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 in traditional soups. Serve this homemade vegetarian soup with cornbread or dinner rolls and with a dollop of creamy vegan sour cream and hot sauce.
Serve all your favorite soups with this amazing vegan cornbread.
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.
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
What You Need
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:
- Olive oil
- 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.
- Bay leaf
- Salt & pepper to taste.
How to Make Pinto Bean Soup
Make this simple soup with these simple steps:
- Cook Aromatics & Potatoes — Begin by adding oil to a pot and cooking onions, celery, carrots, and potatoes. Once those are tender, add the beans, spices, bouillon, water, and a bay leaf.
- Simmer — Cook that for 30 to 40 minutes, and then the soup is ready.
- Thicken — I like to mix about half of the beans in a food processor or blender and return it back to the rest of the pot to create a very thick soup broth.
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
- Be sure and add a bay leaf as the recipe simmers — it makes a difference
- 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.
Best Vegan Soup Recipes
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
- 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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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? You’ll get 23 awesome soup recipes to choose from! Now, not all of these recipes are vegan (and some are not even vegetarian), but just check with me if you’re interested, and I’ll see if I can create a vegan recipe for you.
So, without further ado, here are 23 tantalizing soup recipes to get your national soup month on the right track.
- Vegan Cheeseburger Soup
- White Chicken Chili by Ashlee Marie
- Easy Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup
- Creamy Vegan Potato Soup by Vegan Hugs
- Creamy Tortellini Soup thanks to Creations by Kara
- Rosemary White Bean Soup by Well Vegan
- One-pot Vegan Taco Soup
- Slow Cooker Vegan Lasagna Soup by Connogsorious Veg
- Chicken Fajita Soup by the Baker Upstairs
- Vegan Cheesy Broccoli Soup by Love and Lemons
- Red Beans and Rice
- Vegan Mushroom Soup by Bites of Wellness
- Slow Cooker Enchilada Chili by Real Mom Kitchen
- Vegetarian Enchilada Soup by the Stingy Vegan
- Minestrone and Quinoa Soup
- Curried Cauliflower Rice and Kale Soup by Cotter Crunch
- 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