New Mexico Pinto Bean Soup Adapted from: Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure by Lorna J. Sass

My husband thought we should get a pressure cooker.  Since we have never used one we thought we should follow a recipe.  I slightly adapted this recipe by omitting oil, I didn’t have a chipotle pepper so I used powder instead and I ended up using a 3 oz. can of tomato paste and used 1 lb. of pinto beans.  This soup had amazing flavor and creaminess due to removing part of the soup and pureeing with tomato paste.  I will definitely make this recipe again and again!  If you don’t have a pressure cooker just make this in a stock pot by soaking the beans and making sure they are well cooked.


1 ½ cups dried pinto beans, picked over and rinsed, soaked overnight in ample water to cover or speed soak
1 t. whole cumin seeds
1 T. finely minced garlic
2 cups coarsely chopped onions
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 ½ - 2 cups fresh or frozen (defrosted) corn kernels
1 ½ t. dried oregano leaves
1 ½ t. chipotle powder
4 cups boiling water
½ bunch finely chopped kale
2 T. tomato paste
½ cup fresh parsley
1 – 2 T. freshly squeezed lime juice
Salt & pepper to taste
1 ripe but firm avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into ½” dice (sprinkle with lime juice if not adding to the soup immediately)


Drain and rinse the beans.  Set aside.

Heat the pressure cooker and place cumin seeds over medium high heat just until they begin to pop, 5 to 10 seconds.  Add 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.  Add the reserved beans, corn, oregano, chipotle powder and water.

Lock the lid in place.  Over high heat, bring to high pressure.  Lower the heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook for 8 minutes.  Allow the pressure to come down naturally or use a quick –release method.  Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow any excess steam to escape.  If the beans are not quite tender, replace (but do not lock) the lid and simmer until they are done.

With a slotted spoon, transfer a generous cupful of the beans to a food processor or blender, or use an immersion blender with the beans in a separate bowl and puree with the tomato paste.  Stir the mixture into the soup.  Add the coriander, lime juice, and salt and pepper.  Gently stir in the avocado just before stirring.