Crockpot Pinto Bean Soup
Easy, Flavorful, and Gluten-Free

Bowl of Crockpot Pinto Bean Soup
#SoupSoFineCrockpot Pinto Bean Soup

This crockpot pinto bean soup is brimming with outstanding flavor. And it makes a great meal for any night of the week. You just add the ingredients and your crockpot/slow cooker does the work, and does it beautifully. These beans slow cook their way to moist, tender, and delicious every time!

Since you're using your crockpot/slow cooker for this soup, there's no need to schedule any extra time for pre-soaking the beans either. You merely sort through and discard any that are discolored. Occasionally small pebbles and other bits of debris slip through the automated sorting process, so be on the lookout for those as well. 

With just 10 minutes of simple prep, you can get on with the rest of your day and come home to the welcoming aroma of dinner. 

Why Starting with Dried Beans Is Best

There are several benefits of using dried beans in soups, especially when you’re cooking them in a crockpot/slow cooker. Dried beans:

  • Absorb more flavor from the broth which makes your soups taste outstanding
  • Need no pre-soaking when cooked this way
  • Cost less than canned beans
  • Are less bulky and much easier to transport home from the store
  • Take up less storage space in your cabinet/pantry
  • Can be sorted and rinsed in about the same time as aluminum cans can be opened and the beans rinsed
  • Result in no cans to recycle or dispose of

If you’ve never used a meaty ham shank in your soups, you're really missing out. The reason we always call for a meaty, smoked ham shank is that it produces much more pleasing results than a mere ham bone with a little gristle. The difference it makes in your soup may amaze you.

Bowl of Crockpot Pinto Bean Soup #SoupSoFineCrockpot Pinto Bean Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes      Cook Time: 8-10 hours on LOW     Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes      Serves: 6-8

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Ingredients for Crockpot Pinto Bean Soup

1 smoked, meaty ham shank - 1.5 to 2 pounds

16 ounce bag dried pinto beans, sorted and rinsed - no soaking needed

1 white onion, peeled and chopped

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano

8 cups chicken stock

15 ounce can diced tomatoes

sour cream, optional garnish

sliced green onions, optional garnish

Directions for Crockpot Pinto Bean Soup

1. Add shank: Using a 6-quart crockpot/slow cooker, add the meaty ham shank with the meaty side facing down. This positioning will help ensure the meat stays submerged in the soup and becomes tender.

2. Prep beans: Carefully look through the beans a few at a time. Discard any discolored beans, pebbles, or other debris. Placing the beans in a colander or mesh strainer, rinse under running water to remove any dust or other foreign particles. Even though the beans are machine processed after being harvested, unwanted bits can occasionally make it into the package.

3. Add: Add the rinsed beans, chopped onion, minced garlic, black pepper, dried oregano, and chicken stock.

4. Cook: With the lid on, cook for 8-10 hours on LOW (or 5-6 hours on HIGH). 

5. Add tomatoes: When the ham separates easily from the bone and the beans are tender, add the can of diced tomatoes. We are adding the tomatoes toward the end of cooking because their acidity can prevent the beans from becoming tender.

6. Cook 30 minutes: Cook the soup for 30 minutes on LOW. 

7. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

8. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with sour cream and sliced scallions - optional

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