This easy Beans and Rice Soup is on repeat for me lately!
It's such a simple recipe, but when you build it from scratch it is tremendously satisfying.
It's also quite versatile so feel free to plop some other veggies in there if you want 🙂
How To Make Mexican Beans and Rice Soup
The key is to roast the tomatoes first. That blast of heat will lower their acidity and sweeten them up a bit -- when you combine their flavor with some browned onion and garlic then you've got a delicious foundation to build on.
I usually just put the tomatoes in the oven for a half hour or so, but you're welcome to pan roast them if you don't want to turn on the oven. Other ways to roast tomatoes.
Here's how this batch looked after 30 minutes in the oven (400F):
As the tomatoes roast you can get the onion and garlic cooking.
Roughly chop 1/2 onion and cook it over medium heat in your soup pot. We'll also add 2 garlic cloves. All of this will be blended eventually so I usually just leave the garlic cloves whole.
When the onion is starting to brown you can add this onion-garlic mixture to a blender along with the roasted tomatoes.
I also typically add a single chipotle in adobo. This will give your soup some kick, so if you want a milder version you can consider starting with only 1/2 chipotle, or omitting it altogether. Also note that you can use a jalapeno in place of the chipotle.
Combine this mixture well and then add it back to the soup pot, cooking over medium heat for a couple minutes.
Then we'll add the remaining ingredients:
3 cups stock
1 can beans (drained and rinsed)
1/3 cup uncooked white rice
2 teaspoons Mexican oregano What is Mexican oregano?
pinch of cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly cracked black pepper
Bring this mixture up to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes or until the rice is done.
Try to keep an eye on it starting around the 15 minute mark because the rice will continue to absorb the stock if left unattended.
Once cooked you can remove it from the heat and do some taste testing!
I added another generous pinch of salt, so that is a single teaspoon total for this batch.
But keep in mind that I used this homemade chicken stock that has zero sodium in it -- if you're using a store-bought stock you won't need to add as much salt as I did.
I also added another pinch of Mexican oregano to this batch. I think Mexican oregano works really well in this soup, so if you're new to it maybe it's time to get some in the kitchen! More info on Mexican oregano.
This soup is loaded with flavor right out of the pot, so you really don't need much else!
Feel free to just plop it in a bowl and chow down. A squeeze of lime does brighten it up though, so keep that in mind for garnish.
I've also topped with Queso Fresco and cilantro in the past, but you can consider those optional.
It's a warm, inviting soup that is my go-to for lunch lately. You can easily turn it into dinner by serving it with an impromptu cheese quesadilla.
One last note...
I make this soup in smaller batches because it doesn't store well. The rice continues to absorb liquid and the next day it will be a little mushy.
The recipe box below will make enough for 3 servings. You're welcome to double or triple it for bigger groups, but if you want to make a big batch for storage then consider leaving out the rice until it's chowtime. Then simply reheat, add rice, and cook until the rice is done.
Okay I hope you get some use out of this Easy Mexican Beans and Rice Soup. It's got such a satisfying flavor and it's a sure-fire way to brighten up the day.
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Easy Mexican Beans and Rice Soup
- 3 plum tomatoes
- 1/2 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup uncooked white rice
- 1 can beans (drained and rinsed)
- 3 cups stock
- 1 chipotle in adobo (or jalapeno)
- 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
- pinch of cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
- freshly cracked black pepper
- squeeze of lime
- Queso Fresco
- freshly chopped cilantro
- Start by rinsing the tomatoes, I usually de-stem them as well. Roast the tomatoes in the oven (400F) for a half hour or so.
- As the tomatoes roast, roughly chop 1/2 onion and peel 2 garlic cloves. Cook the onion and garlic in a glug of oil over medium heat in your soup pot. I usually leave the garlic cloves whole as all of this will be blended eventually.
- When the onion is starting to brown add the onion-garlic mixture to a blender along with the roasted tomatoes and a single chipotle in adobo (or 1/2 chipotle for a milder version). Combine well and add this mixture back to the soup pot, cooking over medium heat for a couple minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients: 3 cups stock, 1/3 cup uncooked white rice, 1 can beans (drained and rinsed), 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano, pinch of cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, freshly cracked black pepper. Combine well and bring this mixture up to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer (low on my stove), cover, and let cook for 15 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked. Note: try to keep a close eye on it starting around the 15 minute mark because the rice will continue to absorb the stock if left unattended.
- Take a final taste for seasoning. I added pinches of salt and Mexican oregano at this point. Note: I used approx. 1 teaspoon of salt for this entire batch, but if using store-bought stock you may not need to use as much as I did.
- Serve immediately and top with your choice of garnish. A squeeze of lime is really all you need, but I also topped with some Queso Fresco and freshly chopped cilantro.
- This soup does not store well! The rice will continue to absorb liquid if stored overnight, so I tend to make it in smaller batches and eat all of it 🙂 If you want to make a bigger batch for storage consider leaving out the rice until you're ready to serve, then simply reheat, add the rice, and cook for 15 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked.
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I absolutely love this recipe. I’m a big fan of soup and especially quick and easy recipes. This one brings so much good flavor with so little effort!
Ahh good news Lisa! Yes, that 'so little effort' is the key for me lately 🙂
This is a great staple, for health and for the budget! I have to disagree with the admonishment to not make enough for leftovers... I love congees and dals and I think this dish is far superior when the beans and rice have simmered together for two hours, and leftovers are better still! 😃
Thanks for a stellar blog, with quality techniques that are weeknight-friendly, and for the grocery list under $30... my 18&20 year old sons rely on it for budgeting and culinary skill-building!
Ahh good news, thanks much for your note Andrea! So glad to hear that grocery list is bringing some good eats to your fam. Cheers.
This soup is delicious! Thanks for sharing your recipe.
Substituting brown rice for white rice minimizes the sogging rice problem.
Quite good, pretty much followed your recipe. Did tone down the chipotles. So good I brought half (made 6 servings) to our single mom vegetarian daughter!
When it thickeneds just add more water or other suitable liquid.
Thanks Richard, glad to hear this one is a keeper for you! Cheers.