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Vegan Pinto Bean Soup

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This Vegan Pinto Bean Soup is both hearty and healthy. Packed full with pinto beans and flavored with tomatillo salsa and just a hint of serrano chili. Serve with a variety of toppings and a side of crusty bread for the complete family meal.

Vegan Pinto Bean Soup in a white bowl.

VEGAN PINTO BEAN SOUP

When the weather is cold there is nothing better than a bowl of hearty soup. 

Soup is my favorite comfort food.

In my house we often have this Moroccan Carrot Red Lentil Soup, Lebanese Lentil Soup and this Vegetable Soup with Cabbage. 

This Vegan Pinto Bean Soup is a soup that will warm you up and keep you feeling full.

Pinto Bean Soup is both vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free.

My pinto bean soup features the flavors of Mexico, with just a little heat.

What I love best about this soup is the flavors that the salsa verde brings to the soup. 

You might remember this Green Chicken Chili Soup that uses salsa verde too. 

I don’t know about you but it is one of my favorite salsas. 

Vegan Pinto Bean Soup ingredients.

WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN MY VEGAN PINTO BEAN SOUP?

PINTO BEANS: I have used pinto beans, but this is a really versatile recipe and you can use any variety of canned bean in this soup. Black beans, kidney beans, white beans, chickpeas and fava beans would also work in this soup.

OLIVE OIL: I used olive oil in this recipe. 

TOMATILLO SALSA: I use one cup of tomatillo salsa, or salsa verde, in this soup as it is packed full of flavor.

If you would like to try making your own then here is my recipe for Easy Homemade Salsa Verde or my Avocado Tomatillo Salsa that would be great to add to this soup.

SERRANO: One serrano chili is thinly sliced and added to the soup. If you can’t find a serrano chili then add a jalapeño instead.

If you like your food spicier then you can add an extra chili. However, if you like it milder either remove and discard the seeds from the chili, or remove the chili altogether. 

 

SPICES: Spices really do take any food to the next level. Ground cumin, ground coriander, black pepper and chili powder (ancho, cayenne, paprika all work) all add flavor to the soup.

If there is any one spice that you don’t like then leave it out or swap for a little more of the spices you do enjoy. 

VEGETABLE BROTH: I use a vegetable broth for the soup. 

HOMINY: Hominy is a food produced from dried maize (corn) kernels. I love the texture that hominy adds to soups. If you can’t find hominy feel free to use regular canned corn. 

CILANTRO: A handful of chopped cilantro adds a burst of herbal freshness to the soup. Freshly chopped parsley would be a good substitute.

LIME: The juice of a lime adds a final burst of zesty freshness to the soup just before serving. If you don’t have lime a squeeze of lemon juice would work too.

Vegan Pinto Bean Soup with radishes.

HOW TO MAKE MY PINTO BEAN SOUP RECIPE:

SAUTE THE VEGETABLES.

Start by heating the olive oil in a 5-quart or larger Dutch oven over medium high heat.

Once hot, add in the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until the onions become translucent – you don’t want them to color.

Now add in the garlic and serrano chili and cook for 30 seconds longer until fragrant. 

Vegan Pinto Bean Soup with spices in dutch oven.

ADD THE REMAINING INGREDIENTS AND COOK THE SOUP.

Add in the spices to the onion mixture and cook for another minute to bloom.

Then, pour in the tomatillo salsa scraping any stuck bits up from the bottom of the pot – you don’t want to lose any of that flavor. 

Pour in the broth, beans, and hominy.

Bring to a simmer, cover, and continue to cook for 15 minutes. 

Vegan Pinto Bean Soup with salsa in soup pot.

FINISH THE SOUP.

To finish, remove a few ladles of the broth from the pot and transfer to a blender along with the cilantro, blend until smooth then pour back into the pot and stir through.

Season the soup with additional salt and the lime juice to taste. 

Serve immediately and top with your favorite garnishes. 

Vegan Pinto Bean Soup pouring the blended soup in.

WHAT SHOULD I GARNISH MY PINTO BEAN SOUP WITH?

When I make this soup for my family I like to serve it with some additional toppings.

I serve these toppings in small bowls on the table, that way everyone can help themselves and top the soup as they like it.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • SLICED RADISH

  • SHREDDED CABBAGE

  • LIME WEDGES

  • SLICED JALAPENOS

  • CILANTRO

  • DICED RED ONION OR WHITE ONION

  • TORTILLA STRIPS

  • AVOCADO

  • CHOPPED TOMATOES

Vegan Pinto Bean Soup with onion.

TIPS FOR MAKING PINTO BEAN SOUP:

  • SEASONING: Take time to taste and properly season the soup as it will make all the difference to the finish dish.
  • ADD EXTRA VEGGIES: Add any extra veggies to the mix that you and your family enjoy eating and make the dish your own. I like bell peppers, poblanos, zucchini, mushrooms, celery and carrots work nicely. 
  • FEEDING A CROWD: This recipe is easily multiplied to feed a crowd. 
  • A GREAT MAKE AHEAD DISH: This soup can be made the day before and kept in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. Simply warm up to piping hot.
  • ADAPTING THE SPICE: This recipe uses both a fresh chili and some chili powder. You can adjust the chili heat to suit your own tastes. However, what I tend to do is keep the soup on the mild side, that way everyone can enjoy it. Then I serve some fresh chili along with the other toppings. That way those that love chili can add it fresh to their own bowl of soup.

Vegan Pinto Bean Soup with onion.

CAN I FREEZE PINTO BEAN SOUP?

This soup freezes really well. Make a big batch of it, enjoy half now and save half for later. Portion it out so you can pull it out when you need a healthy lunch option.

Allow the soup to cool to room temperature, then put it in an airtight container, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

When you are ready to eat it let the soup thaw in the fridge overnight. Then when you are ready to eat it, warm it up on the stove over low heat until it is warmed through. 

SERVING SUGGESTIONS:

I love to serve this deliciously hearty soup with the toppings that I have suggested above. Keeping everything in small bowls so that everyone can top their soup exactly how they like it. 

This soup is so filling I tend to keep any additional sides to a minimum. Some crusty bread or a green salad are more than enough to make this soup into a delicious family meal.

Vegan Pinto Bean Soup with cilantro in blender.

MORE PINTO BREAN RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE:

Vegetarian Chili

Instant Pot Taco Soup

Easy Pork Chili

OTHER RECIPES USING SALSA VERDE:

Cheesy Black Bean Salsa Verde Egg Bake

Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos

Instant Pot Pork Chili Verde

Green Chili Chicken Soup

Vegan Pinto Bean Soup with logo.
 
 
 
Vegan Pinto Bean Soup in a white bowl.

Vegan Pinto Bean Soup

Yield: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This Vegan Pinto Bean Soup is both hearty and healthy. Packed full with pinto beans and flavored with tomatillo salsa and just a hint of serrano chili. Serve with a variety of toppings and a side of crusty bread for the complete family meal.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 serrano, thinly sliced {optional for spice}
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1-2 teaspoons chili powder (ancho, cayenne, paprika all work)
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup prepared tomatillo salsa
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 - 15-ounce cans pinto beans, drained but not rinsed
  • 2- 15 ounce cans hominy
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Sliced radish, for garnish
  • Shredded cabbage, for garnish
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
  • Sliced serranos or jalapeños, for garnish
  • Minced Cilantro, for garnish
  • Diced white onion, for garnish
  • Fried tortilla strips, for garnish
  • Avocado, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a 5-quart or larger Dutch oven over medium high heat. Once hot, add in the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until translucent.
  2. Add in the garlic and serrano, cook 30 seconds longer until fragrant.
  3. Add in the spices and cook for another minute to bloom.
  4. Then, pour in the tomatillo salsa scraping any stuck bits up from the bottom of the pot.
  5. Pour in the broth, beans, and hominy.
  6. Bring to a simmer, cover, and continue to cook for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove a few ladles of broth from the pot and transfer to a blender along with the cilantro, blend until smooth then pour back into the pot, stir, and season with additional salt and the lime juice to taste {the blending is optional to make a creamier soup}.
  8. Stir in the lime juice.
  9. To serve, top with any or all of the optional toppings.

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