Monday, January 10, 2011

Pinto Bean and Rice Soup (vegan)

This soup could be called by many names. The simplest one is what I titled it, yet other long names that would run through my mind would be Mexican party soup, or Chipotle bowl soup, or leftover lunch soup, or party in your mouth vegan soup :) See, the list of names almost outweighs the list of ingredients. The main ingredients are the pinto beans and brown rice. When paired together they are easier to digest and have a good combo of plant-based protein. This means that this soup would be a great recipe to try if you are trying the new year detox program. There is 8 grams of protein in a 1/2 cup of pinto beans, and then in about 1 cup of brown rice you have 5 grams of protein, so with the added spinach and avocados you have a nice bowl of soup that could range from 15-18 grams of protein. Which is a simple vegan meal that will fill you up and keep you warm.
Soup is a favorite dish for many reasons. My favorite reason is that you can make it quickly, from fresh ingredients and there is usually enough to feed 4-8 people. How perfect for the healthy person seeking to be smarter with their food choices, budget and time. So, for the sake of the above reasons I will be trying to come up with some simple and fresh soup recipes this month to not only go along with the theme of health and budget for the new year, but also because it is cold outside, people. Like 10 degrees last night and probably only up to 20 today. January should be an official soup month just to stay warm, don't you think?
Pinto Bean and Rice Soup Recipe
6-8 cups of vegetable broth
1/2 - 3/4 cup of fresh homemade salsa (or your favorite store bought is fine too)
2- 15 ounce cans of organic pinto beans with juices (or 3 cups of pre-cooked pinto beans)
2 cups of pre-cooked brown rice (use your leftover brown rice here)
3 ts. of ground cumin
2 ts. of ground paprika
1/2 ts. of pepper (use either black or cayenne, depending on how spicy you want this, or omit if you want it mild)
2 cups of chopped fresh spinach

This soup can be assembled in minuted with leftover brown rice, and 2 cans of pinto beans. But if you have to cook up some brown rice, and you are using dry beans, then you will need to make those ingredients first before putting together this soup. Put all of the above ingredients in a medium pot and bring broth to a bowl. The amounts listed above are for my taste preference, but if you want to add more or less salsa, rice or spices, then feel free to create to your liking. After the broth has come to a bowl, then add the chopped spinach and stir in a few times to blend with the rest of the soup. Then when you are ready to serve, top with fresh slices of avocado, or chopped cilantro. Also, serve with organic corn chips if you are looking for a good dipping tool.
Time to serve up and enjoy! Keep it simple with this one and enjoy the warmth and hearty fresh ingredients. This a great soup idea to make a big pot of and then pack for lunches or share with friends. I love soup. Oh, I said that already, :)

Have a beautiful day!

Much love to you-



  1. Oh this sounds so good! I love pinto beans, especially when they're surrounded by a flavorful broth. Going to have to try this.

  2. Thanks! This looks delicious. I am thinking of making it for a party where I need it to cook on its own for a few hours...can you cook this in the crock pot? If so, when do you add the spinach?

  3. sodalo- If cooking in the crockpot, I would add the spinach like 5-10 minutes before serving so that it is freshly wilted and still freshly green. Also, you could add the avocado as a nice topping in the end along with some fresh herbs. Hope yo enjoy- let me know how it turns out!

  4. Very good soup! I'm testing it to tweak it for my boyfriends taste.. This is exactly the kind of recipe I am after to help him lose some weight and get him eating beans in place of meat a few times a week! Thank you SO much for this and other recipes!

  5. I adapted this a little by sauteing some red onion first with the spices, then adding the stock and cooking the beans in the stock with the salsa before adding the rice and spinach. This allowed everything to give out and likewise absorb as much flavor as possible. I garnished it with cilantro and a quick squeeze of lime and it was a wonderful dish - thanks for the inspiration!

  6. This was so yummy! Added a bit more salsa and a cup of chopped portobello mushroom. Next time, I'll probably try adding even more goodies. Thanks for the great recipe!

  7. Looks good, will be trying a low-carb version of this soon :)

  8. If you add banana peppers this is absolutely delicious

  9. Thanks for sharing the nice thoughts and ideas of this recipes of the bean and rice soup and i have to bookmark this blog.

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