Pinto Bean Soup
There’s no need for ham hocks, bacon, sausages or any kind of meat at all in this good for you, hearty pure vegetarian / vegan pinto bean soup. Serve over brown rice or wipe your bowl clean with a chunk of this home made crusty bread.
1-Pot goodness, simple, delicious and super easy to make. It’s also naturally 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 soup pot, simmer away and you are guaranteed a healthy nutrient packed hearty meal in no time.
- 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.
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.
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.
FAQ: Are Pinto Beans Healthy?
- Beans are some of the richest sources of fiber on the planet!
- Good for your heart, they help lower cholesterol.
- Act as a blood sugar regulator.
- Eating beans reduces the risk of cancer.
- Packed with antioxidants and micronutrients.
- Great source of clean protein.
- Nature’s perfect food!
Why You’ll Love These Beans:
- Super easy to make
- Naturally smokey and meatless
- Hearty + healthy
- Whole Food Plant Based (oil-free)
- Filling and comforting
- Pure vegetarian recipe = Vegan
- Packed with fiber, antioxidants and first quality protein.
Soups + Stews
- Vegan Tortilla Soup
- Black Bean Soup
- White Bean Stew
- Sweet Potato Lentil Stew
- Vegan Chili
- Vegan Potato Soup
- 30 + Vegan Soup Recipes.
- Best Split Pea Soup.
watch how to make pinto bean soup
Vegan Pinto Bean Soup / Stew
- 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)
- 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.
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.
- 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. Make sure to check and adjust as need be.
- You can entirely skip the sautéing process and add all your ingredients to one big pot, just like you would make a vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, turn the heat to medium and simmer away until the beans are soft and creamy and the soup has reduced to your liking. For extra creaminess you can smash. few beans against the side of the pot, no pureeing the soup necessary here.
- Umami Flavor - for both flavor and to boost Iodine levels I suggest adding a small piece of dried Kombu to the beans at the beginning of cooking. Learn more on NutritionFacts.org