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Black Bean Soup

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Black Bean Soup is a hearty, rich and delicious way to warm up on a chilly day. Vegan and Gluten Free, you can indulge without the guilt!

This post and recipe card updated October 26, 2020
Angled shot of black bean soup in a white bowl with a green napkin in the background

I’ve always loved soup. Let’s be honest, there’s nothing quite like a warm, luxurious bowl of soup on a chilly day. Or when you aren’t feeling well. Or when you just want a bowl of comfort.

For some reason, I always had a fear that soup was difficult to make, so I stuck to the canned soup. Then a couple of years ago I finally took the leap to making my own, beginning with Thai Shrimp Soup. And yes, of course, my fears were totally unfounded.

I grew up eating chickpeas, and still eat more of those than other beans. I also really like black beans, but I don’t think about using them nearly enough. Recently I had a couple cans of black beans in the pantry, and decided to try my hand at an easy first recipe…Black Bean Soup.

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
  • The soup is rich and hearty, plus it’s vegan (without the crema) and gluten-free
  • It’s on the table in 30 minutes, and is great for leftovers
overhead shot of finished bowl of black bean soup in a white bowl
INGREDIENT TIPS FOR BLACK BEAN SOUP

I use Canned Black Beans. That way I don’t have to remember to soak the dry beans, and the soup is ready much faster. Look for low sodium beans so you can control the sodium content

Don’t discard the bean liquid! It adds more flavor to the soup, and helps to thicken it as well.

I use Canned Diced Tomatoes. I prefer to use petit diced because it’s cut smaller, but that is personal preference. My favorite type is fire-roasted, but I can’t always find that in petit diced.

Dice the carrots, onion, and celery very small, otherwise they won’t soften enough while cooking. And the last thing you want with a nice creamy soup is pieces of crunchy vegetables.

I use Homemade Vegetable Broth to keep Black Bean Soup vegan. You can certainly use store-bought broth, just look for no salt added broth.

TIP: an easy way to control the soup’s consistency is with broth. Use a little less broth for a thicker soup, a little more broth for a thinner soup.

Salt, black pepper, and ground cumin are the only seasonings this soup needs.

SUBSITUTIONS & OPTIONS

  • Don’t have diced tomatoes? Use crushed tomatoes…this will create a much thicker consistency, so you may need to add more broth
  • Don’t want tomatoes? Omit them, and add another half can of black beans
  • Add diced bell peppers or frozen corn. Add the peppers with the celery and carrots, or the corn for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking
FINISHING YOUR BLACK BEAN SOUP

Fresh cilantro adds a wonderful pop of flavor and color. I use the whole leaves, but you could certainly chop them.

Creamy avocado complements the soup really well. I like to go generous with the avocado because why not.

Mexican Crema is the final luxurious touch to Black Bean Soup. It’s a table cream that you can buy refrigerated or shelf-stable in a can. To keep the soup vegan, omit the Crema. And, if you don’t have Crema, substitute sour cream.

close up shot of black bean soup in a white bowl, finished with avocado, cilantro and crema
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS

Heat oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven or heavy stockpot. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Next, add celery and carrots and cook for 4-5 minutes.

Overhead process shot: carrots, celery, onion & garlic cooking in a Dutch oven

Add black beans (with liquid), broth, and diced tomatoes to the pot.

Overhead process shot: black beans and tomatoes added to Dutch oven

Add salt, pepper, and cumin. Stir to fully combine. Bring to a low boil, reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes.

overhead process shot: all soup ingredients cooking in a Dutch oven

Portion soup into bowls. Top with diced avocado and fresh cilantro. Finish with a drizzle of Crema. Serve immediately

Overhead process shot: white bowl of finished soup with garnishes and pot of soup on the side
SERVINGS AND LEFTOVERS

Yes, I justify eating larger portions of the soup because it’s healthy! The recipe as written can easily serve 8. And it’s easy to double the recipe for a crowd.

Black Bean Soup is fabulous as leftovers. Let the soup cool completely, transfer to an airtight container, and it will last in the fridge for 7-10 days.

To reheat, transfer the soup to a microwave-safe bowl and cook for 3-4 minutes at 80% power.

Close up shot of black bean soup in a white bowl
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overhead shot of a white bowl with black bean soup with half an avocado and a metal spoon on the side

Black Bean Soup

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Black Bean Soup is a hearty, rich and delicious way to warm up on a chilly day. Vegan and Gluten Free, you can indulge without the guilt!

Ingredients

GARNISH

Instructions

  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven or heavy stockpot.
  2. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Next, add celery and carrots and cook for 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add black beans (with liquid), broth, and diced tomatoes. Add salt, pepper, and cumin. Stir to fully combine.
  4. Portion the soup into bowls. Top with diced avocado and fresh cilantro. Finish with a drizzle of Crema
  5. Serve immediately

Notes

Don't discard the bean liquid! It adds more flavor to the soup and helps to thicken it as well.

Dice the carrots, onion, and celery very small, otherwise they won't soften enough while cooking.

Mexican Crema is a table cream that you can buy refrigerated or shelf-stable in a can. Omit the Crema to keep the soup vegan. If you don't have Crema, you can substitute sour cream

TIP: an easy way to control the soup's consistency is with broth. Use a little less broth for a thicker soup, a little more broth for a thinner soup.

SUBSTITUTIONS & OPTIONS

  • Don't have diced tomatoes? Use crushed tomatoes...this will create a much thicker consistency, so you may need to add more broth
  • Don't want tomatoes? Omit them, and add another half can of black beans
  • Add diced bell peppers or frozen corn. Add the peppers with the celery and carrots, or the corn for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking


SERVINGS & LEFTOVERS

As written, this soup easily serves 8. Double for a crowd, or do half the recipe for smaller portions.

The soup is fabulous as leftovers. Let the soup cool completely and store in an airtight container in the fridge for 7-10 days.

To reheat, transfer the soup to a microwave-safe bowl and cook for 3-4 minutes at 80% power.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 327Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 673mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 17gSugar: 3gProtein: 15g

Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients, etc

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