Mexican Pinto Bean Soup with Carrot Top and Cilantro Chimichurri

I was so excited to pick up my very first Full Circle basket earlier this week!  I decided to start adding a lot more organic foods into my repertoire, and the most affordable and time efficient way of making that happen (before the summer farmer's markets come) was to join Full Circle.  They are 100% organic and strive to provide as much local produce as possible.

Full Circle has its roots in CSAs, but in a way that is accessible and affordable for more people.  As of now they are available in California, Alaska, Oregon, Idaho, and Western and Eastern Washington.  They have 4 different sizes/prices of boxes depending on your family size or vegetable/fruit intake.  What I like best about it is that I can see what will be delivered a week in advance and change any of the items to another item from a list of 20 or more.  You can also add some grocery items to your cart from their big list of items, from fruits and veggies, to nuts, grains, and even flowers!

I will let you guys know my opinion of them as time goes on.  This was my box this week:

This week I got apples, carrots, snap peas, tangerines, braising cut greens mix, and cilantro.  I added on extras of kale raab, red chard, and yellow onions.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with the quantity and quality of the produce.  The only thing that left something to be desired was the kale raab (very center with yellow tab).  I haven't tried it yet, but the bunch was significantly smaller than I was expecting, but braising cut greens mix and red chard made up for it.  I'm also super excited to try out the sugar snap peas sometime this week!

Obviously, with all of this fresh organic produce, I just HAD to make something new!  I used some of the carrots, an onion, and the cilantro and carrot top greens in the recipe below.  Hope you enjoy!

Mexican Pinto Bean Soup
Time: 15 minutes prep, 40 minutes cooking
Servings: 10-12
        4 cups filtered water
        4 cups vegetable broth
        3 cups pinto beans (homemade or 2-16 oz cans rinsed and drained)
        2-16 oz cans diced tomatoes, undrained (I used petit diced tomatoes)
        1 lb. red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 4 cups)
        4 medium carrots, peeled if not organic, and chopped
        3 medium celery stalks, chopped
        1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
        1/4 cup chopped green chiles, fresh or canned (optional)
        2 Tbsp tomato paste
        1 Tbsp your favorite no-salt seasoning
        1 Tbsp chili powder
        1 tsp cumin
        1 tsp ground coriander
        1 tsp paprika
        1/2 tsp onion powder
        1/2 tsp garlic powder
        1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

(Optional creamier soup variation, as pictured)
        1/2 cup cashews
        1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Note that I used tomato paste, pinto beans, and green chiles that I had frozen.  That's why they look a little funny in my ingredients picture above. ;)
  1. Prep all ingredients and add them to a large stovetop pot (except creamier soup ingredients).
  2. On medium-high heat, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer.
  3. Allow to simmer, uncovered for about 30 minutes, or until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork and the other vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
  4. (Optional Creamier Soup Step) Once the soup is done cooking, scoop a cup or two of the soup into a high powered blender along with the cashews and nutritional yeast.  Blend on high until smooth and creamy.  Add back to the soup and stir to combine.
  5. Serve hot and topped off with Carrot Top and Cilantro Chimichurri.

Amy's Notes:
When I heated this up to serve the next day.  I added a little bit of leftover quinoa to the mixture and it went over very well with my tried and true taste testers (a.k.a Mom and Dad :)), not to mention, quinoa added a bit more protein to the soup.
If you don't have the ingredients to make the chimichurri below to add to the soup, fresh chopped cilantro will give you a similar taste.

Carrot Top and Cilantro Chimichurri
Time: 10 minutes
Servings: use as a condiment
  • large bunch carrot tops, stems removed
  • bunch cilantro, roughly chopped with the stems removed
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice (lemon or rice vinegar would work too)
Combine all ingredients into a food processor.  Process until well combined, but chunky like a pesto.  Serve as a dip, as a spread, in a burrito, or any way that you might use a condiment.  I decided to top my soup off with it.  Mixed in, it complemented the soup perfectly!

Amy's Notes:
Who knew that carrot top greens could be so flavorful?!  I think pre-ETL, I probably just would have tossed them thinking that they were inedible.  So happy I found a good use for them for when I get carrots again in my Full Circle box. :)

Here is a picture of the chimichurry mixed into the soup.... Not nearly as pretty, but boy does it taste delicious! 


  1. Thanks for this! I'm new to ETL and well, beans. I didn't like them at all until I had to start eating them and now I'm pleasantly surprised! But we tried this soup tonight for dinner and it's fantastic!