I have a short head note for today’s recipe because I’m writing it while on the road…in Maine, as far away from the Southwest as you can get and still be in the continental United States.
I love bean soup in all its forms. I love the cooking of the American Southwest and Mexican North - the Norteno borderlands between the two countries, where cooking traditions have been mingling for centuries. I picture this recipe as what happens when an American cowboy cook and a Mexican vaquero cook meet on the trail and swap notes about what their respective cowboys want to eat…if I went back in time and handed them an electric pressure cooker.
(Looking for a different flavor profile? Try my Cajun 15 Bean Soup with Sausage.)
Video: Pressure Cooker Southwestern Pinto Bean Soup (2:03)
Pressure Cooker Southwestern Pinto Bean Soup - Time Lapse [YouTube.com] Print
Pressure Cooker Southwestern Pinto Bean Soup
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 4 quarts of soup 1x
Pressure Cooker Southwestern Pinto Bean Soup recipe - a pot of beans from the Southwest, in about an hour thanks to pressure cooking.
- 1 pound pinto beans, sorted and rinsed
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed and diced (remove the seeds to cut the heat)
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 cups water
- 14.5-oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- Salt and 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper to taste
- Minced green onion
- Diced onion
- Thin-sliced jalapeño
- Tortilla chips
- Sort and rinse the beans: Sort the pinto beans, removing any broken beans, stones, or other non-bean material. Rinse the beans and set aside.
- Saute the onions, garlic, and jalapeños: Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in the pressure cooker pot over sauté mode until the oil is shimmering. (Use medium heat for a stovetop PC). Add the onions, garlic, and jalapeño, then sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Sauté the onions and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Toast the spices, then add the beans and water: Make a hole in the center of the onion mix and add the chili powder, cumin, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Let the spices sit to toast for 1 minute, then stir into the onions. Stir in the pinto beans and pour in the 6 cups of water.
- Pressure Cook the soup for 40 minutes with a quick pressure release: Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and cook at high pressure for 40 minutes in an electric pressure cooker (or 35 minutes in a stovetop PC). Quick release the pressure in the pot.
- Simmer the tomatoes, then serve: Remove the lid carefully, opening away from you – even when it’s not under pressure, the steam in the cooker is very hot. Stir in the can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, set the cooker back to sauté mode adjusted to high and bring to a simmer. Simmer the soup for 5 minutes to heat up the tomatoes. Stir in 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, then taste and add salt and more pepper if needed. (I usually add another teaspoon of fine sea salt - this much soup needs extra salt.) Serve, passing the garnishes at the table.
- If you want a richer soup, substitute chicken broth (preferably homemade) for some or all of the water.
- 6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker)
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 60 minutes
- Category: Weeknight Dinner
- Method: Pressure Cooking
- Cuisine: Tex-Mex
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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Janet Goff says
So good! Freezing half of this batch for camping. Thanks Mike!
David LeBlanc says
Easy to make and very tasty. It's become a favorite at out house.
One thing I have learned is to first soak the beans for eight hours or do a quick soak. The beans are much softer and tastier.
Kathy Janzen says
David, while soaking is not required, I find that even a quick 1-hr soak with a tsp of salt and hot water (discard water after soak) renders the beans more evenly and quickly cooked. A working person can just do this 1st thing upon arriving home. Yummy beans!
Simple, satisfying, tasty recipe. I used serrano peppers, garlic, and tomatoes from my garden. I added a couple carrots because I wanted the extra vitamin A, but otherwise followed the recipe. Will make again for sure!
Oh...and I substituted Two bottles of Shiner Bock for 24 oz of the water!
I cooked it for 40 minutes and the beans were still hard. 45-50 is just right.
Tommy Alexander says
I stumbled across this recipe via your "brinerated" thin pork chop recipe (which is FABULOUS btw) & I thank God that I did. I made this soup last week and I have to tell you, it is one of the top 5 BEST soups that I have ever made. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS AWESOME SOUP & your great website. FYI, I once made 30 soups in 30 days & if I ever do that again, this will be one of them.
Continued success to you...
This soup had amazing flavor for such simple ingredients. My family loved it, and I will make again. It was great with avocado.
I was so impressed with this simple soup! I've tried a lot of bean soups, and most weren't that great. I'll definitely be making it again!
You don't soak the beans?
Mike Vrobel says
If you are going to be in Portland, check out the Duck Fat Cafe. They serve fries cooked in duck fat. OMG.
I made this tonight using Chicken Stock instead of water. The taste was great, but I found that my beans were not cooked at 40 minutes. Another 10 minutes made the difference.