Black Bean Soup

5 stars based on 4 votes

Black-Bean-Soup

All of the signs of winter are here: little hats and mittens are scattered around the mudroom, tissue boxes are on night tables, I’m wearing yoga pants and Uggs morning til night, and the poor dog hasn’t had a real walk in days.  On Wednesday, it was so cold and windy, all I could imagine for dinner was a bowl of hot soup. A trip to the store was out of the question, so a quick search of the kitchen led to a few cans of black beans and some vegetables just waiting to be transformed. Within thirty minutes, we had a big pot of Southwestern-flavored black bean soup at the ready to warm our bones.

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This is a pretty basic recipe. What makes it so good is the high proportion of vegetables to beans – lots of garlic, onions and even some carrots in the mix.

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You don’t have to worry about finely chopping the vegetables since they’re all going to be puréed anyway. For the garlic, just pound the cloves with a meat mallet to crush and release the skin. Or, press the flat side of a knife over each clove and whack it with your palm.

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Cook the onions, garlic and carrots in olive oil over medium heat until soft.

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In the meantime, rinse and drain the canned beans.

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Add the chicken broth, beans and spices to the vegetables and bring the soup to a boil.

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Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables and beans are very soft.

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Purée the soup with a hand-held immersion blender. If you don’t have one, you can use a standard blender and work in batches. Just be sure to keep the hole in the lid open and cover it up with a dishtowel – this allows the the steam to escape and avoids a hot soup explosion all over your kitchen.

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Before serving, stir in some fresh lime juice to add a touch of brightness and wake up all the flavors.

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Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream – it makes it so much better and is justified, in my opinion, since there’s only two tablespoons of oil in the whole pot. Finally, scatter some freshly chopped cilantro over top.

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You can get creative with additional garnishes. My husband loves to crush tortilla chips over his, and sometimes I’ll toss in some chunks of avocado. A bit of salsa might also be nice. Enjoy!

Note: If you prefer a chunkier soup, you’ll have to tinker with the recipe a bit. The vegetables will all have to be finely chopped and you’ll need to cut back on the chicken broth or the soup will be too thin.

Black Bean Soup

Servings: 4
Total Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 5 cups low sodium chicken broth (I like Swanson)
  • 3/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1-3/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • Handful chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pan. Add the onions, garlic cloves and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Do not brown.
  2. Add the black beans, chicken broth, oregano, coriander, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for about 15 minutes.
  3. Purée the soup using a hand-held immersion blender until very smooth and creamy. (Alternatively, you can use a standard blender to puree the soup in batches; see note.) Stir in the lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls and top each bowl with a dollop of sour cream and freshly chopped cilantro.
  4. Note: If using a standard blender, purée the soup in batches, being careful not to fill the jar more than halfway. Be sure to leave the hole in the lid open and loosely cover with a dish towel to allow the heat to escape. Pour the blended soup into a clean pot.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 475
  • Fat: 14g
  • Saturated fat: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 66g
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Fiber: 21g
  • Protein: 27g
  • Sodium: 424mg
  • Cholesterol: 10mg

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    I made this recipe recently and thought it was delicious. It was so good that the second time I prepared it I doubled the recipe so I wouldn’t run out so fast! To make the soup slightly thicker I add an extra can of black beans and to kick it up even more I added a half pound of smoked sausage cut into fine dice. Fabulous!

    - Jim Ryan on December 3, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Another winner! Made this last night and at first i thought it would be too thin…i ended up loving the consistency. It wasnt too heavy and the leftovers today are even better! Family loved it too. I made as written but added some bacon for added flavor.

    - Kerrie on October 27, 2014 Reply
  • What about nutrition facts? Is cream desirable?

    - Nibahoo R. Malhotra on October 20, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Nibahoo, The nutritional data has been added underneath the recipe (this is a new feature on my site so I am still going back and adding it to older recipes). Cream is not necessary.

      - Jenn on October 21, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I liked it because it is not cumbersome to make it. I just can’t print it. Cordially, NR

    - N.R. Malhotra on October 19, 2014 Reply
    • Did you try clicking on the “print” tab?

      - Jenn on October 19, 2014 Reply
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  • 5 stars

    Just made this soup and it was delicious. I have made at least 6 of your recipes and consider your site a sure thing. Friends and family have raved about anything I have made. Can’t wait to eventually try them all. Thank you for your great instruction and expertise. BTW I am living in Mexico at the moment so finding all the ingredients can sometimes be a challenge so any substitutions you can suggest in your recipes would be so helpful. Thanks so much.

    - Lorna on September 4, 2014 Reply
    • Thanks, Lorna! So glad you enjoyed. Feel free to email me with specific questions about substitutions.

      - Jenn on September 5, 2014 Reply
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  • I love this soup recipe. The garnishes really do a lot for the presentation (and added flavor and texture) though. I love fresh avocado, cilantro, and tomatoes with a side of corn tortilla chips. I use the soft corn tortillas and brush with olive oil and sea salt. Quickly bake in the oven on high temp (I think 400 F) to get them nice and crispy….then cut in fours and enjoy!

    - Tara Fodor on November 14, 2013 Reply
  • My bad (above post) I served this after adding lime and Sourcream …. that made all the difference! So Good! Even hubby loved it!

    - Jennifer on November 5, 2013 Reply
  • Just did a taste test while it is simmering on the stove. It’s good, but it seems to be missing something… It’s still very good tho. I made it chuncky, I think I might puree it a tiny bit :)

    - Jennifer on November 5, 2013 Reply
  • This is one of my favorite soups! I make it with vegetable broth instead of chicken broth to keep it vegetarian. I also have used 4 cups of broth instead of 5 for a thicker consistency. Both of my daughters (ages 3 and 5) love this so I keep it in my rotation and make it at least once a month!

    - Natalie on October 22, 2013 Reply
  • I made this soup, and it was perfect! I used a dollop of greek yogurt instead of sour cream and it worked well as a substitution

    - Gillian on October 21, 2013 Reply
  • Jenn,
    I have now tried at least a dozen of your recipes and loved them all. Love the pictures so I know what finished product should look like. You are the best! I saw your black bean soup recipe but would like to offer you a different style (non-blended) which is a South American recipe. This recipe comes from my favorite restaurant, Churrasco’s in Houston. I thought maybe you would like to try it too. Starting with dried black beans really makes a difference. Let me know what you think if you make it. Here ya go:

    Churrascos Black Bean Soup

    Ingredients:
    1-pound bag of dried black beans
    9 to 10 Cups of water
    ½ small can tomato paste (unseasoned variety)
    ½ Cup red wine
    1 stick butter (You may use ½ stick to make it lower-fat)
    1 medium red pepper chopped finely
    1 medium white onion chopped finely
    4 bay leaves
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1- 2 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon black pepper

    Directions:
    Soak black beans in water overnight..
    You may soak beans up to 1 day before.
    Rinse beans (the water will be black).
    Add the 9 cups of fresh water (not the water beans soaked in) to a large soup pot and then add the beans, salt, pepper, and bay leaves.
    Bring beans to a boil and continue to boil, stirring frequently to keep from sticking, for one hour.

    After the first hour, add the rest of the ingredients. Lower temperature of stove to medium low and continue to cook (stirring frequently) for another hour. If the beans begin to stick to the pan, turn down the temperature to simmer. If the soup gets too thick, add up to one more cup of water, a little at a time.
    Don’t forget to fish out the bay leaves before serving.

    Serve with a little dollop of sour cream, grated cheese, and chopped cilantro on top.
    Churrasco’s serves this soup in a hollowed-out bread boule.

    Regards,
    Ronna

    - Ronna on October 21, 2013 Reply
    • Thank you so much, Ronna. I will definitely make this soup!I can tell just from looking at the recipe that it will be good :)

      - Jenn on October 22, 2013 Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I just wanted to let you know that I just made and tasted the Black Bean Soup. What a great recipe! Thank you for sharing all your lovely recipes. I have tried several of your recipes and there is not one loser in the the bunch. I would make them all again & again!! I can’t wait for my hubby to come home this evening. I know he will enjoy this very much. Many thanks again for taking the time to share these recipes. You are the best!

    - Mickie on September 24, 2013 Reply
    • Thank you, Mickie! That is so nice to read :)

      - Jenn on September 24, 2013 Reply
  • Made this with some baked tortilla crisps . Maybe on of my favorite comfort meals

    - Sharyn on March 10, 2013 Reply
  • Perfect winter dish. My local Food Lion closed up and had a 50% off sale, and I ended up with a cart full of dried beans (they last for-freaking-ever). I made this with homemade stock and added some sriracha for a little heat. Wonderful.

    - Winston on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • My family and I absolutely adore this soup, and I do add one more thing to give it a little extra zest. I add a can of Ro-Tel diced tomatoes and chilis. It just adds a little more zip to it, which is nicely complemented by the chopped cilantro. I make this every few weeks in the winter months and friends and family love it as well.

    - Deb on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • This is a delicious recipe. The only question I have is about the nutrition facts which say that there is 15gram of fat in this recipe. There’s only 2 tbsp of oil so where is the fat coming from? Anybody have any ideas?

    - Sharon on January 20, 2013 Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed it, Sharon. Perhaps it’s from the sour cream?

      - Jenn on January 20, 2013 Reply
  • Jennifer, thank you so much for your site. Literally ever single recipe I’ve made from your posts have been fantastic – unlike other food bloggers that I follow. Again, thanks! You are making my English husband, living in Paris, very happy!
    An American ex-pat

    - Tracy on December 2, 2012 Reply
    • That is so nice to hear, Tracy. Thanks for letting me know!

      - Jenn on December 2, 2012 Reply
  • we make a lot of soups and sandwiches with 5 grandkids here everyday …and to make it a meal for the kids we added tubetti pasta(cook pasta as directed)and instead of lime juice and sour cream the grandkids like spaghetti cheese

    - Theresa Jenkins on June 22, 2012 Reply
  • Yum…have made this three times since finding your recipe for it a few months ago. It’s so tasty and easy to make. Just for a bit of extra thickness, I also throw in a 40 oz. can of Goya black bean soup. Forgot the cilantro the first time I made it, but added the next two times…adds a fantastic extra dimension to the soup!

    - Deb on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • if pictures tell a thousand words and most food is comfort food for someone out there…

    your blog alone is Food for the Soul!

    Thank you and I will be trying Jennifer’s Black Bean Soup at some point for my daughters’ this Summer – Thank You!

    - Steve on May 10, 2012 Reply
  • Everyone now and then I come across a recipe that blows my mind, and this one was it for me. I’m not much of a bean soup person and black beans aren’t my husband’s favorite, yet I went out on a limb and tried this recipe because all the spices in it sounded so good. Well, we both LOVED it!!! Our two boys loved it too! Thank you so much, Jenn!!

    - Kim on March 21, 2012 Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    I was wondering if this soup would freeze well. I’d love to make a couple of big batches and freeze some smaller portions.

    What are your thoughts?

    By the way, just made your Black Bean Salad! OH MY! It is fabulous! Love your site!

    - Candace @ Sacred Mommyhood on March 13, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Candace, Thank you and so glad you enjoyed the black bean salad! I think this soup would freeze fine. You may need to thin it out with a bit of water after defrosting it, but otherwise I don’t see any issues.

      - Jenn on March 13, 2012 Reply
  • @Katrin my immersion blender cost all of 10.00 years ago at walmart. Still works and could not live without it!

    - Karen on March 13, 2012 Reply
  • This soup is so goo an soooo easy! My entire family loves it! I make usually cheddar bisquets with it! YUMMMY! keep them coming Jenn so far I haven’t found a recipe of your that wasn’t totally amazing!!

    - Candi on March 7, 2012 Reply
  • This is different than our black bean soup recipe so I will try it next time I make black bean soup.

    - LaurenS on March 7, 2012 Reply
  • I love this recipe, so simple, healthy and very tasty. It’s my “go to” soup!

    - Alexxa on March 6, 2012 Reply
  • Great easy recipe. The fresh lime juice and fresh cilantro give it an extra “wow” factor. I have made it twice now- it is in our keeper file

    - Cathy OConnell on March 4, 2012 Reply
  • Fantastic!! and even better the second day

    - Elizabeth on March 2, 2012 Reply
  • Going to try this recipe and for sure going to put them on a bed of garlic grits ~ what a great idea. I may add chopped avocado as a garnish!

    - Lisa on March 2, 2012 Reply
  • Good recipe…Soup is even better the second day!

    - Asha Rao on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • My family loved this recipe and I liked how easy it was to put together.

    - Liz McNett Crowl on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • I really liked this recipe. The first time I made it I messed it up by forgetting and ingredient but then I made it again and it was good!

    - Sherri on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • This soup is so easy, and so tasty, it has become a family favorite over the past month

    - Peg on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • This recipe was awesome. So easy to make and the whole family loved it.

    - Keith on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Made this last night and served it on a bed of Garlic Grits. My boys, 11 and 15 years old, gobbled it down and asked for seconds.

    - Reed on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Ok.. I could not convince my 3 young boys to try this one but my husband and I loved it! :)

    - Michelle on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Delicious and so good for you!

    - Lori Alter on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • I just discovered your blog a few days ago and since then I’ve made about 5 of your recipes and they are AMAZING! I just finished making the Black Bean Soup and it’s incredible – the oregano adds so much to the flavor. You’re a fantastic chef, your blog is awesome and keep the recipes coming!

    - Rosee on February 7, 2012 Reply
    • Thank you, Rosee!

      - Jenn on February 7, 2012 Reply
  • mmm. this soup sounds so good
    i was thinking of buying an immersion mixer to make all these delicious soups
    but what model or brand of immersion mixers would you recommend?

    - Reyna on January 28, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Reyna, I have a very basic Cuisinart immersion blender. Not sure which model but no bells and whistles. It’s one of the few kitchen tools I absolutely couldn’t live without!

      - Jenn on January 28, 2012 Reply
    • America’s Test Kitchen (google this) has done immersion blender tests and came up with the conclusion that the inexpensive ones work just fine. Check it out!

      - Katrin on March 13, 2012 Reply
  • This was so delicious! My family loved it. I hope you don’t mind, I posted a link on my blog…
    http://caramagic.blogspot.com/2012/01/best-bean-soup-ever.html

    - Cara on January 20, 2012 Reply
    • Thanks for sharing the recipe with your readers, Cara. So glad you enjoyed!

      - Jenn on January 22, 2012 Reply
  • This soup is delicious and so easy! I made it on a cold weekend afternoon and it was so flavorful, filling and healthy. I served it with homemade foccacia warm out of the oven. I always look forward to Jen’s recipes in my inbox :)

    - Bridget on January 17, 2012 Reply
  • I made this simple soup yesterday on the coldest day so far this year in NY. . it was a breeze to make, and the flavor is outstanding. What a nice way to warm up on a cold night. Next time I will decrease the amount of chicken broth by about a cup for a little bit of a thicker soup. Other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing. It has a nice spicy zing to it. I topped mine with queso cheese and greek yogurt.

    - Karen on January 16, 2012 Reply
  • I made this soup and the ingredients were so simplified, I didn’t actually anticipate it to taste as great as it does. However, It IS so delicious, I can’t wait to make it again. Thankfully, it is so quick, easy, and healthful, I (and my husband) can enjoy again and again. Thanks Jen..this one is superb!

    - sandy on January 16, 2012 Reply
  • I made this soup last might and it was fantastic!! I didn’t have coriander and forgot the garlic, and it is still wonderful!

    - tami on January 10, 2012 Reply
  • My family loves black bean soup and I have made many variations- this is one of the best (and easiest!) I have found. Thanks for sharing ;) I added some smokey ham left over from NYE and it was a nice variation.

    - Erin on January 8, 2012 Reply
  • I will definitely try this hearty, healthy soup in the week ahead. Perfect for a cold winter’s night. Thank you for the inspiration!

    - Liz on January 7, 2012 Reply
  • Soups are one of my favorite food vehicles, and this sounds hearty and delicious!

    - Cynthia on January 7, 2012 Reply
  • Mmmm. I love any soup that warrants me getting out mu immersion blender!!!

    - leslie on January 7, 2012 Reply

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