Best Pinto Bean Soup
This pinto bean soup recipe transforms your kitchen with the delicious aromas of a simmering, easy, tasty soup. It’s simple to make and full of all the smoky, savory flavors you’ve grown to love. Serve this homemade vegetarian soup with vegan cornbread or dinner rolls and with a dollop of creamy cashew cream and hot sauce.
I’m celebrating national soup month, so be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post (past the recipe) for links to some more awesome soup recipes.
Serve all your favorite soups with this amazing vegan cornbread.
Making Pinto Bean Soup Vegan
I made this pinto bean soup vegan with a Southern flair, by adding smoke sauce to the recipe and, of course, leaving out the meat. It was an easy recipe to veganize.
If you’re looking for nutritious dinner ideas, pinto beans boast a lot of protein (and fiber), meaning this healthy recipe is easily converted to vegetarian. My mom grew up in the Missouri Ozarks and she tells me that they ate a lot of beans when she was young. It was all they could afford! And, in fact, they very seldom had meat like ham and bacon, because they couldn’t afford that either.
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Using canned pinto beans makes this recipe so easy to make and still creates a delicious, hearty soup
- Adding smoke sauce creates a flavor as if it was cooked with bacon
- Adding sliced carrots, celery, and potatoes add a variety of flavors and textures to every bite
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- Onion – I used a yellow onion, but you can substitute white or red onion.
- Potatoes — I find russet potatoes or gold potatoes work best.
- Pinto beans — You’ll need 3 15-ounce cans of pinto beans.
- Spices — You’ll need garlic powder, dried marjoram, and dried thyme.
- Liquid Smoke — You can buy this next to the BBQ sauce in most grocery stores.
- Broth — I recommend a high-quality vegetable broth, which is why I use Better than Bouillon Vegetarian base combined with water.
Crock Pot Tip — Alternatively, you can cook this recipe in a crockpot by following the first step above, and then transferring everything to a crockpot and cooking on low for about 4 hours.
- Complete Protein — serving this soup over brown rice for an entirely plant-based wholesome protein option.
- Bread — have some vegan biscuits or sweet potato rolls on the side.
- Cream — a dollop of cashew cream on top is a nice touch.
- Cheese — A sprinkle or two of vegan parmesan is pretty tasty and adds some crunch too.
Transfer cooled soup to an airtight container. It will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. It can be frozen in freezer-safe containers for up to 2 months.
- To make this soup fast, cook the carrots and potatoes in a microwave for one to two minutes until just tender. Then transfer them (including the liquid) to the pot with the onions and celery
- Transform this into a Mexican dish, by adding a tablespoon of taco seasoning
- Try adding half black and pinto beans for a more colorful soup
- Make this even heartier by adding sliced vegan sausage (I buy vegan sausages from Sprouts, Natural Grocers, or the health food section of my local grocery store)
- Alternatively, you can add vegan chicken pieces to add a meatier texture.
So glad I made this soup. I followed the recipe and it was so delicious and satisfying.
More Vegan Soups
If you love this pinto bean soup, you will want to try your hand at some more vegan soups! Here are some more recipes you’ll love:
Vegan Pinto Bean Soup
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ½ cup chopped celery
- 2 large carrots , chopped
- 2 medium potatoes , chopped
- 45 oz canned pinto beans (~3 cans) , canned (with liquid)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon smoke sauce (Liquid Smoke)
- 1 tablespoon Better than Bouillon Vegetarian
- 4 cups water (see notes)
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Place a skillet over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of olive oil and then the chopped onions, chopped celery, carrots, and potatoes. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
- When the onions and potatoes are tender, add the beans (plus liquid), spices, and smoke sauce. Stir to combine.
- Add the bouillon and water. Stir to combine. Place the bay leaf on top of the broth and then cover and cook for 30 to 40 minutes.
- When the soup is ready to serve, remove the bay leaf, and then spoon roughly half into a blender or food processor and pulse. Return this back to the rest of the soup to make a thick soup. Add salt and pepper to taste before serving.
- Serve with cornbread or bread. This soup will last in the fridge in a sealed container for 4 to 5 days. It can be frozen for up to 2 to 3 months.
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Vegetable BrothI prefer using Better than Bouillon combined with water for a guaranteed high-quality vegetable broth. You can substitute your favorite vegetable broth.
The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
National Soup Month
It’s national soup month so I’m celebrating with some of my favorite food blogging friends! What does that mean for you? Here are more soup recipes to choose from. Not all of these recipes are vegan, but I can create a vegan version for you.
- Vegan Cheeseburger Soup
- White Chicken Chili by Ashlee Marie
- Easy Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup
- Creamy Tortellini Soup thanks to Creations by Kara
- One-pot Vegan Taco Soup
- Chicken Fajita Soup by the Baker Upstairs
- Vegan Cheesy Broccoli Soup by Love and Lemons
- Red Beans and Rice
- Slow Cooker Enchilada Chili by Real Mom Kitchen
- Minestrone and Quinoa Soup
- Instant Pot Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup by 365 Days of Slow Cooking
- Flu Buster Vegetable Soup by Cupcakes and Kale Chips
- Vegan Beef Stew
- Red Lentil Soup by Supergolden Bakes
- Vegan Hot and Sour Soup by Citron and Citronella
34 Responses to Best Pinto Bean Soup
So easy to make and even my VERY particular husband loved it. Great blend of flavors
Hi Anita! I’m so glad you AND your hubby liked this soup! My hubby is in that category too so I know how it feels to win them over!
I like this recipe. I also added crushed tomatoes and mashed the soup to make it creamy. I also floated done chopped spinach when done and served with rustic bread. I try to put a lot of veggies in my soups.
Hi Dawn. I love the idea of making this soup creamy. I will add that as an idea to the recipe notes. So glad you liked it!
So happy to find a blog like this. I love it.