Pinto Beans (in the South aka: Soup Beans) are transformed in a Gumbo-Style with this simple meatless Pinto Beans Gumbo-Style recipe, served on whole grain rices. It’s nutritious, it’s delicious, and it’s a great variation of a Southern classic.
I’m back! Finally…after a month away for a kitchen renovation, which you can read about and see here. I missed the last of summer during that time, so I’m jumping right on into Autumnal foods. Nothing makes me happier than soup-season.
The first thing I think of when football season rolls around is a big ol’ pot of Soup Beans. In the South, that normally means pinto beans cooked with onion and ham hock – low and slow. For this recipe there is no meat, but it’s loaded with flavor and nutrition, and vegetables from my Wee Kitchen Garden.
I went to the garden the other day and I had an entire bucket-load of okra and peppers to harvest. Since I was already yearning for some soup beans, I decided to use that garden bounty in my recipe. I used two CowHorn peppers and two hot banana peppers, but you can use sweet peppers if you aren’t a fan of the heat.
The quick-soak method for beans really speeds up the dry bean cooking process. Rather than soaking the beans overnight, I put them in a pot of water (at least 3 inches above the bean level), cover them and bring them to a boil. Then, leaving the lid on the pan, I remove them from the heat and let them sit and soak for one hour.
While the beans drain in a colander, I sautéed the peppers, onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil, then added the beans back to the pot. They simmer, covered in water (or vegetable stock) for 1 – 1 1/2 hours, or until they’re soft. Then I added the okra, diced fresh tomatoes (never add the tomatoes until the beans are completely cooked or the beans won’t soften), Creole seasoning, salt and pepper.
I served this over rice, but rather than white rice which would be typical, I used Lundberg Wild Rice Blend. It has Long Grain Brown, Sweet Brown, Wild, Wehani and Black Japonica whole grain rices.
It was delicious, and easy to prepare. It is also excellent as left-overs! I hope you’ll try it.
p.s.: While this recipe is a slow-cook method, it can easily be modified using canned beans to eliminate the soak and slow-cook time.
- 8 ounces pinto beans, pre-soaked, drained of soaking water
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 cup diced peppers (I used a combination of hot peppers, but you can substitute sweet bell)
- 1 cup diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups sliced okra (you can use fresh, or frozen)
- 2 cups diced tomato
- 1-3 teaspoons Creole seasoning, depending on your desired heat (I used a full tablespoon, or three teaspoons)
- salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup rice, cooked according to package instructions (I used Lundberg Wild Rice Blend)
- Place the dry beans in a large saucepan and cover with water, the water being 3 inches above the level of the beans.
- Cover and bring the beans to a boil.
- Remove from heat, leaving covered, and allow to soak for 1 hour.
- Drain in a colander.
- In the same saucepan, over medium heat, add the onion and peppers.
- Saute for about 3 minutes, or until soft.
- Add the garlic and continue to saute for another minute.
- Add the beans back into the pan and cover with water (or vegetable stock if desired), with the water covering the beans by several inches.
- Put the lid on the pan, lower the heat to medium-low.
- Simmer for 1 - 1½ hours, adding water as needed (if the water reaches the level of the beans before the beans are soft, add ½ cup....continue to add water in this method until the beans are soft).
- Once the beans are soft, add the okra, tomatoes, Creole seasoning and salt and pepper.
- Allow to simmer, uncovered until the okra has cooked (about 20 minutes).
- Serve hot over cooked rice.