Prep 10 mins
Cook 4 hrs
A southern staple, this is one of those good ol' down home meals. Add a pan of cornbread and it's almost perfection! And if you’re in the mood to splurge, fried potatoes are a must. I used to spend all day cooking a pot of beans and watching them carefully so they didn't burn. The crock pot solves that problem.
- 1 lb dried pinto bean, sorted and rinsed
- 1 (32 ounce) container chicken broth or 4 cups water
- 1 smoked ham hock or 1⁄4 lb cooked ham, shredded
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon thyme
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1⁄4 teaspoon chili powder
- bay leaf
- Cover beans with water and soak overnight, or 6-8 hours.
- In the morning, drain and rinse the beans, discard soaking water, and put beans in slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients, including chicken broth.
- Cover. Cook on low 10 hours, or on High 5 hours.
- Transfer 2 cups of the bean soup to a food processor or blender and puree. Return puree to the slow-cooker. Heat on High an additional 30 minutes. (This is an easy way to thicken the soup.).
- Serve with cornbread and fried potatoes.
- TO PRE-PREP: Combine 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, and 1 bay leaf, and store in a plastic storage bag until ready to cook. Having these dry ingredients packaged ahead of time will make seasoning the beans as easy as pouring the seasonings into the slow-cooker along with the beans and chicken broth.
- TO STORE: Bean soups keep well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to three months. The flavors are even better after standing. When reheating, thin with a little water if necessary.
These are really good and it does need smoked meat to top it off. Badia Spice Co. used to make a Pinto Bean Spice mix but have not seen it in the stores for a few years .I started to make my own and it does take the guess work out of getting the spice combinations just right. Beans are just beans until you get spice mixture just right. We eat a lot of beans!!
These are, hands down, the best pinto beans I've ever had/made. I made them for the first time two weeks ago and I've made them two more times since. The first time I made them I followed the recipe exactly. Second time, I used pork belly since I didn't have any hocks. I do NOT recommend that; you must have some kind of smoked pork. Tonight I made them again although I didn't puree any of the beans and these were the best yet. All three times I did use my pressure cooker (after 24 hour soak, put all ingredients in pressure cooker, bring to high pressure and cook for 6 minutes then let the pressure naturally release).