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This outrageously flavorful black bean soup recipe is simple to make in just 30 minutes! It uses canned beans and other inexpensive everyday ingredients. Eat it as-is or load it up with your favorite toppings!
Why you’ll love it
This black bean soup has a combination of incredible flavors, a wonderfully rustic texture, and it’s really easy to make. It’s healthy and light, and I bet it’ll be your new favorite way to use canned black beans. Does it get any better than making a budget-friendly meal that actually tastes good?
I think it’s the fragrant spices that take my version of this beloved soup to the next level. It’s earthy, smoky, and bright all at the same time, making it really special. You’ll be surprised at just how delicious a quick 30-minute soup can be. Oh, and the leftovers are just as tasty!
Ingredients for black bean soup
- Olive oil, onion, garlic – to make the tasty aromatic base. I like sweet (Vidalia) onion, but yellow works too.
- Chicken broth – for more depth of flavor. Use vegetable broth if you prefer.
- Tomatoes – I love the flavor boost that a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes brings, but in a pinch you can use the regular kind
- Black beans – they’re a great source of protein and very filling, and I always have plenty of cans of beans as a pantry staple
- Green chilies – these come chopped in small cans in the Mexican or international section of the grocery store. I chose mild for this recipe.
- Red bell pepper – for color and a hint of sweetness
- Chili powder, smoked paprika, ground cumin – my irresistible signature seasoning mix for this soup
- Lime juice – a little bit of acidity brings a burst of freshness and complements all the flavors. Don’t skip it, and always use fresh!
Can I make it vegetarian or vegan?
- Of course! It can be made into a vegetarian black bean soup (vegan, in fact) no problem if you substitute the chicken broth for vegetable broth. Everything else is vegan friendly as written.
How to make black bean soup
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Sauté the onion in a soup pot. Stir in the garlic, broth, diced tomatoes, beans, green chilies, red bell pepper, and seasoning. Simmer the soup for about 8 to 10 minutes.
Blend the soup so that it’s mostly a purée. I like to leave some of it unblended. Add the lime juice, season generously with salt & pepper, and enjoy!
- I use an immersion blender to blend it right in the pot. I don’t make it completely smooth because it gives it texture and contrast.
- For a spicy kick, add in a 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper or use spicy green chilies instead of mild.
- This recipe is easily doubled. Simply straight double all of the ingredients.
Black bean soup toppings
- I highly recommend chopped cilantro (or fresh parsley if you can’t have cilantro) to top this soup off! Scallions and red onions would be a good option as well.
- Avocado slices or guacamole bring creaminess to this soup, as would sour cream.
- For even more freshness, garnish with some chopped tomatoes or salsa and a lime wedge.
- Try sprinkling shredded Tex-Mex cheese on each bowl for some cheesy goodness.
- Tortilla strips give it an extra crunch.
What to serve with this soup
- I like the simplicity of pairing it with a slice of crusty bread.
- You can also serve it with a side salad. Try mixed greens with this chipotle cilantro lime ranch dressing.
- I’ve been known to eat this with a grilled cheese sandwich.
Leftovers and storage
- This soup makes fantastic leftovers. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days.
- Reheat in a small saucepan over a low heat, stirring occasionally. You can also microwave it in small increments until warmed through.
- You can absolutely freeze this soup! It’ll be good for up to 3 months. I’d thaw it in the fridge overnight before reheating for best results.
Questions? Leave me a comment below. Don’t forget to tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram if you make any of my recipes!
Easy Black Bean Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 (14 ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes with juices
- 3 (14 ounce) cans black beans drained & rinsed
- 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies with juices
- 1/2 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Toppings (optional): chopped cilantro (recommended), sour cream, tortilla strips, avocado, etc. to taste
- Add the oil and onion to a soup pot and sauté it over medium heat for 5-7 minutes (it's ok if it lightly browns – more flavor!).
- Stir in the garlic, followed by the broth, diced tomatoes, beans, green chilies, red bell pepper, and spices.
- Increase the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Cover the pot with the lid slightly open, reduce the heat, and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
- Using either an immersion blender or a regular blender, blend most of the soup (use caution – you may want to let it cool a bit first). You can blend it all, but I like to leave it a bit chunky.
- Stir in the lime juice, and season with salt & pepper as needed (I found that I needed to add a fair amount of salt).
- Serve as-is or with desired toppings.
- This recipe serves 4, but it’s easy to double all the ingredients if you need extras (just make sure to use a decent size pot).
- Want to make this a spicy black bean soup? Add in 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or use spicy green chilies (I used mild ones).
- Nutrition info doesn’t include any soup toppings.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.
This recipe was originally published on October 24, 2019. It’s been updated with new photos and better instructions but is the same great recipe!