BROOMFIELD, Colo. — In one of our best-known fairy tales, the hero of the story couldn’t get started without the help of three little items. Beans. Jack’s beans led him on a giant adventure, and while you can’t quite climb Colorado’s beans, they are no less magical. According to the Colorado Dry Beans Committee, beans are beneficial for human nutrition and environmental health. Beans are rich in fiber and protein and when planted they replace nitrogen in the soil, making them superhero partners for farmers who use cover crops or rotational crops to maintain soil health.
You can feel good planting AND eating them, which we think is a great way to keep Colorado thriving.
Beans are an affordable, versatile addition to any meal, and in their dry form can last for years as a shelf stable staple. Colorado is one of the top bean growing states and offers a wide bean selection, including the main three: pinto (featured this month), mayocoba (yellow), and light red kidney beans. Other beans grown in Colorado include black, great northern, small red, garbanzo (chickpeas), and black-eyed beans (usually called black-eyed peas).
With so many varieties to choose from, expand your bean repertoire with this delicious pinto bean soup that you can whip up in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, not spending too much time in the kitchen. Not sure where to get Colorado beans? Look for the Colorado Proud label at your local grocery store or visit online retailers like the Women’s Bean Project.
Each month the Colorado Department of Agriculture features a different ag commodity to highlight the variety and quality of products grown and raised in the state. For January, Chef Jason Morse of 5280 Culinary brings us Colorado Proud pinto bean and sausage soup.
Chef Jason says, “For this soup recipe we break out our pressure cooker to help speed up the process and get us ready for dinner in a hurry. These Colorado pinto beans are the perfect ingredient in this soup and add a great flavor.”
Colorado Proud Pinto Bean and Sausage Soup
Chef Jason K. Morse, C.E.C., 5280 Culinary, LLC and Ace Hardware Grill Expert
Yield: Serves 6 people
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes
Pressure Cook Time: 40-50 Minutes (Approx) depending on desired doneness
Pressure Release Time: 12-15 Minutes
2 tbsp oil, Canola/Olive Blend
1 ½ cup fresh yellow onion, diced medium
1 ½ cup fresh carrots, cut into medium chunks
1 ½ cup fresh celery with leaves, diced medium
2 lbs cooked beef sausage cut into thick “coins”
2 tbsp fresh garlic paste
1 ½ cup diced, canned fire roasted tomatoes (15 oz)
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
6-8 cups chicken stock
1 lb dried Colorado pinto beans
Kosher salt to taste, adjust as desired after cooking soup
Fresh ground black pepper to taste, adjust as desired after cooking soup
1 Cup fresh Italian parsley for garnish
Wash all tools prior to use
Clean and sanitize all cutting boards and prep surfaces prior to use
Read all manufacturer’s instructions before using grills, starters and any cooking tools
Prep all ingredients above as shown and have set aside in prep containers.
Plug in Instant Pot or pressure cooker and turn to SAUTE setting, let heat for 10 minutes.
Add oil, onions, carrots and celery and saute until onions start to brown.
Add sausage coins and cook until they start to brown.
Add garlic, diced tomatoes, thyme and rosemary and mix with veggies, cook for 3 minutes.
Add chicken stock and beans and mix well to combine.
Place lid on Instant Pot or pressure cooker, turn pressure release valve to closed.
Cancel saute function and press Pressure Cook, High Pressure setting.
Set timer for 40 minutes and allow Instant Pot or pressure cooker to build pressure and start the timer.
After 40 minutes, turn valve to release pressure or vent (be cautious during this process and vent slowly, cover vent with a towel during the start of venting to help keep steam and water under control).
Allow Instant Pot or Pressure cooker to fully vent and release pressure.
Carefully and slowly open the lid of the Instant Pot or pressure cooker.
Remove sprig of thyme and rosemary.
Check beans for doneness and if not to desired doneness, repeat the pressure cooking process in 5 minute increments until beans meet your desired doneness. Each time complete the proper pressure release process.
Once beans are cooked to desired doneness, check flavor and adjust with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the chopped parsley and mix to combine.
Serve with bread or toasted breadsticks.
If you are of legal drinking age and would like to add a wine with your meal, try The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey’s 2019 Syrah. For non-alcoholic alternatives, check out Sparkling CBD Beverages’ CBD infused beverages like sparkling citrus water, sparkling cherry soda, and more.
Visit www.coloradoproud.org for a complete list of recipes.
— Colorado Department of Agriculture