Saturday, January 03, 2009

Pressure Cooker Recipe for Spicy Pinto Bean Soup with Ham, Tomatoes, and Cilantro

Spicy Pinto Bean SoupI'm continuing the focus on South Beach Diet phase one recipes during January with this slightly spicy soup with pinto beans and ham, finished with a touch of cilantro. This is the second soup I've made using my new pressure cooker, and I'm loving the way the pressure cooker saves time, and keeps the colors in the cooked foods. If you pre-soak the beans, this soup could easily be made in less than 30 minutes in the pressure cooker. Even though I'm wowed by my pressure cooker, I realize some people are not converts, or don't have a pressure cooker, so I'll tell you how his soup could easily be adapted to cook in a regular pot, even with canned pinto beans if desired. I loved how this soup turned out, and it's definitely one I'll be making again.

Since the soup has cilantro, which is officially my favorite herb, this is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by herb mistress, Haalo from Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once. You can see the Rules for Weekend Herb Blogging and Who's Hosting Weekend Herb Blogging if you'd like to join this weekly celebration of cooking with fresh herbs.

Soak pinto beans overnight in the pressure cooker, then cook beans 8 minutes at high pressure. (If you don't want to pressure cook the beans, just simmer in water to cover until beans are tender, about 30-45 minutes, or substitute 2 cans pinto beans.)

Here's how the soup looked after all the ingredients had been pressure-cooked for 3 minutes. I love the way the pressure cooker keeps the colors bright in some foods.

Spicy Pinto Bean Soup with Ham, Tomatoes, and Cilantro
(Makes 4 servings, can easily be doubled for larger pressure cooker. See after the recipe for how to make this in a regular soup pot. Recipe created by Kalyn.)

(I used my Kuhn Rikon 3.7-Quart Pressure Cooker for this soup.)

1 cup pinto beans, soaked overnight
2 tsp. + 2 tsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped small
1 1 /2 cups diced ham
1 can (14 oz.) petite dice tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock (I used my homemade chicken stock)
1 packet Goya Ham flavored concentrate (optional, this can be hard to find but it's often sold near Mexican foods. If you have ham rinds you can cook them with the soup and remove instead of using this.)
1 T dried cilantro (optional but recommended, or can use more fresh cilantro)
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 can diced green chiles (Anaheim chiles, not jalapenos)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or more to taste)
Thinly sliced green onions, for garnish

Soak pinto beans overnight in cold water. The next day drain beans, then put back into pressure cooker with 3 cups water and 2 tsp. olive oil. Lock lid and bring to high pressure, then cook 8 minutes at high pressure. After 8 minutes, release pressure with quick-release method for your pressure cooker model. When all pressure has been released, carefully open lid and drain beans into a colander in the sink.

Rinse out pressure cooker and dry with paper towel, then put back on stove and heat 2 tsp. olive oil. Add onions and saute until onions are starting to soften. Add dried cilantro, ground cumin, and canned green chiles and saute about 2 minutes more. Then add beans, canned tomatoes and juice, chicken stock, and Goya Ham Flavor Concentrate or ham rinds (if using). Lock lid and heat to high pressure, then cook 3 minutes at high pressure. Release pressure using quick-release method for your pressure cooker. When all pressure is released, carefully remove lid (removing ham rinds if using) and stir in chopped fresh cilantro. Serve hot, garnished with thinly sliced green onions if desired.

To Cook the Soup Without a Pressure Cooker:
~Soak 1 cup pinto beans overnight, then cook on stovetop in a generous amount of water for about 30 minutes, or until beans are tender. Can also use 2 cans pinto beans, rinsed well before adding to soup.
~Saute onion, spices, and green chiles in soup pot same as above. Add other ingredients as above, but increase chicken stock to 5-6 cups. Simmer soup at low heat for about 30 minutes, until flavors seem well blended. Turn off heat and stir in chopped cilantro.

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South Beach Suggestions:
Although the South Beach Diet permits dried beans for any phase of the diet, for phase one I like to use them in a low-glycemic dish like this where the beans are eaten in combination with protein and vegetables.

More Tasty Soups with Cilantro:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Chicken, Black Bean, and Cilantro Soup from Kalyn's Kitchen
Black Bean and Rice Soup with Lime and Cilantro from Kalyn's Kitchen
Chipotle and Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Double Cilantro from Kalyn's Kitchen
Pumpkin Soup with Cilantro from Christine Cooks
Black Bean Soup from Andrea's Recipes
(Find even more Soups with Cilantro using Food Blog Search.
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  1. wow! ur my new food friend because you use a pressure cooker!!!!! that's my main technique and i'm on this serious mission to get everyone to use one!! hope you come by and check the related posts! :)

    lovely soup! happy new year!

  2. I'm such a push over for beans and soup! Beautiful Kalyn.

  3. Sounds good -- except for the cilantro!

  4. Bren, I'm loving my pressure cooker!

    Tanna, me too. I think my blog is in danger of turning into all soup!

    Wosnes, I realize cilantro is a love/hate herb, and you can definitely make it without the cilantro if you want to. Maybe use parsley or more chopped green onion instead.

  5. I still gotta get a pressure cooker. . .this soup looks great and I can't believe how fast you cook the beans.

  6. I love this soup and must make it soon. I lack the pressure cooker, but I bet the soup would be great cooked on the stove too.
    Thanks for the link, my friend! I love your new photo.

  7. Italian Dish, loving the pressure cooker. I know I keep saying that, but it's true.

    Christine, love *your* new photo too! I'm sure the soup will be great on the stove too, I loved it!

  8. This recipe looks great and sounds easy to make, especially using the pressure cooker. Looks like I have something new to try. Thanks for sharing.

  9. I made your soup for tonight's dinner. It's 40 degrees in Houston and that's cold to us!! The soup was delicious and the family ate it up. I will make it again. None left to freeze! Thanks, Kalyn. Jancd
    ps Of course, added the cilantro.

  10. Jan, so glad to hear you liked it! (And happy to hear you used the cilantro too!)

  11. We made this tonight in the pressure cooker. I doubled it and I am glad. It is very good. I added a tsp of epazote. I like to add it to most bean dishes. I garnished the soup with the sliced green onion and some sliced radishes. I put about a tablespoon of 2% sharp cheddar cheese for some melty goodness. We love cilantro so I used the whole amount plus a bit extra for garnish.

    I've used my pressure cooker for a few years for making soup. It really does a good job. Thanks for an awesome recipe.

  12. Anonymous, thanks for letting me know you liked it! GREAT idea to add the epazote (now why didn't I think of that!) Also, more cilantro is always good in my book!

  13. I love my pressure cooker too! Especially for beans or beef stew! The meat falls apart.

  14. Thanks for the recipe. I made this last night (without a pressure cooker) and I will be having it for lunch the rest of the week. Keep up the good work! I rely on your recipes to keep me on track. I never get bored with the SouthBeach way!

  15. Sabrina, great to hear from someone who made it without a pressure cooker. Glad you like the soup. I'm having it for lunch today too.

  16. Looks delish! I'm a crock pot gal myself, do you think I could adapt this to the crock pot by soaking the beans overnight, preparing all of the flavorings and then letting it simmer in the crock pot all day? Thanks for all the recipes you post, they are all delicious!

  17. Semalee, you're welcome. Definitely you could cook this in a crockpot. I might simmer the chicken stock and reduce to about 3 cups.

  18. My pressure cooker scares the hell out of me!! I know it saves so much time, but....eeeek! I think it's going to take off. I'll make it without! Jamie Oliver's nan still uses hers at 89 yrs old so I guess it's pretty safe! Will swop the Cilantro for parsley though,
    thanks Kalyn ;0)

  19. Lesley, the old style pressure cookers scared me too, with the top that was a separate piece. I have the new type where the lid and pressure control is all in one; completely safe and easy to use. Love it!

  20. This recipe looks delicious, but I'm a little confused, because when I was doing Phase 1, pinto beans were the only kind of bean that was not approved for Phase 1. Has that changed? I posted this before but I don't see it here, so I'm trying again!

  21. Georgia, I think you asked on the recipe round-up and I replied there. Yes, pinto beans are listed as "foods to enjoy" for phase one in the latest South Beach book, so that has apparently changed.

  22. Oh Dear! I didn't mean to duplicate..I guess I didn't realize I had posted on the roundup before, sorry! Anyway, I'm glad to hear that pintos are now OK for Phase One, as I really need to do that for a few days :).

  23. Georgia, no problem at all. A lot of people see the recipes spotlighted on a round-up and don't realize they aren't on the original post. Good news about the pinto beans isn't it? I'm doing phase one now too, so I can relate!

  24. In Colombia we use the pressure cooker to cook almost every meal.

    It is so fast. I love it.

  25. This soup looks really delicious. My family has been cooking pinto beans in a pressure cooker since I remember, I'm 28. We add 2-3 pieces of bacon and garlic to our Recipe, I wonder how well it would translate into this soup.

  26. Anonymous, can't think of why any soup recipe with beans couldn't be adapted to cook this way. I'd cook the bacon separately and drain some of the fat if I was using bacon.

  27. has anyone figured out the calorie count on this soup?

  28. Anonymous, I chose South Beach partly because I didn't want to count calories, so I can't help with that.

  29. I am excited about cooking my pinto beans in the pressure cooker. I love using the pressure cooker and I am constantly looking for recipes. Thanks for this one and hoping to see many more.

  30. There will definitely be more recipes coming all the time with the pressure cooker!

  31. I made this in my crock pot today. I agree it was very good. We love green chile. It adds just the right amount of kick. I also used a package of beans called 15 beans for some variety. The package also had the ham seasoning package as a bonus. Located it at Walmart.

  32. Great idea to use the 15 bean soup mix in this, sounds great!

  33. Thanks so much for this recipe! It was a great way to kick off phase 1!

    Have a wonderful week,

  34. Desiree, glad you enjoyed it.

  35. What would the timing be with out soaking the beans? any thoughts?

  36. One of my pressure cooker cookbooks says 22-25 minutes to cook uncooked pinto beans, so somewhere around there.

  37. I just have to say that your Spicy pinto bean soup is excellent!! I have made it twice already within the week. This weekend I'm going to try your black bean, chicken, and cilantro soup. Thank you again for posting your wonderful recipes on the web.


  38. Heidi, thank YOU for that nice feedback. So glad you're enjoying the recipes.

  39. Thanks, Kalyn. This soup is delicious, and great for a colder weather meal. Put it in the crock pot for about five hours. I bet it tastes wonderful with a light salad!

  40. Thanks Julie, and I appreciate you adding that crockpot info for others who want to try that method.


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