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Monday, October 24, 2011

Pappasito's Pinto Bean Soup

I got this recipe from a friend on Pinterest. I love Pinterest.

Here is the link to the original recipe. However, I find the directions to be a bit confusing, so that is one reason to explain it in my blog.

I cut the recipe down a bit so I only had to use one bag of beans. And for once, I actually know exact ingredient amounts that I used. Enjoy that little treat while it lasts. Here is my altered recipe:

Pappasito's Pinto Bean Soup
1 lb pinto beans (dried)
3 quarts water, divided
1/2 lb bacon, diced
1/3 c. garlic, minced
4 tbsp cilantro, divided
2/3 c. onion, diced
2 1/8 tsp cumin
2 1/8 tsp onion powder
1 1/8 tbsp salt
1 1/2 c. diced tomatoes

Step one: the night before you want to make this, soak your beans in 2 quarts water overnight. This step is very IMPORTANT! Something bad will happen if you don't soak your beans. I don't know what, but it's not good news. So just soak your beans.

Step 2: In the morning, drain your beans and set aside.

Step 3: Cook your bacon:
Mmmm, bacon.

After your bacon is done, remove it from the pan, leaving the fat. Add the garlic, onion, and 2 tbsp. cilantro to the hot bacon grease. Just so your are prepared, the smell of onion, garlic, and cilantro cooking in bacon grease is probably what heaven smells like.

A small note about the garlic. I wasn't sure whether to use a 1/3 c. MINCED garlic, or 1/3 c. garlic and then mince it. I decided for the latter because 1/3 c. minced garlic seemed like a lot. Also, minced came after the garlic, which I believe indicates you measure and then mince. Nonetheless, I ended up using about 10-12 cloves garlic. It definitely was not too much, and I probably could have even used a little more and it would have still been good.

In case you are wondering, this is a clove of garlic:

When I first started cooking with garlic, I thought a clove of garlic was what is actually a HEAD of garlic (all the cloves together). And I wondered why my salsa never tasted right....

Lesson learned.

Moving on.

Onions are cooking and it looks and smells so delicious!

After your onion is translucent, add the onion mixture back in with the bacon. Mix with the remaining 1 quart (or 32 oz/4 cups) water, beans, cumin, onion powder, and salt. The directions say to cook on low until beans are fork tender.

I did mine in the crock pot because beans take a long time to cook. I cooked in the crock pot on high for 5 hours, but the beans could have stood to be cooked a little longer.

Just before serving, mix in tomatoes and remaining 2 tbsp cilantro.


The verdict: Overall, I thought this soup was pretty good.

It was okay the first day.

The second day it was delicious! It probably didn't hurt that reheating it allowed me to cook the beans a little longer.

I really liked the addition of tomatoes to the soup. I'd never heard of that before, but I loved the flavor of it.

In conclusion, everyone should try this because it is tasty, healthy, cheap, and easy!

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