This perfectly seasoned black bean soup is a creamy, delicious, one-pot meal! It’s a simple recipe with amazing flavors that comes together in under 1 hour!
This soup is a classic that is just like my favorite at Panera Bread! Using basic ingredients of canned black beans, everyday spices such as cumin and chili powder, and veggies you probably already have. Grab a pot and in no time you’ll be enjoying a bowl for yourself!
You can never underestimate the power of having an easy homemade soup recipe that comes together quickly using everyday ingredients, especially when they’re loaded with great flavor! Hearty chicken vegetable soup and tomato basil chicken soup are two of my other favorites that come to mind when I think about which soup to make for dinner. They’re a healthy recipe idea that takes very little time and effort, which makes dinner on weeknights a breeze! It’s an affordable kid-friendly recipe that’s rich, satisfying, and ultra-filling soup made with wholesome ingredients.
It’s a gluten free, vegan/vegetarian soup. When you skip the dollop of sour cream or the sprinkling of cheese on top, it’s also dairy-free! You can have it mild or kick up the heat and enjoy this high fiber comforting soup, any way you’d like. Top with optional garnishes of sour cream, shredded cheese, and a squirt of lime, or serve it with a side of rice. It’s one of my family’s favorite soups and it’s about to be yours too!
Why this recipe works
- Quick and easy, which is why we use canned beans, and ingredients most people already have.
- A one-pot meal makes for easy cleanup.
- Very flexible with ingredients, spice levels, and dietary needs.
- Loaded with flavor which makes this a crowd-pleaser no matter who you’re serving it to.
- Lots of leftovers, depending on how many you’re serving. Pack some for lunch the next day.
- Hearty and filling especially when served with rice!
- Healthy and packed with nutrients thanks to the fiber and iron in the beans, the vitamins, and nutrients in the veggies, and the aromatic garlic and onions.
- Black Beans: Hearty, protein packed main ingredient. You can use canned or cooked dry black beans.
- Veggies: Sliced celery stalk, sliced baby carrots (or large carrot peeled and sliced), bell pepper, cored, and diced. Canned, diced petite tomatoes.
- Aromatics: Minced garlic cloves, chopped onion.
- Spices: Cumin and chili powder.
- Oil: Olive oil. Can also use whichever oil you have on hand. Avocado oil works too.
- Broth: Vegetable stock needed to keep it vegetarian. Otherwise, chicken broth is great too.
- Cilantro and lime juice: Chopped fresh cilantro and lime juice added towards the end for a light and finish.
- Cayenne: This is optional heat. Can be used as sparingly as needed, or completely omitted.
How to Make this Black Bean Soup Recipe
This recipe will come together in just a few simple steps, all in one pot. Get ready for the aroma in your kitchen to wake up your senses!
Step 1: Add oil, chopped onion, celery, and bell peppers to a large soup pot or large dutch oven and sauté over medium-high heat until soft.
Step 2: Add garlic, cumin and chili powder (as well as cayenne if you’re using it) and stir to combine. Cook for a couple of minute before adding in the drained black beans, tomatoes and broth.
Step 3: Cook soup on medium. Test for seasoning and more cumin or chili powder if desired. Add cilantro and lime juice.
Step 4: Serve with a side of rice or with toppings such as sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, diced avocado, jalapeños, extra cilantro, or tortilla chips!
How to Thicken the Soup
Depending on how thick or creamy of a consistency you want, using an immersion blender can help you achieve your desired texture. For a very creamy base, use the immersion blender directly in the pot. Or you can remove 1-2 cups of the soup and place it in a regular blender or food processor, blend for a few seconds, then add it back into the remaining soup.
Variation 1: If you prefer a spicy black bean soup, add sliced jalapeno pepper, a little bit of cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, adobo sauce or hot sauce.
Variation 2: Although the added vegetables make this soup extra yummy, feel free to leave out the carrots and celery if you’d like. You can also add green peppers if desired too.
- Canned beans are great for convenience, but you can definitely also use cooked dry beans. Use 6 cups rather than 4 cans of beans.
- Skip the blending completely if you prefer a more textured, thinner-bodied, soup.
- Serve with a bowl of rice for a hearty meal.
- Leftovers are amazing the next day. Pack lunches for the next few days.
- Use a dollop of plain regular or Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.
Homemade black bean soup can last in the fridge for anywhere from 3-5 days. Err on the side of caution and use sooner rather than later. Otherwise, pack in an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months.
If you’re reheating from frozen, thaw in the fridge overnight. To reheat the soup, transfer to a pot on the stovetop and heat on medium-low until heated through. You could also reheat by the bowlful in the microwave. Prior to reheating, you may find that you need to add some broth or water to thin it out just a bit.
Typically when you’re using beans in a soup, whether or not you drain them is up to you. It’s made up of water, salt, and naturally occurring starches from the beans. If you do add it in, you’ll need to account for the salt because it’s a lot! For this recipe, we’re draining and rinsing them.
Easy Black Bean Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 celery stalk sliced
- 10 baby carrots sliced or 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
- 1 red bell pepper cored and diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 32 ounces vegetable or chicken broth
- 60 ounces cans of black beans drained and rinsed
- 15 ounces petite diced tomatoes
- 1/3 cup cilantro chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- Add olive oil to dutch oven or stock pot.
- Add the chopped onion, celery, carrots, and bell peppers and sauté on medium high heat for 10-12 minutes until soft.
- Add garlic, cumin and chili powder and mix stir to combine and cook for approx.. 2 minutes. (add cayenne here as well if desired)
- Add in drained black beans, diced tomatoes and broth and stir to combine well.
- Cook on medium heat for 30 minutes.
- For thicker soup, use an immersion blender to puree some of the ingredients enough to slightly thicken the soup. Or remove 2 cups of soup and place it in a blender until smooth and add it back into the pot and stir to combine.
- Taste test for seasoning and add more cumin or chili powder if desired.
- Add in chopped cilantro and lime juice