I didn't have dried beans, so I used 3 cans of different kinds of beans. Thanks to the "Mandivola" review, I added less water (I would've neglected to make the connection between lots of water and raw beans tonight... yawn). I also added a can of diced tomatoes, used cayenne instead of hot sauce, and tipped in a bunch of leftover quinoa and mushrooms at the end of cooking. This recipe is a great starting point for making bean soup... I think adding your own extras is mandatory.
I only gave 3 stars because the recipe is pretty bland as written. It's totally tweekable, however. I added a can of stewed chopped tomatoes, and some frozen chopped spinach. Bumped up the seasoning with a teaspoon of Bragg's Sprinkle seasoning. It was spot on with some sweet buttery cornbread on the side.
This didn't work out too well for me. It was very bland. I've read the recipe over and over and I don't think I missed anything.
I really loved this soup! I have to admit that I didn't have dried pinto beans, but I used 3 cans of pinto beans instead. I used 2 cans for the whole and 1 can for the pureed part with 1 can-worth of water in the food processer. I saw the reviews that said it was a bit bland so in addition to the fresh parsley, I used fresh rosemary, frozen basil (had on-hand), smoked paprika, curry, dried oregano, and cayenne instead of tabasco. It was really tasty. Because I didn't soak the beans and cook them from dried, I used a different amount of water/broth. I used 3 cups chicken broth and about 3 cups water and it really thickens up as the barley cooks and the bean/water puree. It's very tasty with the parm, too. Very good and nutritious!