Although I have lived here in the Pacific Northwest for the last 16 years or so – my roots are definitely southern.

I was born in the beautiful state of Kentucky, and between my mom, grandmother, and all those aunts, cousins, and uncles – well let’s just say I was introduced to southern cooking at a very early age.

And you know what?  They all shared one thing in common……beans.

Kentucky Soup Beans to be exact.

vegan soup beans

Soup Beans is just the southern way of saying a big pot of Pinto Beans, slow cooked in their own broth , usually flavored with either a ham hock, or a piece of salt pork, and served with a big ole hunk of homemade cornbread.

Oh and don’t forget the ice-cold glass of buttermilk…

It didn’t matter who we were visiting, there was always a big pot of soup beans cooking on the stove.

Sure you can buy a can of pinto beans at the store, but there’s just something about cooking them the old-fashioned way, like mama used to, that makes them taste just like home.

I mean THIS…..   this is definitely NOT what mama used to make!  Yikes!

refried beans

I’ll admit, it’s a fairly long process, cleaning, sorting, soaking, rinsing, and then an all day simmer, but let me tell you it’s worth it.

And inexpensive?

Dried pinto beans are one of the least expensive, healthy, items you can buy in the store.  They’re loaded with protein, fiber, natural fats, calcium, and even iron too.

So although this recipe isn’t exactly like mom used to make – since she wasn’t vegan (and would probably make me get a switch for saying I was) – there are pretty darn close.

So get out the crock pot and let’s make some soup beans!



vegan soup beans 2
Vegan Soup Beans

A 'just like my mom used to make' recipe for real, down home, simmer all day, kentucky style soup beans - made for vegans of course. Just add cornbread 🙂

Author: Chuck Underwood
  • 2 cups Pinto Beans (dried)
  • 4 cups Vegetable Broth (low sodium)
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 large Onion (diced)
  • 3 cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 dash Liquid Smoke
  1. Pick over beans removing any twigs, deformed beans, dirt, etc.   Rinse well and then place in a large pot and add just enough water to cover.  Let soak overnight.  

  2. The next day, drain beans and rinse well, and return to pan with enough fresh water to cover.  

  3. Bring beans to a boil.  Boil for 10 minutes and then remove from heat and cover.  Let rest for 1 hour. 

  4. Drain beans one more time and rinse well.  This time place the beans in your slow cooker and add the veg broth, the 1/2 cup water, onion, and spices.  

  5. Cover and cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours or on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours. Keep watch as you definitely don’t want the liquid level to drop too much. If the liquid gets too low – add a bit more water – just enough to keep things covered.

  6. Once they’re nice and soft, blend a cup or so of the beans and broth in a blender and add back to the pot.

  7. Stir and serve.....  preferably with a big ‘ole hunk of vegan cornbread and a Loretta Lynn CD playing in the background 🙂  🙂   Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Recipe Link ------>  Country Vegan Cornbread 



Tips are always appreciated! 


A 'just like my mom used to make' recipe for real, down home, simmer all day, kentucky style soup beans - made for vegans of course. Just add cornbread :)

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