Pinto Bean Soup With Fresh Salsa

"Despite its creamy taste, this simply prepared soup is surprisingly low in fat. A cantina cook might well make up a batch from the previous day’s leftover beans. It is the perfect antidote to a blustery day, and the fresh, sharp garnish contrasts nicely with the natural richness of the beans."
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Ready In:
3hrs 5mins




  • Sort through the beans and discard any misshapen beans or stones. Rinse well. Place the beans in a saucepan and add the water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, cover and simmer until the smallest bean is cooked through and creamy inside, about 1 ½ hours. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the vegetable oil. Add the onions, salt and pepper and sauté until the onions are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes longer. Add the beans and their liquid and the stock or water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the beans start to break apart, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the beans from the heat and let cool slightly.
  • For the salsa:

  • In a bowl, stir together the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
  • Working in batches, transfer the bean mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer the puree to a clean saucepan and reheat over reheat over low heat, stirring frequently, until hot. (If not serving immediately, keep warm over very low heat, stirring often).
  • Ladle the soup into warmed shallow bowls and top each serving with a spoonful of salsa and a dollop of crema or sour cream.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Healthy and a good base soup but it needs spice! This base needs acid, spice and salt to really shine. My modifications: add 1 T of apple cider vinegar, 1 chopped jalapeno, and liberal seasoning salt that has a variety of spices. The fresh salsa was okay on top but not enough acid to make the soup pop. Some of my family used sour cream, some did not. I'm vegan so omitted. Also added a chopped jalapeno to the salsa. Perhaps reduce liquid or really cook down to make the soup thicker. We found it thin. Tip: if you have leftovers, leave it in the crock pot on low a few extra hours and you can reduce it to refried beans for burritos.
  2. The soup tasted great with the fresh salsa and sour cream. I ended up with too much liquid, so I discarded some and added some Cholula Roast Garlic and Lime seasoning to bring out the taste. I will make this again soon, it is great for a healthy diet.


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