Pinto Bean Soup


  • 1 1/2 cups dried pintos, soaked overnight or canned equivalent
  • 1 tablespoon safflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped onions
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen (defrosted) corn kernels
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 dried chipotle pepper, stemmed seeded snipped into bits or 1-2 jalapenos or generous pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh coriander or parsley
  • 1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 ripe or firm avocado, 1/2 inch dice


  1. Drain and rinse beans; set aside.
  2. Heat oil, sizzle cumin seeds over medium heat just until they begin to pop 5-10 seconds.
  3. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic turns light brown. Immediately add the onion and red bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
  4. Add the reserved beans, corn, oregano, chipotle, and water.
  5. Lock lid in place. Over high heat, bring to high pressure. Lower the heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook for 8 minutes.
  6. Allow pressure to drop naturally or use quick release method. Remove the lid.
  7. Simmer beans until done if they aren't quite cooked.
  8. With a slotted spoon, transfer a generous cupful of beans to a food processor (or puree all of soup) and puree with tomato paste. Stir back into soup.
  9. Add the coriander, lime juice, salt and pepper.
  10. Gently stir in avocado just before serving.