Tarascan Soup

Tarascan Soup

Pinto Bean and Tomato Soup
6 to 8 Servings
Pati Jinich
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: beans, pati's mexican table, pinto beans, Recipe, soup, Vegetarian
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Tarascan Soup, from Pati’s Mexican Table Season 7, Episode 12 "Photographic Food Memories"


For soup:

  • 1 pound ripe plum or roma tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 (about 1 ounce) ancho chile, stem and seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt, divided, or more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons safflower or corn oil
  • 1 pound cooked pinto beans plus 2 cups of their cooking liquid, or 2 14-ounce cans cooked pinto beans plus 2 cups water
  • 3 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water

For garnishes:

  • 1/2 cup Mexican style cream
  • 1 cup crumbled Cotija cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups crumbled tortilla chips or tortilla strips
  • 1 ancho chile, stemmed, seeded, diced, deep fried for a few seconds
  • 1 avocado, peeled, seeded, meat scooped out and diced, optional

To Prepare

  • Place the tomatoes, garlic, and ancho chile in a saucepan. Cover with water, and simmer over medium-high heat for 10 to 12 minutes, until the tomatoes are completely cooked through and ancho chile is rehydrated.
  • Transfer the tomatoes, garlic, and ancho chile to a blender or food processor, along with 1 cup of the cooking liquid, the white onion, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Puree until smooth.
  • Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the pureed tomato mixture and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it darkens in color and thickens in consistency.
  • Meanwhile, rinse your blender or food processor, then add the pinto beans and 2 cups of their cooking liquid (or water, if using canned beans) and puree until smooth.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and stir the bean puree, broth and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt into the thickened tomato mixture. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the soup has seasoned and has a creamy consistency. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Turn off the heat, as it thickens quickly.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle with a tablespoon of the cream and top with some cheese, a handful of crumbled tortilla chips or tortilla strips, a few fried ancho chile crisps and some diced avocado. You can also place the garnishes in bowls on the table to let your guests decide how much of each garnish they want to add to their bowls.
  • The soup itself may be cooled and stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Because this soup thickens a bit as it cools, you may need to add some chicken broth or water to thin it out when you reheat it.

91 comments on “Tarascan Soup

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  1. Dear Pati,
    I have always had trouble finding dried ancho chilies in northern Colorado. BUT, I do have ancho chili powder. How much of the powder would I use?
    Love, love, love your show!!
    Many thanks ~

    1. Hey Lynn, thanks for reaching out. Before using the powder, I would try to substitute Anchos with maybe Guajillos or Mulatos, but if you cannot find them either, then use just 1 tsp of the powder to flavor the broth. Good luck!

  2. I watched this episode today on the TV and thought it would be perfect for supper tonight. I went out in my garden and picked a basket of Roma tomatoes and yellow pear tomatoes. A few peppers and thawed out some handmade chicken stock. Wow! So delicious…I sprinkled some crumbled up queso fresco that I had made with milk from my dairy goats last week. My husband loved it, I loved it and we have lots left over! Thank you!

    1. Wow Erin, how awesome that you can just go out to the garden and pick what you need. Organic ingredients always make up for great flavors, enjoy!

  3. I made this for the family, I’m a grandma that lives with my kids and grandkids. I made extra large amount with only one ancho chili as the grandkids can’t take much heat. I think next time I can add a bit more as even the six year old ate three bowls. There were some unexpected visitors that loved it also! It’s quick easy and delicious!

    1. Thanks for the feedback Paulette! I just love when the little ones enjoy my recipes so much. Hugs to all 😉

  4. Hi Pati,
    I love watching your show. I prepared this recipe for my husband and he loved it! The recipe was also easy to follow. Thank you.

  5. I actually think two cans of beans are not enough.

    I lb of dried beans = 6 ot 7 cups. 2 cans of beans = about 4.5 cups. I added a third can of beans.

  6. Hello Pati, I love your show and you! I could watch you all day. Just finished making this lovely soup. My question is the amount of pinto beans you used. The recipe calls for 1 pound of cooked beans. Is this the weight before or after cooking them? I made the recipe with a pound of dry beans which ends up to be way more than the equivalent of two 14 oz. cans of pinto beans. I am guessing I put too many beans in the soup. Fortunately, it tastes really good, but wondering if it would be better with a lesser amount of beans. Thanks Pati

    1. Yes Susan, 1 lb refers to cooked beans 🙂 Maybe your version was a bit thicker than mine, but if you liked it that way, do not change it!

  7. Hi Pati, love your show. I made this soup, day after Thanksgiving, with some changes as my daughter in law has celiac disease. I found that the dried ancho chiles were packaged in facilities that may have wheat….so I substituted fresh passilla peppers and broiled all veggies before puree, used homemade turkey bone stock for liquid….found gluten free packaged pinto beans too….turned out really great no left overs. Thank you for your passion and sharing these recipes.

    1. I’m so glad you were able to adapt the recipe to meet your daughter-in-law’s needs. I hope you guys enjoy many more recipes.

  8. Gracias Pati for inspiring me and my husband to make this delicious soup! We made it the day after watching you on PBS and it’s so yummy! We cant wait to make it for our mother who we know will love it!!! Your a joy to watch and your dishes are so beautiful! Keep shining your light and inspiring us with your passion for cooking.

  9. Pati, where in the grocery store is the Mexican crema? It looked like it came in a jar. Is it refrigerated? I’ve never used it before but see it called for in many recipes.

  10. I just watched Pati make this on her show. Since the pinto is my favorite bean, I made it today following her recipe to the tee. So delish! I did, however, change up the garnishes and used grated Colby cheese, Fritos, and a diced serrano, which I had on hand. It’s my new go-to bean soup.

  11. Just saw this soup video on PBS the other night! Looking fwd to making my first soup ever. How important is de-skinning the tomatoes? That’s the one thing I dont see myself doing, or minding, if it just means a little more texture to the end product. Thanks!

  12. Great recipe! I didn’t have an ancho chile and ended up using a smaller, more bitter one. To sweeten things up I added raisins to the blender (although had I thought of this ahead of time I would have simmered the raisins with the tomatoes, garlic and chile). Thanks Pati, love your show!

  13. Love rhis soup especially if freshed cook beans and homemade chicken stock. It’s easy, wholesome and nutritious, my family loves this soup!!!!

  14. This is a straightforward soup and is pretty simple to make. I roasted fresh tomatoes and pressed them through a sieve to form a sauce. I then followed the directions as written. The soup is flavorful and has a creamy consistency, I will make it again. Thanks Patti!

  15. Hey Pati, I love your show so much . I just made this soup and I like a little more spice . What would you recommend but also keeping it authentic.. Thank Haley

  16. Muy Rico! The only thing I did different was to use an equal amount of Sweet 100 tomatoes from our garden (we are overflowing!) and I used Guajillo chile, as that is what I had on hand. This is so good! Thank you Pati! We love your show and watch every Saturday.

  17. If I am using canned beans, do I need to drain them, first? Thank you Patti! I love your recipes and seeing you make them on TV! It inspires me to cook, and my husband is so happy!

    1. Either way will work, Cheryl. Just make sure to add additional water (about 2 cups) when using canned beans. Have fun cooking!

  18. Thanks for the recipe. I am excited to have it. I have been looking for it since I visited Tarasca in 1998. What a memorable cultural and culinary experience.

    1. Oh I’m so glad you found the recipe…and I hope it brings back many more good memories of your travels, Erin.

  19. This is the second time I made this soup. My husband and I love it. I did add a second ancho chili and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt. It was more tasty for us. Thanks so much for the recipe.

  20. I am a gringo that likes to cook for my wife’s mexican vegetarian relatives, I omited the chicken broth for veggie. I also made the beans from scrath in my instsa pot. It was a big hit, and everyone wanted the recipe. Thanks!

  21. Pati,
    I cooked your “Tarascan Soup” today and I love it. I even found the Mexican Style Cream and the Queso Duro Blanco which added to the great flavor.

  22. I love soup and after -50 below wind chill in Chicago this week, this is going to hit the spot…thank you Patti..
    love the show

  23. Look forward to making this for my 94 year old Nana who is from Guadalajara and still loves her chile’s and beans! My husband and I love watching your show and we recently got my Nana hooked. She now records it and says watching your show reminds her of home ☺️ Thanks Pati!

  24. I made this again but I used home made beans and homemade chicken stock!! Wow, the flavor was out of this world! It was better than the first time! Omg! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe, we love all of your recipes! They are all keepers! Thank you for your dedication to educate us about this wonderful cuisine!

  25. Pati. It was so much fun cooking this soup, I have to confess I added additinal heat and shredded chicken to it 😊. Thank you so much it was so delisious it warmed my tummy and heart. ♥️♥️♥️♥️

  26. Omg! Wonderful, flavorful, easy, move over tomato soup! Highly recommend for everyone to try. Next time I make homemade beans I will set aside some in the freezer label for this soup! It was a hit for lunch today’s menu. Thanks Pati.

  27. This soup is delish. Roma tomato’s not available, I used the one I
    canned this summer. This is going to be my favorite soup😍

  28. HI Pati! I’m making the soup for the 1st time. But I was thinking about using Peruano beans. Would this be good too? Thanks!

  29. Hi, Pati, I am out of pinto beans, but I have black beans, good mother stallers, and ojo de cabras. May I substitute one of them for the pintos? Thank you!

  30. I made it a few days ago and in addition to the dried Ancho chili I added what we used to call an Ortega Chile or Anaheim Chile, brunt the skill off, seeded & deveined it and pureed it with the rest of the elements… It came out pretty, but not too. spicy… A go to dinner on a cold, cold night…

  31. Made it for lunch today and it is so easy with canned pinto beans. I used one ancho and it could have used two. Next time I will remove the tomato skins before putting them in the blender.