Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup

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This chunky and hearty pinto bean soup is made with loads of veggies and pasta shells making it a nutritious and filling one-pot meal.

Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup in a white bowl, topped with parmesan cheese and pasta shells top view

Beans are nutritional powerhouses.

Not only are they a great, lean source of vegetarian protein, but they provide a myriad of health benefits, and they fit into several different food groups.

  • They’re rich in complex carbs like whole grains.
  • They’re full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants like veggies.
  • They’re high in protein like meat.

This Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup is the perfect opportunity to sneak some beans into your diet. It’s rich, hearty, and super flavorful: thick and chunky, with oozing cheese and al dente pasta on top. My whole family couldn’t get enough of it!

Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup in a white bowl, topped with parmesan cheese and pasta shells

Beans come canned, frozen, or dry – so they are a breeze to purchase, prepare and store. They’re also the least expensive source of protein out there (especially when compared to fresh meat!). Lastly, they can be used in just about any dish. They can be incorporated into a main (soups, chili), a side (salads), an appetizer (bean dip), or a snack (roasted chickpeas). And there are so many varieties: kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, lima beans, black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans, split peas and lentils to name a few. If you don’t have pinto beans, white beans are a great substitute for pinto beans in this recipe!

Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup in a white bowl, topped with parmesan cheese and pasta shells top view

Kitchen Tools and Equipment You’ll Need to Make Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup

ingredients for Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup

How to Make Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup – Step by Step

Step 1: Chop all of your ingredients (onions, carrots, celery, herbs). Warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, rosemary, and garlic, cook for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is softened and begins to caramelize.

veggies sauteed in a large pot

Step 2: Add the parsley, beans, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the beans soften.

broth added to pot of soup

Step 3: While the soup is simmering, cook your pasta until it is al dente. Drain and set aside.

soup simmering on the stove

Step 4: Blend the soup partially with an immersion blender until the soup is chunky but not completely pureed.

soup being blended with immersion blender

Step 5: Divide the soup into bowls and add 1-2 tbsp of cooked pasta and 1-2 tbsp of parmesan cheese to each. Eat and enjoy!

Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup in a white bowl, topped with parmesan cheese and pasta shells top view, with pot of soup in the background

What makes this Chunky Hearty Pinto Bean Soup healthy?

  • Heart Healthy: The high amounts of soluble fiber in beans helps lower bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Side note: If you are using canned beans, rinse them in water before using them to eliminate 40% of the sodium (or buy a low-sodium variety like Eden Organic).
  • Lean Plant Protein: Beans have only 2-3% fat (lower than meat), but 7g protein for every 1/2 cup serving (the same amount as 1oz of meat).
  • Balance Blood Sugar: Thanks to their low glycemic index (because of their complex carbs + protein), beans are digested slowly which helps keep blood glucose stable.
  • Great for Weight Loss: The high fiber + water content in beans keeps you feeling full without being high in calories.
  • High in Fiber: Filled with fiber, beans can promote regularity and help keep tummy troubles away.
  • High in Vitamins and Minerals: The carrots, tomatoes and celery added to this soup add a healthy dose of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants!

Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup in a white bowl, topped with parmesan cheese and pasta shells with spoon

Will kids enjoy this Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup?

Kids will love this pinto bean soup. My kids are huge fans of pasta, which is one reason they enjoy this hearty soup. The added pasta combined with the protein of the beans, and the nutrients from the veggies makes all of us happy. The spices in this soup aren’t overpowering, and the gooey cheese makes it approachable.

What are pinto beans used for?

There are numerous uses for pinto beans. You can use them whole in soups and chilis. You can mash them and use them as a dip or spread. They taste great as a side with Mexican dishes like tacos or enchiladas. You can even spread them on toast for breakfast.

Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup in a white bowl, topped with parmesan cheese and pasta shells with spoon

How do you boil pinto beans?

Step 1: Rinse beans. Remove any beans that don’t look good.

Step 2: Soak the beans overnight in a large bowl covered with 2 inches of water.

Step 3: Drain and rinse the beans.

Step 4: In a saucepan cover the pinto beans with 2 inches of water or stock. Simmer over medium heat for 2-3 hour or until tender.

What to Serve with Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup

This soup is a one-pot meal. It’s got protein from the beans, whole grains from the pasta, and vitamins and nutrients from the veggies. But sometimes you want a little something more. This soup pairs well with light side salad to balance the heartiness of the soup. Drizzle the salad with a balsamic vinaigrette to keep in line with the Italian flavors of the soup. You can also serve this dish with some crusty, whole grain bread which is great for dipping and scooping up the last bits left in the bowl!

Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup in a white bowl, topped with parmesan cheese and pasta shells with blue pot in the background

Top Tips to Make Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup

  • To save time use canned pinto beans. Look for BPA free packaging. If you can’t find pinto beans or want to switch things up, white beans or navy beans also work great in this recipe.
  • Use whole grain pasta. For even more protein, or to make this gluten-free, you can use lentil or chickpea based pasta.
  • Use an immersion blender to partially blend the beans. This will give it a natural creaminess without the need to add cream.
  • Don’t blend completely as the whole pinto beans give it a nice texture.
  • Use fresh rosemary for a richer and fresher flavor. If you don’t have fresh herbs use dried herbs but reduce the amount to 1/3 of the amount of the fresh herbs. as dried herbs have a stronger flavor.
  • To make this vegan, just omit the cheese!

Be Sure to Check Out These Other Healthy Bean Soups!

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Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup

This chunky and hearty pinto bean soup is made with loads of veggies and pasta shells making it a nutritious and filling one-pot meal.

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time40 mins

Total Time50 mins

Course: Soup

Cuisine: American

Servings: 8 servings

Calories: 245.6kcal

Author: Anjali Shah
  • 45 oz pinto or navy beans 3 cans
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
  • 1 medium red onion finely chopped
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 2 celery ribs diced
  • 5 garlic cloves sliced
  • 1/4 cup parsley chopped
  • 15 oz diced tomatoes 1 can
  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 3/4 tsp salt or 1 tsp if you need a little more salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper more to taste if needed
  • 1/2 cup dried small pasta shells
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese 2 tbsp per serving, about 1 cup total
  • Chop all of your ingredients (onions, carrots, celery, herbs)

  • Warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, rosemary, and garlic, cook for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is softened and begins to caramelize.

  • Add the parsley, beans, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the beans soften.

  • While the soup is simmering, cook your pasta until it is al dente. Drain and set aside.

  • Blend the soup partially with an immersion blender until the soup is chunky but not completely pureed.

  • Divide the soup into bowls and add 1-2 tbsp of cooked pasta and 1-2 tbsp of parmesan cheese to each.

Top Tips to Make Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup

  • To save time use canned pinto beans. Look for BPA free packaging. If you can’t find pinto beans or want to switch things up, white beans or navy beans also work great in this recipe.
  • Use whole grain pasta. For even more protein, or to make this gluten-free, you can use lentil or chickpea based pasta.
  • Use an immersion blender to partially blend the beans. This will give it a natural creaminess without the need to add cream.
  • Don’t blend completely as the whole pinto beans give it a nice texture.
  • Use fresh rosemary for a richer and fresher flavor. If you don’t have fresh herbs use dried herbs but reduce the amount to 1/3 of the amount of the fresh herbs. as dried herbs have a stronger flavor.
  • To make this vegan, just omit the cheese!

Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

Calories: 245.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.3g | Protein: 14.4g | Fat: 5.3g | Sodium: 500mg | Fiber: 12.4g | Sugar: 3.3g