In our book, the best recipes are the simplest ones.

And this time of year nothing is simpler than soup. No cute ingredients, no complex instructions. Just put it all together and enjoy a nice warm bowl on a fall or winter night. Soup is even a great quick-fix in the spring and summer.

But, simple doesn’t have to be boring. Just take this seemingly classic pinto bean soup for example. It may seem simple, but we give it a twist.

It all starts off, of course, with a big jar of Randall Beans pinto beans, the star and main ingredient as you may have guessed. Chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you want to go vegetarian), celery, onion and garlic are all common for a soup like this. But, then we hit it with a little something different. First, a little bit of hot pepper sauce for some spice. Then we give it a little bit of brown sugar for sweetness.

The sweet and spicy elements take a backseat role in this recipe, but still are strong enough to give it a new dimension of flavor. Just a dash of each is enough to balance each other out and spice up (literally) a classic concoction.

This soup can be an elegant starter for a meal or lunch in a bowl. Paired with a grilled cheese sandwich or a grilled chicken breast, this recipe adds a bit of depth to any meal. Oh, and it makes great leftovers when heated up the next day.


Classic Pinto Bean Soup

Classic Pinto Bean Soup


  • 1 48-oz jar Randall Beans Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3 cups tomato juice
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. hot pepper sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • Pinch cloves
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley


  1. In a large non-reactive soup pot, stir together the beans, stock, tomato juice, onion, celery, garlic, hot sauce, bay leaves, thyme, brown sugar and cloves. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.
  2. Ladle half of the soup into the blender, purée and return to the pot. Add the white wine. Cook 15 minutes more.
  3. Taste and correct the seasonings. Add the parsley before serving.
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Grilling out tonight? Here’s the perfect side dish for your grilled meat featuring Randall Pinto Beans.