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Southern Style Pinto Beans

1 lb dried pinto bean, sorted and rinsed
1 (32 ounce) container chicken broth or 4 cups water
1 smoked ham hock or 14 lb cooked ham, shredded
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
12 teaspoon garlic powder
12 teaspoon thyme
12 teaspoon dried oregano
14 teaspoon ground cumin
14 teaspoon chili powder
bay leaf


Cover beans with water and soak overnight, or 6-8 hours. In the morning, drain and rinse the beans, discard soaking water, and put beans in slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients, including chicken broth. Cover. Cook on low 10 hours, or on High 5 hours. Transfer 2 cups of the bean soup to a food processor or blender and puree. Return puree to the slow-cooker. Heat on High an additional 30 minutes. (This is an easy way to thicken the soup. ). Serve with cornbread and fried potatoes. TO PRE-PREP: Combine 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, and 1 bay leaf, and store in a plastic storage bag until ready to cook. Having these dry ingredients packaged ahead of time will make seasoning the beans as easy as pouring the seasonings into the slow-cooker along with the beans and chicken broth. TO STORE: Bean soups keep well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to three months. The flavors are even better after standing. When reheating, thin with a little water if necessary.

Source: www.food.com