So this happened today:

This was today. Snow. It should have been yesterday. So I made some soup. 93/366 #spring #saturday #nofilter #snow #366posts #winter

A photo posted by Kenneth John Odle (@notcuriousanymore) on

And here I was, getting used to spring-like weather. Because I am feeling somewhat under the weather, I wanted something both spicy and easy to make. Spicy bean soup is just the thing.



  • 4 cans (15-16 oz. each) beans, undrained
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 Tbs. oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 small can (7-8 oz.) Mexican style tomato sauce
  • 1 small can (4 oz.) diced green chiles
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tbs chopped cilantro
  • Juice from 1/2 lime


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. When it shimmers, add the onions and sauté until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add the spices and the garlic and continue cooking, stirring constantly, for another two or three minutes. Do not allow the spices or garlic to burn.
  3. Add the beans, tomato sauce, and chiles. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer thirty minutes.
  4. Taste, adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
  5. For the garnish: combine sour cream, cilantro, and lime. Serve with a heaping spoonful on top.


  1. I like a mixture of beans, so I used a can each of pinto beans, red beans, black beans, and great northern beans. Use what you like (kidney beans also work well in this) or what you have on hand.
  2. The tomato sauce is what gives this a kick. I like El Pato brand:

    It’s made in the United States, it’s kosher, and it is spicy. To reduce the heat, you can use any kind of canned tomato sauce you like (even plain) or a cup of salsa. It’s your soup, so adjust your ingredients to your taste and the content of your larder.

  3. You can tame the heat a bit further by serving this spooned over some cooked brown rice. Alternately, you could just throw a handful in along with the beans and cook until done.
  4. This is vegetarian. To make it vegan, either use soy sour cream, or add the cilantro and lime juice directly to each serving. Don’t add them to the pot—their flavors are subtle and will cook out. Fresh—and freshly added—is best.
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