This is a smooth and creamy soup, loaded with flavor from ham and pinto beans. Thickened with sweet potatoes, yet with only a hint of sweet potato flavor in the finished soup. Slightly spicy from Mexican spices, this soup was a surprise success the other night for dinner.
I had planned something else for dinner. However, when I started to make it, I only had a handful of the necessary ingredients. I decided to play with an idea for using sweet potatoes and pintos together and it worked out great. If you don't have a ham bone waiting in your freezer, simply use a bit of cooked ham. Don't skip it though, the ham is a crucial ingredient in this soup. This soup has a smoky, salty flavor that only the ham can provide.
Creamy Pinto, Ham and Sweet Potato Soup - In The Crock-pot
Yield: 8 servings
1 ham bone or 1/2 lb cooked ham pieces
1 small onion, halved and peeled (do not chop)
3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped bite size, about 6 cups
3 cans pinto beans, drained or 5 cups cooked pinto beans
2-3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Mexican spice mix
5 cups chicken stock
Optional: drizzle of cream for topping, if desired
Place all ingredients in the Crock-pot, cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours. Remove the onion with a slotted spoon and discard. Carefully remove the ham bone and any smaller pieces of bone. Use an immersion blender (or transfer to a blender in batches) and pulse the soup several times to thicken it. You can puree until smooth, as I did, or leave bite size chunks in the soup. Leave the pureed soup uncovered and cook on HIGH for another 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Cook until it has thickened. Enjoy!
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