I love to cook with beans. To me, they are a perfect replacement for meat, which I am not always very fond of. For one, it’s the FLESH of an ANIMAL that was once ALIVE and frolicking in a field of daisies! Secondly, I try to buy meat that is allowed to frolic in said field of daisies before becoming my dinner and non-feedlot meat is expensive. And we’re poor. And beans are cheap. And filling. And yummy! So, beans it is! Oh, yeah! And Toddler H loves him some beans! Although, incedently he does not seem to love cauliflower. Or, maybe it was just really fun throwing it across the dining room?
I have quite a few of these soups in my repertoire, and I’m never quite sure what to call them. Not quite chili, not quite tortilla soup. However, it has taco spice flavor and beans… so I deem it taco spiced bean soup! My husband actually really enjoyed this; to my surprise he made not one crack about it being “good, but it’d be better with meat!” He declared it just really good! And we ate it for three days in a row, so it can’t be that bad! In all honesty, you can throw whatever veg you have in your fridge/freezer into this soup and it would probably be delicious! But, then again, I think you could add taco seasoning to anything and it would be yummy! In any case, this is a yummy, easy, cheap dinner!
Taco Spiced Pinto Bean Soup
- 2 Tbs oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 Tbs chili powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 3 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 Tbs smoked paprika
- 1 Tbs oregano
- 2 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp cocoa powder
- 1 Tbs brown sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup pinto beans that have soaked overnight (or 1 can – they will expand to make about 2 cups)
- 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 14oz can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
- 2 zucchini, sliced in quarters
- 2 ears of corn, kernels sliced off
- Bag of frozen cauliflower (you could use fresh, I had frozen on hand)
- Salt, to taste
- Sour cream, to serve
- Cilantro, to serve
- Sautee the onion, pepper, and garlic in the oil until soft. Sprinkle in the spices and let cook for a minute or two to bring out the flavor. Add the stock and beans; simmer until the beans are tender, about 1 ½-2 hours. (if you are using canned, they are already soft)
- Dump in the can of tomatoes and the other vegetables. Taste and add salt. (You can play around with the spices – you may want more smokiness from the paprika, or maybe to add some cayenne for a little more spice! Play around and find what you like!) Add some water if too much liquid has evaporated.
- Simmer the soup for about 30 more minutes until all the vegetables are tender and the flavors have melded. Taste again and more salt if needed. Serve ladled into bowls with a dollop of sour cream and a liberal sprinkling of fresh cilantro along with a couple of tostadas or tortilla chips.