Smoked Ham, Pinto Beans, and Roasted Tomato Soup or Tacos

Apr 14, 2012 19 Comments

A few weeks ago I was meandering around the inter-wide web looking for a soupish leftover ham recipe that used a slow cooker and remembered Jessica from Kitchen Belleicious had posted a recipe for Roasted Tomato Seven Bean Soup.  The concept of her recipe inspired me to develop the following that is absolutely ideal for any leftover ham including the Bourbon Brown Sugar Pineapple Glazed Ham I posted on Wednesday.

This recipe incorporates roasted/smoked tomatoes and red onions, providing the foundation for the soup’s flavors.  Depth comes from the use of leftover ham, including bones and marrow, while vegetable broth, pinto beans, and celery bulk up the soup taking in all the previous flavors as well as the added herbaceous/heat inspiring spices.  The result is a clean, healthy soup with a balance of smoke, heat, veggies, and meatiness.

Thoroughly enjoyable as it is, the soup can also be reduced down to be used as a base filling for tacos.  Can you say double/extended use of leftovers?

Either way you enjoy this recipe you won’t have any complaints from anyone’s palate and stomach.


The Necessities:

  • Leftover smoked ham, including bones (as much or as little as your like)
  • 10 roma tomatoes
  • 2 medium red onions (peeled & halved)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb dry pinto beans (non-canned)
  • Vegetable broth
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Hot peppers (cayenne was used)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Small tortillas (if making tacos)
  • Woodchips
Garnish and Toppings (optional)
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocados
  • Sour Cream
  • Shredded cheese
  • Freshly chopped cilantro


  • Soak the pinot beans in a large bowl of cold water overnight.
  • Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to high.  Presoak your wood chips (if necessary).

  • Generously dress the tomatoes and red onions with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

  • Toss the veggies on the grill.  Add your woodchips to the coals, smokerbox, etc.  Close the lid and allow the heat and smoke to do their thing.
  • Continue to add wood chips as necessary to provide a continuous flow of smoke and rotate the veggies so that all sides receive a healthy char.   Remove from grill and set aside on a platter to collect any juices from the tomatoes.

  • Roughly chop up the tomatoes, onions, celery, and garlic.

  • Toss the celery and garlic in a large frying pan over medium heat. Drizzle with olive oil or spray with non-stick spray. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring continuously.

  • Add the red onions to the frying pan and allow the onions’ roasted flavors to meld together with the celery/garlic for about 10 minutes then remove from heat.

  • Drain the water from the pinto beans.

  • Toss the beans, veggies, and ham (bones in all) into a slow cooker…including any juice remaining on the platter from the tomatoes.

  • Add enough veggie broth to nearly top off the mixture.

  • Finely dice enough hot peppers to satisfy your heat desires…I use 3 medium sized cayenne peppers

  • Add the hot peppers and bay leaf.

  • Set the slow cooker on low and cook for around 8 hours and enjoy the savory smells waffling through your house.

  • When ready, take out the bay leaf and any ham bones used.  Dish up in a bowl, top with diced tomatoes, sour cream, avocados, and freshly chopped cilantro.

Soup not your thing or you have leftovers? How about tacos…

  • Simply transfer the soup to a large frying pan and cook the soup down over medium heat until the mixture thickness.

  • Prepare some of your favorite toppings for tacos.

  • Scoop out a healthy amount of the reduced/thickened soup into warmed tortillas.

  • Dress each taco with the toppings of the your choice (in this case shredded cheese, cabbage, avocados, tomatoes, and cilantro) and enjoy!

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19 Responses to “Smoked Ham, Pinto Beans, and Roasted Tomato Soup or Tacos”

  1. ceciliag says:

    wow that sounds so good, and looks so good, i think i am going to go with the soup! Perfect.. c

  2. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide says:

    I love when you make Mexican. Makes me want to come over!

  3. Tina@flourtrader says:

    Leftovers means I get to look at a furrowed brow from somebody that does not approve in this house so leftovers is never a word I use. So ham in this means that I prepared it especially for this dish! Great that this recipe is so versatile. I like the ideal of southwestern flavors with ham-unique but no doubt tasty. Hope you are enjoying the weekend!

  4. thedrivencook says:

    Love the versatility of this recipe!

  5. amy donovan (@amy_donovan) says:

    yum, this sounds awesome! i especially like your idea of further reducing the remaining soup down to make a filling for tacos. i bet it would make a great filling for quesadillas, too! i try to let as few ingredients / leftovers go to waste, so i love this double-use of one dish. smart!

  6. The Mom Chef says:

    Love the fact that you used the slow cooker for this. Even though cooler weather is headed this way, it means we’re busier. Heck, we left the house at 10am and didn’t step back inside until 4:30. Who wants to cook with that going on? Slow cookers are perfect for a day like today and the tacos especially put a nice casual exclamation point of easy dinner to a long day. I’m loving it.

  7. ChgoJohn says:

    I vote soup for Day One and tacos for Day Two simply because if I have to smell the aroma of this fantastic dish cooking all day in a slow cooker, I won’t have enough self-discipline to transfer the finished soup to a pan for more cooking. Just give me some crusty bread, a little wine, and a bowl of soup and I’ll be fine. We’ll talk tacos tomorrow.
    Great recipe, Jed!

  8. Judy says:

    I love recipes that are versatile like this and the flavors sound so good! Beans dishes always freeze well, so you may as well make enough for an army … of course, you could always invite a hungry fellow blogger over too. :)

  9. The Little Spork says:

    I LOVE that the soup leftovers can be made into tacos. Brilliant!

  10. Courtney says:

    Double-duty meals always make me happy, but either of these sounds heavenly as a stand alone.

  11. Blog Surface says:

    Sounds delicious. I am a big fan of beans so any dish with beans is a plus for me.

  12. thecompletecookbook says:

    Delicious! What brilliant flavours.
    :-) Mandy

  13. Kitchen Belleicious says:

    Phenomenal ! I mean simply brilliant! I love the base, I love the ham and hints of heat! To make leftovers into taco fillings is genius! I can’t wait to try this! Thanks for the shout out:)

  14. Bluejellybeans says:

    Great recipes Jed! I love the taco idea… I need to buy a slow cooker, lately I’ve been seen all these wonderful recipes made in it, so is not a whim, is a necessity 😉

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