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This black bean soup recipe is the perfect dish when you have an extra can of beans to use (and want something cozier than a three bean salad)! It’s a hearty meatless option like vegetable soup or butternut squash soup, but with added fiber and faster prep. Plus, this recipe for black bean soup can be vegetarian and vegan, if you use vegetable broth.
Why You’ll Love This Easy Black Bean Soup Recipe
- Warm, earthy, and mild flavors with a little spice
- Soft and creamy texture
- Common ingredients
- Easy, simple stovetop prep
- Freezer friendly
- Perfect for cold winter day or weeknight meal
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for black bean soup from scratch, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Olive Oil – I used olive oil, but you can use any heat-safe oil, such as avocado oil.
- Green Bell Pepper – If you want a little color in your soup, you could use yellow, orange, or a red bell pepper instead.
- Onion – Mince finely. I used white onion, but yellow or red onion also works.
- Spices – Including garlic powder (or saute 8 minced fresh garlic cloves instead), smoked paprika, ground cumin, chili powder, and sea salt.
- Low-Sodium Chicken Broth – To make this recipe vegetarian or vegan friendly, use vegetable broth or stock instead. If that doesn’t matter to you, bone broth is another great option for extra nutrition.
- Black Beans – This recipe uses canned black beans, but you can also prepare your own dried beans. Since you are using broth, be sure drain and rinse the canned beans.
- Lime Juice – Helps to brighten the flavors.
- Fresh Cilantro – Freshly chopped cilantro works best here, but if you must, you can substitute 1/4 to 1/3 cup dried.
How To Make Black Bean Soup
This section shows how to make black bean soup with canned beans, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Saute. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add bell peppers, onions, and garlic powder. Cook until the bell peppers are soft.
- Combine. Add the chicken broth, black beans, smoked paprika, cumin, and chili powder. Stir.
- Simmer. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer to let the flavors develop.
- Blend. Transfer a portion of the soup (about 3/4 of the recipe) to a blender (or use an immersion blender right in the pot) and blend until smooth.
TIP: You can blend all the soup if you prefer.
I like to leave 1/4 of the soup unblended just so I still have whole black beans scattered throughout the soup. If you do not want whole black beans, it is okay to just blend the entire pot of soup. This will leave you with a consistency very similar to tomato soup.
- Finish. Add fresh cilantro and lime juice.
- Garnish. Adjust salt to taste, if needed. Pour into bowls and add your favorite garnishes (ideas below!).
This black bean soup is perfect for chilly days, and you can easily customize it to your liking:
- Meat – If you want some extra protein, try adding ham or ground beef to your soup. Just cook the ground beef before adding peppers and onions.
- Vegetables – Add more vegetables like celery, carrots, or potatoes.
- Spicy Black Bean Soup – This recipe is mildly spicy, but if you want a real kick, add some red pepper flakes, diced jalapenos (add them together with the peppers and onions), or a few canned chipotles in adobo sauce (add them with the broth and beans).
- Store: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- Meal prep: Soup is a great make-ahead dinner solution. In fact, heating it up later only adds to the flavors of this bean soup.
- Reheat: Place soup in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until warm. The microwave also works.
Can You Freeze Black Bean Soup?
Yes, you can freeze black bean soup for up to 3 months. Cool completely, pour into a zip lock bag, and freeze flat. You can store vertically once it’s solid. Reheat right from frozen.
What To Serve With Black Bean Soup Recipes
This black bean soup recipe can be served with a variety of toppings and side dishes:
- Toppings – I served it with sliced avocado and additional cilantro. Guacamole, sour cream, fresh tomato salsa, or avocado salsa verde would also make great toppers.
- Chips & crackers – Tortilla chips (shown above) or your favorite crackers make the perfect pairing. For grain-free options, try my almond flour tortilla chips or almond flour crackers.
- Salad – Soup and greens always go together, and this black bean soup works well with salads that have Mexican flavors. Try taco salad, taco slaw, or or shrimp avocado salad.
More Healthy Soup Recipes
I’m always looking for more easy ways to prep soup! If you liked this one, here are some more healthy soup recipes that you’ll love:
- Large Saucepan – I like using a saucepan with pour spouts for soup.
- Blender – Any blender will work, but getting a high quality blender like this allows you to have complete control over the texture.
Black Bean Soup Recipe
Black Bean Soup Recipe (Easy & Freezable!)
This easy black bean soup recipe is easy to make with staples like canned beans, bell pepper, and onion. It's fast and perfect for cold days!
Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the bell peppers, onions, and garlic powder (or minced garlic). Cook for about 5 minutes, until the peppers and onions are soft.
Add the chicken broth, black beans, smoked paprika, cumin, and chili powder. Stir until combined.
Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 25 minutes.
Transfer 3/4 of the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. (Alternatively, you can blend all of it; I blend 3/4 so that some whole beans remain in the soup.)
Pour the blended mixture back into the pot. Stir in the lime juice and chopped cilantro.
Adjust salt to taste, if needed.
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Serving size: 1 cup
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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We’ve been trying to incorporate more meatless recipes into our rotation and this is one of the best I’ve found! The cilantro and lime add such delicious bright flavor.
This is so healthy and tasted so delicious! Love this!
This is so delicious and comforting specially this cold days.
You may think it doesn’t look like much when it’s done, but don’t be fooled. The herbs, spices and seasonings in this scrumptious soup are what makes it special. It’s easy, affordable and satisfying comfort food!
Journa Liz Ramirez0
Not a fan of black bean soup, but this one is different! It was incredibly delicious, hearty and comforting. New favorite!