This Pinto Beans Soup made in the Dutch Oven is such a comfort meal. We serve it as soup with garnishes on day one, as side to a rice dish on day 2 and freeze the leftovers or blend them for an amazing dip!! Recipe card below has instructions in detail on how to cook this soup on the dutch oven but also quick instructions for pressure cooker and slow cooker in case you prefer those two to Dutch Oven:).
What are pinto beans? Most people are familiar with white, red and black bean varieties. Pinto beans have colored spots on their surface.
Pinto beans are mostly known in Mexican and in North American cuisines. They are famously known for their speckled exterior which is how I suppose gave them the name Pinto.
If I was to translate pinto from Spanish, I’d say it means painted but I am not a native Spanish speaker so maybe I miss certain nuances sometimes.
These beans are very nutritious, they are packed with protein, fiber, antioxidants and minerals.
Soaking or No Soaking the Beans?
No matter the method I use for cooking beans, if I can, I do soak them overnight in water. It takes few seconds to do it and I feel the benefits are worth it.
I don’t soak lentils but I do beans. Not all legumes take as long as beans do to cook.
I do feel the beans cook better and soup becomes more creamy if I let them soak overnight. However, this might also just be an old habit of mine so if your bean soup comes out the way you want it without soaking the beans, definitely keep doing what you’re doing:).
I love using fresh ingredients in soups. They give the soup so much flavor, fiber and antioxidants. Plus, I feel good about my kids eating this meal. So many hidden veggies that they have no idea are in:).
I love adding onions, carrots, peppers, fresh tomatoes etc to the soup.
Herbs for Seasoning
There are so many herbs and flavors you can put in this soup. I try not to make it spicy because of my kids, but it can be an amazing spicy meal if you like it. To make it spicy you can add either red chilis, halapeños or red chili flakes. Cayenne pepper also adds a little spice.
Below are the herbs and spices I do add to this soup: smoked paprika, bay leaves, parsley, oregano, black pepper, cumin.
Sonila’s Tips & Notes
I cook this soup in the Dutch Oven. I love cooking meals in mine, it’s so versatile and I make anything from bread to soups in it. One day I dream of getting (affiliate) a Le Creuset version. Right now I have an inexpensive dutch oven from Aldi that has served me very well. It’s not enameled, but other than that it’s really indestructible.
Here are some of my tips for this soup.
- soak the beans overnight
- you can add bacon or other animal fat to the soup if you so like
- I had some bone broth already in the fridge, but you can also add vegetable broth or store bought broth or stock to your preference.
- time of cooking in dutch oven is anywhere between 2.5 to 3 hrs, don’t rush it. Keep the temperature low and let the beans cook.
- I like my soup to be thick, but if you like your bean soup to be more runny than add half a cup of water up to 1 cup around the 2 hr mark. Make sure water is hot.
How To Serve This Pinto Beans Soup?
I will tell you how I serve mine but there are so many options that you really can’t go wrong either way:).
- As a family, we prefer serving this pinto beans as a soup with parsley and onions garnishes. I add a winter salad and bread as side dishes. Most common salads for bean soups for me have some kind of pickled vegetables (like this pickled green tomatoes). Another salad that is great with this soup is this Lettuce and Dill salad.
- Other garnishes can be cilantro and fresh spicy chilis. Cornbread is a popular side dish or even rice. I personally use Mediterranean themed cornbread and rice as both have olive oil, but feel free to use your favorites.
How To Store Leftovers?
I love making this soup in big quantities. Leftovers freeze very well and are a lifesaver on busy nights where I don’t have dinner ready. Or when I get sick and can’t cook!!
I use a silicone container to freeze the soup similar to this (affiliate) one. Makes it easy to thaw and then pour into a pot for heating up.
Pinto Beans Soup
- Dutch Oven
- 16 ozs pinto beans
- 1 red onion
- 1 green pepper
- 2 large carrots
- 3 garlic cloves add more if you like garlic
- 4 tbsps olive oil extra virgin
- 3 tomatoes better if they're soft
- 14 ozs tomato sauce
- 4 cups bone broth
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp dry parsley
- 1 tsp dry oregano
- 0.5 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 2 tbsps freshly chopped parsley garnish
- 2 tbsps freshly chopped onion garnish
- Clean beans from impurities, soak in water overnight.
- Next day, rinse the beans and place them in a colander.
- Chop red onion, pepper, carrots and mince garlic. Blend tomatoes.
- Saute garlic and onion in olive oil in the dutch oven, keep heat medium high.
- Once onion is translucent, add pepper and carrots. Keep sauteing.
- When all vegetables look soft, add beans, blended tomatoes and tomato sauce. Also, add bone broth. Mix everything well.
- Add seasoning, leave salt for the end. If added too soon, beans will become harder to cook. Once soup starts to boil, lower heat to low and cover the dutch oven.
- Check at the 2 hour mark if you need to add more water. Add salt and mix. Let beans cook for another 30-60 minutes (depending how creamy you want the soup to look).
- Serve warm, garnish with freshly chopped parsley and white onion. Enjoy:)
- Made a short video to illustrate (less than a minute) but soon I might do a full video on this recipe. Here’s the short video!!
- Instant Pot – if you want to cook this soup in the instant pot or any pressure cooker, follow all the steps as in the recipe card. Once you have mixed everything (except the salt), pressurize and cook on High for about 30 minutes. Let pressure release naturally for about 10-15 minutes. Check if beans are done, add salt, mix and keep the soup on warm until ready to serve.
- Slow Cooker – if you would like to cook this soup in the Crockpot or any slow cooker, follow all steps the same as in the recipe card until you mix everything together (except salt). Close slow cooker, set to cook for 9 hours. Check at the 9 hour mark, add salt and keep the soup on warm until ready to serve.
If you would like to save this recipe for later, please save below image to your boards in Pinterest. Let me know if you have any questions in comments or feel free to tag me in social media with your version of this recipe:). Thank you!!
More Soups Recipes
- Navy Beans Soup in Pressure Cooker
- Red Beans Soup in Pressure Cooker
- Red Lentils and Butternut Squash Soup
- Mediterranean Lentils Soup