Monday, April 20, 2009

Pinto Bean and Ham Bone Soup

Week number three of our commitment to include a weekly dinner based on good ol' frugal and healthy beans focuses on pinto beans. As I had a lovely ham bone with trimmings still hanging on it from Easter dinner, this was the perfect marriage of extracting that ham flavor and infusing it into this lovely bean dish.

soaking pinto beans

Pinto Bean and Ham Bone Soup
1 ham bone with some meat left on
2 cups dried pinto beans
8 cups water to soak dried beans in overnight
6-8 cups water for cooking beans in; alternatively use chicken stock
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup green enchilada sauce

Using overnight soak method, place dried beans and 8 cups water in large stockpot to soak over night. Drain beans in the morning and prepare to cook them either on stove top or in a crock pot.

soaked and drained pinto beans

If using a crock pot, place ham bone, beans, 6 cups water, garlic, and onion in crock pot. Cover and let the crock pot do its magic. If cooking on the stove top, add ham bone, beans, garlic, and onion to 8 cups of water. (Crock pot method uses slightly less water as there is no steam evaporation during cooking.)

pinto beans with ham bone in crock pot

Check after three to four hours if using the crock pot or after two hours on the stove top to determine tenderness of beans. Also, add additional water if beans begin to dry out. Once they have softened and are finally cooked through, remove ham bone. Carefully cut off any ham remaining on the bone. Finely chop the ham and return it to the soup. Stir in green enchilada sauce and top with chopped cilantro. Check for taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

cooked pinto beans

Add some vegetable sticks or a salad along with some cornbread, and dinner is served.

finished pinto beans and ham bone soup (without cilantro)

This was especially good served over tortilla chips. You could also mash the leftovers and reheat them in a skillet to make awesome re fried beans.

8 comments - click here to leave your comments:

Robin @ Heart of Wisdom said...

I can almost smell it! We have bean soup often with turkey ham. My recipe is at

Going to browse your blog for goat photos. There is nothing cuter.

See you on Twitter!

Alexis AKA MOM said...

Oh thank you did a google search and came across this recipe. In the crockpot now :)

Six In The Northwest said...


Hope you enjoyed it! I tweaked the recipe yesterday using the leftover Christmas ham bone but used black beans instead with some dried tomatoes instead of green chili sauce. It was equally awesome I thought.

Alexis AKA MOM said...

Ohhh I will have to try that! I'm posting a link to you today :). Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Do I put the crock pot on high or low and for how long?

Six In The Northwest said...

For this recipe, I started the crockpot on high and left it to do its thing for about three hours and then started checking the beans for doneness...blowing on them and seeing if their skins wrinkle up is one way to tell besides taking a taste test. It took about another hour, for a total of four hours, for the beans to cook. If you were to be gone all day, I would definitely put the crockpot on low which would extend the cooking time. I'm generally in a hurry and don't fire up the crockpot until it's almost too late. Hope this answers your question.

carney_sweet_heart said...

just wondering can you add any other vegtables like celery or carrots or would they just ruin it

Janet Butler said...

I soaked 1 cup of pinto beans last night and love your recipe. Probably will keep any Mexican seasonings out because my mother made them so fab without anything but salt and pepper. Have some sweet red peppers with Texas sweet onions...I am 74 and made some all yellow cornbread without flour. Will probably soak sweet onions in some sweetened onions. Thanks for your site. I will cook on top of the stove.....You made my day today!!

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