Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Pinto Bean Soup with Crispy Chorizo Seitan

Recipe by Georgianne Kamberos Simons

Sometimes my best recipes are conceived when I'm at the end of the week, and I'm working with what's left in the fridge.  Earlier in the week, I made a big pot of pintos with onion and dried pepper.  I was getting bored with eating them, so I thought to reincarnate them by pureeing them into a soup and adding lots of yummy ingredients!  I also had made a batch of quinoa, because I love adding it to salads or doctoring it up for breakfast.    I recently discovered how delicious it is in soup, so I thought I could add some of that, too.  And finally, the perfect way to turn the flavors up a notch was to crisp up some Upton's Naturals Chorizo Seitan and fold it into the soup.  You can absolutely make this recipe with canned beans, but making them from scratch is really delicious.


  • 1 package Upton's Naturals Chorizo Seitan
  • 3 C cooked pinto beans *(see below for cooking directions) OR approximately two cans of beans (drained and well rinsed)
  • 3 C vegetable broth or water (feel free to adjust amount based on desired thickness)
  • 2 tsp oil
  • salt
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder and/or cumin
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 C cooked quinoa
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 2-3 corn tortillas, toasted and cut into strips (I pop mine into the toaster or bake them in the oven)
  • Optional add-ins: salsa, cilantro, lime juice, hot sauce, guacamole.


  1. Put beans and vegetable broth in a blender or food processor.  Puree however smooth you would like.  At this point, you may add prepared salsa, to give the soup base more flavor. 
  2. In a large, heavy bottomed pot, heat 2 tsp oil on medium.  Add chopped onion, spices, and a pinch of salt.  (You don't have to add spices if you don't have them on hand).  Sauté for 8-10 minutes.  Depending on the temperature of your burners, the onions may brown sooner.   Keep an eye not to burn.  Add water or broth if necessary to keep onions from sticking to the bottom of the pot.  
  3. Add bean puree to the large pot.  Stir to heat.  Add quinoa. Stir and gently heat.  You may lower the heat if the soup begins to bubble. 
  4. While soup is heating,  use a sauté pan to heat the other 2 tsp of oil.  Add the package of Chorizo Seitan and break it up with a wooden spoon.  Cook it as crispy as you would like.

To serve, ladle your soup into a bowl, and top with your crispy Chorizo Seitan.  Top with tortilla strips, chopped cilantro, lime juice, and hot sauce.  I even add a scoop of cool guacamole on top, and it's quite delicious.


 *One cup dry yields approximately 3 cups.  Soak beans overnight in a glass bowl.  I usually add double the water, and make sure my bowl is big enough to accommodate this.  The beans will plump up while they are soaking.  This will ensure quicker and more even cooking.  Rinse and drain, put in a pot and cover with water by one inch.  Bring to a boil, and cover partially with a lid.  I add a piece of the sea vegetable kombu, which neutralizes some of the gassiness that can be caused by legumes while also imparting beneficial minerals.  Bay leaves work in the same way.  Lower heat to a steady simmer.  Cook for approximately one hour.  Taste one or two beans to see if they are finished, and cook longer if necessary.  Once done, drain and rinse.  You can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for approximately five days.