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Easy Vegan Black Bean Soup from Scratch [3 Ways]

black bean soup

Whether you’re a meat-eater, a vegan, or even a flexitarian, this easy recipe for black bean soup is sure to be a mouth-watering crowd pleaser.

With 3 cooking options, ingredients that can be included or left out, and over a dozen potential toppings, this black bean soup is as adaptable as it is tasty.

If you usually enjoy black bean soup at a restaurant, prepare for a hot bowl of goodness that may make you want to order from your own kitchen.

Is black bean soup healthy?

Black bean soup is satisfying and delicious. However, the benefits of the healthy carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats in this black bean soup are just as impressive as the flavor.

Is black bean soup good for you? Black bean soup is excellent for your health. Its nutrition profile is impressive: Vegetarian black bean soup is a rich source of protein, fiber, folate, potassium, magnesium, iron, manganese, and B vitamins. It’s even naturally gluten-free.

Black bean’s high fiber content makes it a great choice if you’re looking to boost your digestive health. High fiber foods are also known for their ability to promote heart health.

Another benefit of black bean consumption is upping your potassium intake, a nutrient directly linked to better blood pressure numbers.

Black beans may be small, but they pack a powerful punch of both flavor and nutrients. So many reasons to love black beans!

Dry vs. Canned Black Beans

Can you make black bean soup with canned beans? Yes, black bean soup is excellent when made with canned beans as well as dried ones.

If you’re short on time, canned beans are already pre-cooked. When cooking the soup with canned beans, you’ll only need enough time for the ingredients to meld, so I suggest using the stovetop method and cooking it for about an hour if using canned beans. If subbing the 2 cups dried beans here for canned beans, use four (14-ounce) cans of cooked black beans,  drained and rinsed.

On the other hand, many people prefer dried beans because they find cans of black beans too salty and mushy. The good thing about dried beans is that the salting and flavoring levels are entirely up to you.

You could also use previously roasted black beans in this soup recipe. Roasted black beans can be very healthy when they are cooked with antioxidant-rich oils. Try extra virgin olive oil, staying under 400°F to avoid reaching the smoke point.

Stovetop vs. Slow Cooker vs. Instant Pot

Your current cooking appliances and how much time you’ve got will determine your best cooking method.

Can black bean soup be made in an Instant Pot? Black bean soup can easily be made in the Instant Pot. It’s a perfect no-fuss weeknight meal.

I typically prefer to make it in the Instant Pot because pressure cooking beans reduces lectins and makes them easier to digest, but you can also make this in a slow cooker (aka CrockPot) or on the stovetop if that works best for you.

The slow cooker will take the longest total time, but as you probably know, it’s a very effortless process. The results are pretty much always great; it’s a matter of personal preference. The low and slow cooking process makes the beans taste wonderful.

The stove-top method takes a little more work but is still a great option if you don’t have a slow cooker or Instant Pot.

No matter your cooking method of choice, you’re going to end up with a very yummy black bean soup.

Tips for Making a Great Black Bean Soup

How do you make black bean soup from scratch? To make black bean soup from scratch, you need dried black beans, vegetable broth, some spices, and fresh veggies. You can use canned beans if that is your only option.

Making this simple black bean soup is a breeze, even on a weeknight. Here are a few bonus tips that you may find helpful, especially if it’s your first time making this classic.

Fresh is Best

This black bean soup comes alive when you use fresh ingredients for cooking and garnishing your dish.

Crunchy toppings like sliced jalapenos, homemade pico de gallo, and green onions add the perfect crisp contrast to the hot black bean soup and give the soup a rounded array of flavors.

A Perfect Texture

The ideal black bean soup texture can be a matter of personal taste. Some people like black bean soup with a lighter broth, while others prefer it thicker.

This recipe results in a perfect in-between—you still have whole beans, but by blending up some of the soup and adding it back in, you get a thicker final consistency.

Some people love that creamy texture, though. How can I thicken my black bean soup? You can thicken your black bean soup by pureeing a large portion of the black beans. You can use a regular or immersion blender to create the pureed portion of the soup.

Spice It Up

You might be surprised to know that many black bean soup recipes call for cinnamon. I know it sounds weird, but the small dash of this sweet spice adds such a subtle but intriguing flavor to your final product.

black bean soup

Toppings and Pairings

There are so many delicious options to top or pair with this black bean soup from scratch. Here are a few toppings to switch it up:

  • Fresh cilantro
  • Pico de gallo
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Salsa
  • A squeeze of fresh lime juice
  • A few drops of red wine vinegar
  • A teaspoon of your favorite hot sauce
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • A dollop of sour cream
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sliced jalapeno pepper (fresh or pickled)
  • Chipotle peppers
  • Diced red onion
  • Green onions
  • A sprinkle of paprika
  • Sliced avocado or guacamole
  • Tortilla chips
  • Cornbread

I like mine with fresh cilantro, pico de gallo or chopped tomatoes, a few crushed organic tortilla chips, a dollop of thick unsweetened Greek yogurt, and a squeeze of lime.

How to Store Black Bean Soup

How long does black bean soup last in the fridge? Black bean soup will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator. After you allow your leftovers to cool, store them in an airtight glass container to avoid yucky chemicals.

Can you freeze black bean soup? Yes, you can freeze black bean soup for up to 3 months in the freezer. In fact, it’s an excellent make-ahead meal. If frozen, thaw at room temperature or in the refrigerator to keep the nutrients intact.

black bean soup

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black bean soup

Easy Vegan Black Bean Soup Recipe

  • Author: Elizabeth Rider
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 2-9 hours, depending on the cooking method
  • Total Time: 2-9 hours, depending on the cooking method
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Cut, Boil
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This black bean soup is so delicious and satisfying. It is a favorite in my house because it is packed with flavor and all kinds of nutritional goodness and only 204 calories per serving.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups dried black beans, rinsed (2 cups dried black beans)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
  • 23 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups total cooking liquid; I use 4 cups (1 quart) low-sodium vegetable stock or chicken stock plus 2 cups of water (If you’re not vegan, chicken stock or bone broth adds even more flavor to your soup. You can also use all 6 cups water.)
  • 1.5 teaspoons chili powder (your choice, mild or medium)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional secret ingredient!)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 dried bay leaf (or two fresh bay leaves)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt, divided (1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons) (more to taste if needed after cooking)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Garnish ideas: I like mine with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro, pico de gallo or chopped tomatoes, a few crushed organic tortilla chips, a dollop of thick unsweetened Greek yogurt, and a squeeze of lime.

Instructions

Slow Cooker

  1. Add all ingredients to a slow cooker, except add only a teaspoon of sea salt (you’ll add the remaining sea salt the last 30 minutes of cooking.)
  2. Cook on low for 8-9 hours or high for 4-5 hours until means are soft and easily mash with a fork.
  3. Add 2 teaspoons of sea salt in the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
  4. Taste to make sure the beans are soft; they should mash easily with a fork. Puree about 1/4 to 1/2 of the beans in a blender with a few spoons of the liquid until smooth, then pour back in and mix around.
  5. Adjust salt if needed. 
  6. Garnish with your favorite toppings.

Instant Pot

  1. Add all ingredients to the Instant Pot, except add only a teaspoon of sea salt (you’ll add the remaining sea salt before blending.)
  2. Pressure cook on high for 45 minutes.
  3. Do a natural release of 25 minutes. 
  4. After 25 minutes, perform a manual release if the pin hasn’t dropped. 
  5. Add 2 teaspoons of sea salt (more or less to taste).
  6. Blend about 1/4 to 1/2 of the beans in a blender with a few spoons of the liquid until smooth, then pour back in and mix. 
  7. Adjust salt if needed.
  8. Garnish with your favorite toppings.

Stove-top

  1. Add all ingredients to a large soup pot or Dutch oven
  2. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer. 
  3. Cover and cook on medium-low heat until means are soft and easily mash with a fork (about 5-6 hours). 
  4. Blend about 1/4 to 1/2 of the beans in a blender with a few spoons of the liquid until smooth, then pour back in and mix. 
  5. Adjust salt if needed. 
  6. Garnish with your favorite toppings.

Notes

There’s no need to soak the black beans first (they actually lose flavor from soaking). If you prefer to speed up cooking time, you can soak them overnight then drain and rinse them before cooking.

The soup will thicken as it sits, but you can enjoy it right away. It’s a matter of what texture you like best!

Do you rinse black beans before cooking? Yes, always rinse black beans before using them. As you rinse the beans, pick through them to make sure debris isn’t present (though it rarely happens). 

If beans tend to give you a rumbly tummy, pressure cooking beans (the Instant Pot Method) can alleviate this common side effect. 

If you want to add a little more Mexican-inspired flavor to your soup, you can throw in 2 teaspoons of organic taco seasoning if desired.

If you’re short on time, canned beans are already pre-cooked. When cooking the soup with canned beans, you’ll only need enough time for the ingredients to meld, so I suggest using the stovetop method and cooking it for about an hour if using canned beans. If subbing the 2 cups dried beans here for canned beans, use four (14-ounce) cans of cooked black beans,  drained and rinsed.


Nutrition

  • Calories: 204

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black bean soup

 

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  1. Carol says:

    Great soup and I also just used about 6 cups of liquid (2 cups vegi broth + 4 cups water). I soaked the beans first and added 4 1/2 cups soaked beans to recipe. Cooked in the crock pot all day and it was delicious. Thank you!

  2. Suzanne Hoholik says:

    I like this recipe- very good and healthy. Only change I would make is less water, maybe 2 cups or so less. I like black bean soup less watery.

  3. Jamie says:

    Maybe its just me, but 8 cups of water plus veggies seems like a lot for just “4-6 servings”??

  4. Jason Evans says:

    I have a question… what brand black beans are in your photograph?

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I’m Elizabeth

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