I’ve been so excited lately because the weather has slowly been transitioning into fall. Not only is it my favorite season for all of the beautiful colors outside, and fun outdoor activities, but also for the food! This white & pinto bean tomatillo soup is my first contribution for all the warm, healthy, hearty “fall recipes” you’ll start to see in the next few weeks!
This soup was sooo good, and reminded me of some of the best Mexican soups I’ve had in restaurants. The tomatillos give it a very citrusy, and almost salsa-like taste. The beans also make it very filling and substantial; it definitely holds its own for being the main course of a meal.
I made all of this in my Instant Pot, though it can easily be made on the stove top too. Anyways, are you ready for this Mexican white & pinto bean tomatillo soup recipe?! 🙂
Pinto & Great Northern White Beans
I decided to use two different kinds of beans to make things more colorful, and to keep the flavors interesting. I think pinto beans are classically used throughout Mexican cooking, but I also really enjoy the “smoothness” and “creaminess” of white beans. The final step of this recipe calls for blending part of the soup mixture, and I knew the white beans would blend really well.
So, if you’re going to make this in the Instant Pot or a pressure cooker, the first step is to take your dry beans and soak them for a few hours first. If you plan to make this soup on the stove top, I recommend using canned beans instead of dry.
Soaking your dry beans for a few hours has a few benefits. First, it allows them to soften so you can cut down on the cooking time in the pressure cooker. But more importantly, it helps increase digestibility and reduce contaminants. The outer coatings of beans often have a layer of natural sugars to them. We can’t digest these sugars easily though, which is where the stereotype of “beans gives people gas” comes from. By soaking the beans, it allows these sugars to be rinsed away, and the beans can be digested much easier, with less chance of causing digestion irritation.
If I plan to make something for dinner with beans, usually I’ll just place them in a big container on my counter in the morning, cover them completely with water, and let them sit there all day. Easy!
The Secret Ingredient: Tomatillos
Among a few other vegetables I used in this soup, the real star is the tomatillos! They look kind of like tomatoes, but they’re bright green, and have a paper-like shell on the outsides.
Tomatillos are the main ingredient of many verde salsa recipes, so I think that’s why this soup kinda tastes like salsa to me. But in the best way! They’re high in dietary fiber, low calorie, high in Vitamin C, K, A, magnesium, beta carotene and more.
Tomatillos are a perfect complimentary food to go along with the beans in this recipe, and its mostly for their high vitamin C content. Now, allow me to explain! Beans are typically high in iron, and iron when eaten with a food high in vitamin C (example: tomatillos) naturally boosts our bodies absorption of the iron. Pretty neat, right? It’s no wonder Mexican cuisine so often pairs beans and salsa together – it’s great for you!
Instant Pot Soup In 35 Minutes
After chopping your veggies, add them to the Instant Pot to saute for a few minutes with spices.
I have to admit, I was feeling very lazy today, so I chopped my veggies in my Vitamix blender instead of using a knife and cutting board! It’s pretty easy, just roughly chop the veggies you want to use, then add them to your blender and pulse for a few seconds. It gets everything nice and diced very quickly.
After sauteing your veggies for a few minutes, add in the rinsed beans (discard soaking water), final spices, and get ready to pressure cook! I cooked everything for 35 minutes in my instant pot, and that ended up being the perfect amount of time.
It won’t look much different when it’s done pressure cooking, but your kitchen WILL smell amazing at this point! The final step at this point, is to transfer about 1/3 of the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. Then, transfer that blended portion back to the main soup mix and stir it all in. This just adds some extra thickness and texture to the final soup that I thought was a nice touch.
White & Pinto Bean Tomatillo Soup
If you’re wondering what to make for Mexican night this week, I highly recommend you give this white & pinto bean tomatillo soup a try! It’s definitely a new favorite for me, and something I look forward to making again. Next time, I may up my Mexican night game even more and make some grilled veggie quesadillas to go with them on the side!
I served my white & pinto bean tomatillo soup with fresh jalapeño slices on top and some fresh chopped cilantro. You could also squeeze some fresh lime juice over them, or add fresh avocado slices. Knowing my boyfriend, he’s probably want to scoop this out of his bowl with tortilla chips! However you want to eat it, I hope you enjoy it. I think it kicks off “fall recipe” season nicely, but if you’re looking for even more fall inspiration don’t forget to check out my spicy bean chili or Thai curry butternut squash soup recipes too!
If you do try this recipe, I’d love to know what you thought! Feel free to leave a comment below!
- 4 cups chopped tomatillos
- 1 large onion
- 2 poblano peppers chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 large jalapeño diced
- 3 tsp cumin
- 1½ cups dry great northern white beans (or 2 cans)
- 1½ cups dry pinto beans (or 2 cans)
- 3 cups water
- 3 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp salt
- Dash of pepper
- Chopped cilantro, jalapeño, or avocado for garnish
- If using dry beans, soak both of them in water for 4 hours before using
- Add your onion, jalepeno, tomatillos, pableno pepper, and red pepper to a blender in batches and pulse for a few seconds to dice your veggies. You can also dice them by hand
- Add diced veggies and cumin to the Instant Pot and use the saute mode on your pressure cooker to saute for 4 minutes. If using stove top, add them to a large wide-rimmed pan to saute
- Drain your beans, and add them to the pressure cooker along with 3 cups of water, oregano, salt, and pepper. If using stove top, add this all to your pan. Stir everything together
- Pressure cook for 35 minutes. Stove top: Bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes
- After cooking, release pressure and transfer ⅓ of the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer the blended mix back to the main pot and mix everything together again
- Adjust taste with additional seasoning if necessary
- Serve with fresh chopped cilantro and jalapenos on top!