Pinto Bean Soup Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more details.

I love with this nourishing pinto bean soup recipe! The hearty beans break and melt into a rich tomato broth that’s full of herbs and smoky flavour. It’s so delicious and creamy that all you want is crusty bread to dunk in!

Published Jan 28, 2022/updated Nov 13, 2023

Close-up a white bowl full of pinto bean soup in a thick tomato broth.

If you love beans, you and I will probably be friends. From the best white bean soup to this rich bean stew and Italian pasta with beans, I would eat beans everyday.

They’re healthy, economical, versatile and so delicious, great for a variety of meatless meals. They’re also one of the planet’s most sustainable protein source.

And if you’ve decided that beans are for dinner tonight, this pinto bean soup will hit the spot!

The recipe starts with a flavor base made with onion, carrot, celery, and garlic saute’ in olive oil. Next, pantry staples like smoked paprika, cumin, dried herbs and tomato paste will thicken the broth nicely as well as enhance the overall flavour. And the fluffy canned pinto beans will break into this delicious broth!

Double the ingredient to make a big batch. It freezes well, and it’s gluten-free, inexpensive and makes a wonderful vegetarian family meal.

Serve this pinto bean soup with these panini bread rolls or easy Italian focaccia, and everybody will come back for seconds. And thirds!

List of the ingredients

  • Pinto beans
  • Vegetables (onion, carrot, celery, garlic)
  • Olive oil
  • Tomato paste 
  • Broth
  • Spices (smoked paprika, cumin)
  • Herbs (oregano, rosemary, sage, bay leaf)
  • Salt & pepper
The ingredients to make this pinto soup are arranged over a white background.

How to make pinto bean soup recipe

(Note: this is a quick description, the full recipe is at the bottom of the page)

  • Saute’ onion, carrot and celery in olive oil for about 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic, spices, and dried herbs.
Top view of a white cast iron full of diced carrot, onion, celery, garlic and spices.
  • Stir and cook for 1 minute to enhance all the flavors.
  • Add beans, broth, tomato paste, bay leaf.
  • Bring to the boil and cook for 20-25 minutes.
Top view of white cast iron full of vegetables, beans and tomato broth.
  • Turn the heat off, let it cool slightly, and blend 1 cup of soup (this is an optional step, but it takes the texture to the next level!). I use and love this blender, but an immersion blender will be ok too.
  • Return the blended soup to the pot, toss to combine, adjust the seasoning.
  • Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and crusty bread!
Close-up of a white bowl full of pinto bean soup with croutons and chopped parsley.

Recipe notes & tips

Pinto bean soup ingredients

Beans: I used canned pinto beans, but cranberry beans, kidney beans, or cannellini beans work fine too. I used canned beans for convenience, but you’re welcome to use budget-friendly dried beans (see notes in the recipe card).

Soffritto: the dish starts with this flavor base, basically a mix of diced carrots, celery, and onion saute’ in olive oil until translucent. This is the base for most of my soup recipes.

Tomato paste: it’s rich, concentrated and full of umami flavor. But you can substitute 1/3 cup of tomato puree for tomato paste if needed.

Broth: I use low-sodium vegetable broth to bring flavor without adding too much sodium, but any regular vegetable broth or even chicken broth works, just make sure you adjust the seasoning at the end.

Herbs: I used a mix of dried herbs to add flavor to the broth. You might use only oregano or Italian herb seasoning instead of this mix. Let’s be creative!

Spices: smoked paprika and some cumin add that warm smoky flavor without being overpowering, don’t skip it. Either cayenne pepper or chili powder add a kick of heat if you’d like.

Salt & peper: add salt and pepper to taste and make sure the flavor pop!

Top view of a white bowl full of creamy pinto bean soup with croutons.

How to serve pinto bean soup

Pinto beans in soup are flavourful, filling, and their soft texture makes the broth deliciously thick and perfect for crusty bread, warm focaccia, or these easy stovetop croutons. Although this is not your typical chili, but feel free to jazz it up the overall flavor with a squeeze of lime juice and with avocado slices, tortillas, tortilla chips on the side. Let’s be creative!

Add more veggies or grains!

This simple soup with pinto beans can be extremely versatile and great with the following add-ins:

  • Veggies: More carrots, celery, or a peeled and diced potato make this soup more filling and nutritious.
  • Leafy greens: Add baby spinach or baby kale in the last 1-2 minutes of the cooking time. Stir and cook until wilted.
  • Grains: Short-cut pasta or rice will turn this pinto bean soup into a full meal. And if you combine whole-grains (brown rice, millet, buckwheat, oats, and quinoa) with beans, you’ll get all the amino acids you need. 

Note: if you add extra veggies or grains, adjust the broth and the cooking time accordingly. But if you add whole-grains that require longer cooking time (e.g. brown rice), cook them separately.

Close-up of a white bowl full of pinto bean soup, crusty bread in the background.

Looking for more bean recipes?

Here are a few of our favorite staples, they make fabulous family weeknight meals and they’re a great source of protein:

If you make this pinto bean soup, or if you have any questions, let me know! Leave a comment, send me a message, or rate it. I would love to hear from you!

And for more recipe updates, subscribe to my newsletter and follow me on InstagramPinterest and Facebook.

Close-up of a white bowl full of pinto bean soup in a rich tomato broth.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Pinto Bean Soup

In this hearty pinto bean soup the beans break and melt into a rich tomato broth that’s full of herbs and smoky flavour. It's so delicious and creamy that all you want is crusty bread to dunk in!
Recipe yields 4 servings (1 cup each).
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mediterranean, vegan
Keyword: Pinto bean soup
Servings: 4
Calories: 241kcal
Author: Katia


  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery rib, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • ½ Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 cans (14oz/400 grams each) pinto beans, drained
  • 1 ½ cup (360 ml) low-sodium vegetable broth, plus more if you wish
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp fine salt, plus more to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste

To serve

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh parsley or cilantro


  • Warm the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the diced carrot, onion, celery, and cook, stirring often, until the onion is turning translucent (5 minutes).
  • Add the garlic, the spices and the herbs. Stir to enhance all the flavors for about 1 minute.
  • Add the beans, the broth, the tomato paste and the the bay leaf. Raise the heat and bring to the boil. Then reduce to maintain a gentle simmer, cover the pot, and cook for 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Turn the heat off and let it cool slightly. Then transfer approximately 1 cup of the soup to a stand blender and whizz until smooth. Be careful because it's still hot. Return the blended soup to the pot, toss to combine it well with the rest of the soup. This step is optional, but if you blend one portion of the soup it gives you a creamier texture.
  • Taste to adjust the seasoning to your liking. (I find that ½ tsp of fine salt and ⅛ tsp of black pepper is fine for my low-sodium broth, but make sure to adjust it to your taste). Make sure you're happy with consistency, add a touch of broth of water if you prefer a thinner soup or reduce it if you prefer a pinto bean stew.
  • Divide into 4 bowls and serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, fresh parsley or cilantro. Delicious, with crusty bread, corn bread, focaccia or tortilla chips. Enjoy.


Dried beans: use about 1 ¼cup to make 2 cans (14oz each). Make sure you soak them overnight (about 8 hours) in cold water, then cook them until they are tender but firm. When the beans are cooked and drained, you can proceed as per recipe.
Salt: if you use regular vegetable broth or chicken broth rather than low-sodium broth, it’s important to adjust the seasoning at the end and not at the beginning, as you don’t know how salty the broth is.  
Storage: this pinto bean soup will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. To reheat, add a touch of water until it’s thinned to the desired consistency, then gently warm over medium-low heat or in your microwave. It keeps well in the freezer,  in an airtight container, for up to 1 month
Nutrition facts: the nutrition values are  for one serving and are based on an online nutrition calculator.  It’s an estimate only and it should not be considered as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. Please see my disclosure policies. 


Calories: 241kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 937mg | Potassium: 792mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 3118IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 128mg | Iron: 4mg


  1. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious and very easy to make!

    1. I’m so happy it turned out delicious! Thanks so much for sharing your feedback, Megan.
      Cheers x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating