We love charro bean soup so much, we will eat it for days, until it is gone. Traditional charro beans are made with bacon, which adds a deep smokey flavor, but  smoked ham can duplicate that flavor. If you don’t have smoked ham, or bacon you can use liquid smoke to get that smoke flavor. There is no right or wrong…use what you have on hand.

This hearty soup will stick to your ribs.   Corn bread makes a great side.

Charro Bean Soup

  • 1 1/2 pound Pinto Beans, uncooked
  • 3/4 pound Bacon pieces, chopped into 1 inch squares or one cup of smoked ham and a ham bone
  • 5 cloves of minced garlic
  • 4 tablespoon Cilantro
  • 1 cup  onions, chopped
  • 1 Serrano pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 gallon cold water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Salt
  • 2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • liquid smoke- if using ham instead of bacon

Soak beans in cold water overnight. Drain and rinse. Put beans in crock pot.  Add 1/2 gallon of heated water and turn crock pot on. Fry bacon to crispy stage. If using a ham bone, you can add 4 dashes of liquid smoke to get a really smokey flavor.  Add garlic, cilantro, chopped onions and canned tomatoes. Add pepper, cumin, and chili powder. Cook on high for 6 hours.  Add salt and stir. When serving, top with soft white Mexican cheese and jalapenos.