I have to admit, I really don’t know how I came up with this concoction.  It started with the idea of making refried beans without the frying and blossomed into a soup.  With a little preparation and a slow cooker, you’ll have this meal made in a short amount of time. Trust me, it’s not as daunting as it looks!

As a bonus, I kept one cup of the refried beans separate from the soup and was able to use it as a spread in a sandwich with mixed vegetables. My daughter enjoys burritos (a refried bean, rice and vegetable variety), which is another great use for this part of the recipe.

To expedite the soup process, I slow cooked (sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?) the refried bean ingredients and soaked the black beans the day before putting the soup together.

If you are short on time, convert this soup into a stew by cooking for less amount of time. This is a spicy dish similar to the taste of chili. Yields 10-12 servings.

Refried Bean Ingredients:
1 16 oz bag dry pinto beans
1 large onion, diced
1 vegetable bouillon (I use Knorr extra-large vegetarian)
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp sea salt (this is a bit too much, I will adjust to 2 tsp next time)
1 1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/8 tsp cumin
9-10 cups of water, (depending on how much your slow cooker holds)

No need to pre-soak beans. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on high for approximately 8 hours.  When beans are soft, drain and reserve liquid for soup.  Mash beans with potato masher.

Refried Bean Soup Ingredients :
1/2 of a 16 oz bag of black beans, pre-soaked
1 large onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
28 oz can diced tomatoes, juice drained and used to sweat onions
refried beans
juice of the refried beans (mine yielded 5 cups)
juice of the cooked black beans (mine yielded 3 cups)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp extra hot chili powder

Cover black beans with water and cook on medium heat for 1-2 hours until soft. In a large pot sweat onions with the juice from the diced tomatoes until tender, 2-5 minutes on medium heat.  Add the remaining ingredients. Cook on medium-low for 30 minutes for a stew like consistency. If you wish to consume as a soup, cook, with a little less heat, for an additional 3-4 hours.

While I thought corn would make a wonderful addition to this recipe, my husband’s thoughts were with sour cream.  Can you think of any other ingredients that could enhance this dish?  Leave a comment…

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