Thursday, October 6, 2011

Vegetable Soup with Pinto Beans

Last night's dinner was not entirely a success. My intentions were to make a delightful, wholesome Vegetable Soup. Look at all those fresh, yummy ingredients.

Well, I purchased a bucket of dried pinto beans from a co-op last week and really wanted to use them in this soup to make it spectacular. When I mean a bucket, I mean 45 pounds of beans.

I soaked the beans overnight and decided to add them to my soup to cook all day. Well, needless to say the soup was delicious, but the beans were not soft.

Next time I will remember to cook the beans by themselves before putting into anything else.

I cooked the soup in the crock pot for about 4 hours, so this is another great crock pot meal. If you do not have dried beans, I think canned beans would work just fine. My plan is to "can" some of the beans I purchased so that they are ready to use immediately next time, without all the extra fuss.

Vegetable Soup with Pinto Beans


2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Medium onion, chopped
1 Carrot, chopped
1 Celery, chopped
4 Cloves garlic, minced
2 Red Potatoes
1 Cup Fresh or Frozen Green Beans
3 Cups diced tomatoes
1 Cup or more fresh or frozen corn
2 Cups semi to fully cooked pinto beans or you can use canned
3 Cups Vegetable or Chicken Broth (I used a combination) - My broth came from the Chicken Pastry recipe before I added the pastry
1/4 Tsp thyme
1/4 Italian seasoning
1 Bay leaf
2 Tsp salt (if you use canned tomatoes you may want to decrease the salt)
1 Tsp black pepper

Heat olive oil in pot. Add onions and celery and saute until translucent. Add garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.

Add all the remaining vegetables except the corn and tomatoes. Add the thyme, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Saute for a couple of minutes. You are not trying to cook the vegetables completely here just get the flavors to mix and to saute a little.

Transfer vegetables to crock pot and add tomatoes, corn, broth, bay leaf and beans.

Cook for about 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Remove bay leaf and serve in individual bowls topped with grated parmesan cheese and more salt and pepper if desired.

This soup is perfect for fall!

*You can also cook on the stove instead of the crock pot at a simmer until potatoes are tender.