My mother made this soup with pinto beans because that is what we ate in our house. In fact, I could call this one Refried Bean Soup since she sometimes made it with leftovers. Oh, yeah. We all know that beans are good on a combination plate, and especially good mixed together with the rice on the plate. Okay, maybe that’s just me. But beans are so versatile. Dips, side dishes, main dishes (Have you ever had a refried bean taco? Delish!). I once worked with researchers at Colorado State University and was a taste tester for bean dishes, including brownies made with beans and less chocolate. I would never have known those delicious brownies were made with beans.
Which brings me back to the point of this simple, economic and delicious soup. It can also be made vegetarian style by using vegetarian refried beans and substituting the beef broth with vegetable broth. If you prefer navy beans or black beans, I am sure this can be adapted for using those bean varieties. So, if you have 1 cup of leftover beans, or a can, try this recipe. You won’t be sorry you did. The exact measurements of ingredients are not important. Make this to your liking! Doesn’t this look good already?
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil or lard
- ¼ cup diced onions
- 1 medium diced tomato (I used Roma)
- 1 cup mashed pinto beans (or your favorite variety)
- 1 can (14.5 oz.) beef broth or the equivalent of water
- ¼ teaspoon garlic salt (see note below)
- ½ bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
- In a medium saucepan, saute the onion and tomato until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, followed by the mashed or refried beans. Add the garlic salt. Stir until the beans and the broth are combined and smooth. Add the chopped cilantro and warm through. Serve immediately.
- Note: If you are not using leftover beans that have already been seasoned, add garlic salt and if needed, some table salt to season the soup.
- (If your kids do not like to see chopped veggies in their soup, go ahead and use an immersion blender or use a regular blender to puree the soup. They'll never know!)
Et cetera: In order to make this an entire meal, my mother would serve it with bolillos, which are Mexican rolls. You can find them in any Mexican market, but a close second would be a loaf of French bread. We would dip the bread in the soup. Yum! Happy face!