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Greens and Potato Soup with Pintos and Hominy

Tender pinto beans, toothsome hominy corn, golden potatoes and a tangle of leafy greens, this hearty greens and potato soup is comfort food at its best. With just the right accent of green chile and cumin, it becomes a wonderfully fragrant and bountiful meal!

Vegetarian Greens and Potato Soup in bowl with green napkin

In cooler weather, our evening meal is often a bowl of hearty soup paired with a big tossed green salad. Blessed soup and salad—dinner’s savior.

Click here to PIN Greens and Potato Soup

with Hominy and Pinto Beans!

Our soup meals are almost never the same. That’s because they’re based on what we have on hand–what’s in the pantry and fridge. These textures and flavors–greens, potatoes, hominy, and pinto beans–make one stellar soup!

Sometimes a grain inspires our soup, like in barley and chicory soup, or farro and hearty greens soup. Other meals, the inspiration comes from a can of beans. And there are the dinners encouraged by leafy greens that need to be used up. Whatever your inspiration, always stir in that final vitamin bump–a respectable amount of chopped leafy greens.

hominy in can, pinto beans, potatoes, greens, and green chile--ingredients for Greens and Potato Soup

Questions and answers about the ingredients in this greens and potato soup:

What is hominy?

Hominy (affiliate link) is dried corn kernels, with the hull and germ removed. Its toothsome distinctive texture is essential to posole, the hearty Mexican stew. It usually comes in large cans–freeze the extra to make this Butternut Squash Posole later.

Can I use a different bean than pinto beans?

Yes. But in this recipe, I’m partial to the pintos–the hominy provides plenty of chewy texture and there’s a Southwesten flavor profile going on as well. Great Northern beans with their creamy texture are a good choice too.
Ditch the can and cook pinto beans from scratch in your Instant Pot or pressure cooker.

Can I use a different potato?

You can use any variety of potato. Waxy red potatoes keep their chunky shape, in turn keeping this soup more brothy. Starchier potatoes, like russets, will break down and actually thicken the broth.

Must I add the green chile?

The chile is not essential to this soup. But one small fresh green chile, either serrano or jalapeño, brings in savory flavor and spice. If you remove the seeds and veins, you won’t have a fiery picante, ‘I-need-a-beer’ heat. Alternatively, add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper.

Why the lemon juice?

Especially in soups with greens, fresh lemon juice or another acid is absolutely essential–acid magically transforms flavor. Taste a spoonful of the broth before stirring in the lemon juice, and again after, you’ll see what I mean. If you don’t have lemon juice, simply substitute apple cider vinegar–it’s the acid that makes the difference.

What kind of greens can I use?

You want greens with tender leaves that don’t take long to cook. I used beet greens, the tops of yellow beets, for today’s soup. Other good choices are chard, mustard greens and collard greens.

If you find beets with intact, fresh-looking greens, grab them. Let those beet greens be the your soup inspiration. Bonus–you get two vegetables, the beets and their greens, for the price of one.

For sturdier greens, like kale for instance, pre-boil the kale in water first.

Greens and Potato Soup in bowlwith spoon sitting on green napkin to the side

Last week at the farmer’s market, I found radishes and beets with perfect just-pulled-from-the earth leafy tops. Hmmm, what can I make with these leafy treasures? Since I’d bought some little red potatoes too, I typed greens and potatoes in this blog’s Search box, and ta-da, this potato and pinto bean soup with hominy and greens was the first recipe that came up!

It’s true, in the pantry I found a can of hominy corn and and a can of pintos. Also true, I’d been hiding a jalapeño chile in the fridge. It was an easy decision to make this soup. The hardest part was prepping the greens and I did that while the potatoes sautéed into a nice and golden color.

While Robbie and I slurped our dinner last week, we kept saying, wow, we forgot how flavorful and toothsome and rich this soup is. So, even though I posted this recipe just 2 years ago, I decided I needed to share it again asap!

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Nutrition information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. The numbers will vary based on the quantity consumed, brands used and any substitutions.
*** This is an update of the greens and potato recipe I posted on October 2020.


  • This soup looks so comforting, Letty, and I love all of those hearty greens! Reply · 8 February, 2016

    • Hearty greens for the win! Thanks Marcie! Reply · 9 February, 2016

  • This is such a perfect winter soup. I always have lots of different greens on hand that I like to toss in at the end when I’m making soups. It’s such a great way to get a big dose of veggies! Reply · 8 February, 2016

    • Thanks Liz. There’s always something leafy and green in our fridge too. Reply · 9 February, 2016

  • Hominy is like my new thing. This soup proves why. I’ve been experimenting with hominy cakes (to very little success). You’ve inspired me to add taters to the mash. May my structural problems will disappear.GREG Reply · 8 February, 2016

    • Hominy cakes with mashed potatoes sound like a great idea. Polenta as well? Have you been chopping the hominy for your experiments or leaving it whole? Reply · 9 February, 2016

  • This soup sounds so hearty and comforting! I love pinto beans, they seem to be so underused and overshadowed by kidney, navy and black beans. And the hominy addition sounds like the perfect idea! Thanks for sharing! Reply · 13 February, 2016

    • Thanks Lucie–pintos for the win! Reply · 14 February, 2016

  • Oh Letty, this recipe sounds amazing! I love everything in it and now I have another way to use hominy. Yay! 🙂 Reply · 16 February, 2016

    • Thank you Nancy. And in your part of the world you can buy hominy that’s vacuum-packed–not canned! Reply · 16 February, 2016


    • Wow Dawn, Thanks for catching that. Add with the pinto beans etc. I fixed the recipe so it reads correctly now. Reply · 26 October, 2020

  • Pat

    This was SO good! Had to make my tweaks…added kielbasa, used chicken broth, reduced the cumin…delicious and shared your version with my vegetarian friends. Reply · 7 February, 2021

    • Thank you Pat. I’m happy to hear you love the recipe, and that you felt comfortable making tweaks! Reply · 10 February, 2021

  • Rebecca

    Delicious, soothing, and easy to make. I used a cup of frozen corn instead of hominy (because I didn’t have any). I also cooked everything in 1 pot, used collards for the greens and omitted the acid. I will definitely make again! Reply · 23 October, 2022

    • Hi Rebecca! I love the your comfort with changing up a recipe to use what you have on hand! Reply · 30 October, 2022

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