Fresh Pinto Bean Soup
Have you ever cooked with freshly picked pinto beans? I got the opportunity for the first time last week and wasn’t exactly sure what to do with them. But this Fresh Pinto Bean Soup turned out so perfectly delicious — it was as if I’d been cooking with them my whole life.
Fresh pinto beans are not the same as dry pinto beans
Unlike dried pinto beans, fresh beans are only available for a narrow window of time (usually early fall). I recently found these fresh beans at a grocery store in TX and was immediately curious how to use them.
What makes fresh pinto beans so awesome?
The primary difference when cooking with fresh pinto beans versus dried pinto beans is that the cooking time is reduced substantially with fresh beans.
Rather than requiring a 6 hour low and slow cook time, these fresh pinto beans were tender and ready to serve in under 2 hours.
Add all the ingredients to a large dutch oven, bring to a boil over medium high flame and then cover and place into a preheated oven. Cook, covered for 60-90 minutes or until the beans are cooked and tender.
If the cooking liquid evaporates, add 1-2 cups of water and follow the “tips for success” below the recipe.
I will say, this was the best bean soup I’ve ever tasted. Then beans were so flavorful and tender! Because the beans were fresh, they absorbed all the smoky, salty flavors of the ham bone and herbs so wonderfully.
The moral of the story? If you happen upon fresh pinto beans grab them – you won’t be sorry!
Fresh Pinto Bean Soup
- 1-1.5 lb freshly hulled pinto beans
- 1 large green bell type pepper, diced
- 1 medium purple onion, diced
- 1/2 c fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 stem of fresh rosemary (or 1/2 t dried)
- 32 oz beef stock
- additional water to cover + 8 oz*
- 2 large cloves of garlic
- 20 cherry tomatoes
- 2 fresh (or dried) bay leaves
- 2 T butter
- 1/2 T sea salt
- 1/2 t black pepper
- 2 t dijon mustard
- 1 ham bone
Preheat oven to 375°. In a large dutch oven, combine all ingredients.
Bring pinto bean soup mixture to a rolling boil over medium high flame, stirring occasionally.
Cover and place in a preheated oven, cooking for 1 hour.
Remove from the oven, test beans for doneness and adjust seasoning if necessary. If beans are still tough*, return to oven and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until beans are tender.
tips for success ::
*If cooking liquid is evaporating, add additional water to cover the beans, cover and return to the oven to finish cooking.
*If cooking liquid has evaporated and beans are cooked to tender, add additional water and bring to a boil over medium high flame (in order to incorporate flavors). Season to taste and serve.
*don’t have fresh pinto beans? Check the freezer section of your grocery store. Any type of frozen (fresh) bean or hulled pea will work for this recipe!