keep the smoky theme going with the salt as well or just stir in a dash of liquid smoke for an even smokier flavor profile.
  • Kombu – A dried seaweed rich in iodine adds umami flavor and much needed iodine. It’s totally  optional but if you happen to have some just throw a little 4 inch piece into the stew.
 

Serving Suggestions

This is such a delicious filling soup on it’s own but it can be even nicer with your favorite toppings. Think slices of avocado, toasted pepitas, cilantro, chives, a sliced jalapeno, crumbled tortilla chips, dairy free feta, scallions and fresh tomatoes, a dollop of sour cream, a drizzle of chimichurri or a fresh squeeze of  lime.

Storage

Any soup leftovers can be refrigerated in air tight lidded containers for up to 5 days or frozen up to 4 months. Thaw out in the fridge overnight and remember that you will need to add extra water when reheating to loosen it up a bit.

Why You’ll Love It. It’s:

Easy to Make
Naturally Smoky
Hearty & Healthy
Whole Food Plant Based (Oil-free)
Filling & Comforting
Pure Vegetarian
Loaded with Antioxidants, Fiber & Plant Protein.

Are Pinto Beans Healthy..?

  • Beans are some of the richest sources of fiber on the planet
  • They help lower cholesterol
  • Act as a blood sugar regular
  • Eating beans reduces the risk of cancer
  • They are loaded with antioxidants and nutrients
  • Rich source of protein
  • Good for your heart
  • Nature’s perfect food!

More Soups + Stews

How to Make Pinto Bean Soup from Scratch

Pinto Bean Soup

Pinto Bean Soup
5 from 3 votes

Vegan Pinto Bean Soup / Stew

The best pinto bean soup recipe from scratch. Naturally thick and creamy without the addition of any thickeners, with deep layers of smoky flavors from Mexican seasonings, smoked paprika, bay and thyme. Vegan and good for you!
Print Recipe
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:1 hour
Soaking:6 hours
Total Time:7 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups pinto beans (soaked for 6 hours or overnight)
  • 3 carrots -rinsed & sliced into 1/2 inch rounds (no need to peel)
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 8 cloves garlic -minced
  • 3 leaves bay
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 2 tbsp Mexican seasonings -salt free
  • 1 tbsp dry oregano
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 pinch sea salt -to your taste
  • 1 pinch freshly cracked black pepper -to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh onion chives -chopped for garnish
  • 1 lime -cut into wedges
  • 1 green chili pepper -thinly sliced for serving
  • filtered water -enough to cover by 3 inches
  • 1 strip Kombu (OPTIONAL, to boosts Iodine)

Instructions

  • Rinse and soak the beans in water for 6 hours or overnight.
    3 cups pinto beans
  • Preheat a large heavy bottom dutch oven over medium-low heat and saute the onion in a light drizzle of olive oil until translucent. (Make it WFPB oil free by using a splash of water instead).
    1 small yellow onion
  • Stir in the carrots and garlic and give everything a good stir to coat.
    3 carrots, 8 cloves garlic
  • Add the soaked and rinsed pinto beans together with the bay leaves, thyme + kombu if using. Cover with 8 cups of filtered water and bring to a rapid boil ( the beans should be covered by 2-3 inches of liquid). Turn the heat down to medium low and cover with a tight lid. 
    3 cups pinto beans, 3 leaves bay, 8 sprigs thyme, filtered water, 1 strip Kombu
  • Keep the soup at a constant bubble for 45 minutes stirring a couple of times. Mix in the Mexican seasonings, oregano, sweet and smoked paprika, cover and simmer for another 30 minutes or so until the beans have completely softened and are cooked through.
    2 tbsp Mexican seasonings, 1 tbsp dry oregano, 2 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • About 5 minutes before the soup is done remember to season to taste with smoked sea salt and black pepper. Remove from heat and discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. If extra smokiness is desired you can add a couple of teaspoons of liquid smoke at this point.
    1 pinch sea salt, 1 pinch freshly cracked black pepper
  • Serve with sliced avocado, a good squeeze of lime, onion chives and slices of spicy chili pepper.
    1/2 cup fresh onion chives, 1 green chili pepper, 1 lime

WFPB + Plantricious

  • For the recipe to be compliant make sure to saute in water or veggie broth and omit all oil.
    Certified Plantricious Recipe

Crock Pot / Slow Cooker Method

  • Start by sauteeing the onion and carrot then adding the rest of the ingredients. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Video

Notes

  • Depending on how long your beans have soaked and how old they are, you might need to add some extra water during the cooking process, so make sure to check and adjust as needed.
  • You can entirely skip the sauteeing process and add all your ingredients to one big pot just like you would make vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and simmer away until the beans are soft and creamy and the soup reduced to your liking. Smash a few beans against the side of the pot for extra creaminess, no pureeing the soup needed.
  • I suggest adding a small piece of Kombu to the beans to boost Iodine. Learn more on NutritionFacts

Nutrition

Calories: 170kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 60mg | Potassium: 608mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 5785IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 4mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Latin
Keyword: Pinto Bean Soup, plant based, vegan,, wfpb
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 170kcal
Author: Florentina

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16 Comments

  1. So basic, however the best beans I’ve ever made! We used them on nachos with your chunky guacamole and fresh cut up tomatoes, it was the talk of the party. Thank you, keeping my eyes peeled for your next recipes.

  2. This sounds so good! I was wondering – after soaking and draining the beans – can they sit in the fridge until ready to make the soup or will that make them too soggy?

    1. Haven’t really experimented with that Rochelle, however I’d say a couple of hours in the fridge is probably fine. If the beans are drained they might actually harden up again as they dry out. You’ll have to experiment here and report back on what works 😉

  3. Hi!
    I don’t have the Mexican spice blend that you recommend. Do you know how I could make my own?
    I’m excited to try your soup!

    1. Sarah, try mixing equal parts of onion and garlic powders, cumin, coriander, oregano and smoked paprika. That’s what I do when I run out of my store bought mix 🙂

  4. I thought that the flavors might really sing with some acid, so I added about 2 tbsp each of lime juice and tomato paste, as well as a fair amount of salt. It doesn’t taste salty, but it really brought out those lovely smoky note in the paprika. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. So happy you enjoyed it, I try to keep the salt to a minimum so every person can adjust to taste. Love these pinto beans so much!

    1. I wouldn’t use canned beans here, the magic of this soup comes from actually simmering the pinto beans with all the aromatics together. It really makes the broth and you simply can’t get that out of a can. ~ Florentina

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