Super Easy Southwest Style Bean Soup

Cooking is a form of relaxation for me. However, sometimes I want to relax on the couch, thank you very much. You want dinner? Open a can!

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If you’ve been with me on this site long, you know that can opening in my recipes is a fairly limited thing. It mostly takes the form of diced tomatoes or sometimes tomato sauce. Every so often, canned olives come in. Don’t get all olive-snobby with me, you know they’re good.

But let’s face it, even the most health conscious, starts everything from scratch, grew it all themselves person gets tired. Runs out of time. Simply just doesn’t feel like dealing with dinner. Maybe some folks don’t want to admit it, but I have no issues with being real.

So before I reach for the phone to call the local pizza place (which is actually local) to order dinner, I’ll peruse the cabinet to see what I can assemble. Yes, assemble. As in put pieces together to make a whole. Something that’s semi-homemade, but not cringy like Kwanzaa Cake (if you know, you know, otherwise here it is in all its dubious glory).

It was on such a night that I put this “recipe” together. It went over so well with the Y-chromosome carrying people that live with me (aka my husband and children), that it has been on occasional repeat. It’s decently healthy, for sure lots of fiber and protein, not overly laden with the kinds of ingredients we try to limit, and it’s ready in minutes. I count that as a win.

Canned meat will never look pretty.

Some quick notes before you begin:

Despite the fact that every ingredient in this recipe comes ready made from a can or bag, it should go without saying that the better quality of ingredients you start with, the better your soup will be, both in flavor and in nutrition.

I prefer frozen corn over canned because it is less processed and doesn’t have the additional salt. I also prefer the flavor and texture, too. If you want to use canned corn, I won’t stop you. Because I can’t. If you want to include the liquid from the can, I don’t see that as a problem.

The pictures don’t show the black olives listed in the ingredients because I forgot to put them in this batch that I took pictures from. They add an additional layer of flavor, and I usually use them. These I will drain, though, to reduce the salt content of the soup.

I have been canning my own meat lately for just these kinds of days. I can (haha, get it? I can!!) control what type of meat I use and regulate the amount of salt and other ingredients added. It’s a perfect way to have instant protein for a quick dinner. I used pork, but any kind of canned meat you want to add is fine. I add the broth from mine because it is liquid from the meat itself with very little salt.

**By the way, you MUST use a proper pressure CANNER, not pressure cooker, and definitely not a water bath canner, for making canned meat. Don’t even get me started with those people who say things like “well, it’s worked for me”. That’s nice, until it doesn’t.**

Yes, of course you can use fresh meat if you have some ready and feel like cutting it up into pieces. You can brown them in the pot first with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil before adding in the remaining ingredients.

Super Easy Southwest Style Bean Soup Recipe

  • Difficulty: you're out of luck if you don't have a can opener
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  • 2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 16-ounce can of refried beans
  • 2 cups frozen corn (or equal amount of canned)
  • 1 6-ounce can black olives, drained and sliced
  • 1/2 tsp each oregano, ground cumin and dark chili powder
  • 1 or 2 12-ounce cans of meat of choice (pork or chicken are excellent options for this)
  • Broth or water to thin as desired
  • shredded cheese of choice for serving
  • dollops of sour cream for serving, if you feel the desire


Dump everything into the pot. Heat on the stove while stirring. Done. Go back and relax on the couch. You fed everyone. You win.


4 thoughts on “Super Easy Southwest Style Bean Soup

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