Easy Black Bean Soup

The perfect vegan black bean soup recipe! It’s healthy, easy to toss together and super flavorful. Instructions included for the slow cooker and stovetop.

When it comes to get dinner on the table, it doesn’t get much simpler than this black bean soup recipe! I’m tempted to include this in the #EBFbasics series because I feel like everyone should know how to make an easy black bean soup.

I used my favorite spices and toppings for the version I’m sharing, but feel free to add any spices you’re dying to incorporate and top with your desired toppings. This recipe is really straight forward, but also completely customizable. And you can choose the cooking method too. I love making this soup in the slow cooker but you can also cook it on the stovetop too so I’m giving instructions for both. 

Bowl of black bean soup topped with avocado, cilantro, red cabbage, and lime.

Are Black Beans Healthy?

Yes! Black beans are packed with plant-based protein and a good source of fiber. One 1/2 cup serving of cooked black beans has over 7.5 grams of protein and fiber. They also have a ton of vitamins and minerals like iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc. Learn more about the black bean health benefits here.

Spoonful of black bean soup out of the slow cooker.

Do You Need to Soak Dried Black Beans?

Yes, it’s best to soak dried black beans for several reasons – soaked black beans cook faster and more evenly, plus they’re easier to digest. People often get scared to work with dried beans because of the soaking process, but it’s really not hard, I promise!

To soak black beans, here’s what you do: put dried black beans in a large bowl and cover with cold water, by at least 2-3 inches. Let them soak overnight or for at least 8-12 hours. You’ll notice that the beans soak up some of the water and look a little bigger after soaking. This is normal. Once you drain and rinse the soaked the beans, they’re ready to be used in whatever recipe you’re making.

Two bowls of black bean soup topped with avocado, cilantro, green onion, and lime. Spoons, a dish cloth, and a bowl of plantain chips are next to the bowls.

Can Black Bean Soup Be Frozen?

Absolutely. Whether you choose to puree or keep your beans whole, you can prep and freeze this soup if you won’t be eating it the week you make it. I like to portion out a few servings for us to enjoy and then pop the rest in the freezer for a later meal. Meal prep=done! Black bean soup should keep in the freezer for at least 3 months. 

Ingredients in Black Bean Soup

Like I said earlier, feel free to tweak these ingredients based on what you have on hand! The list seems a little long but nine of fourteen ingredients are dried spices that you likely have sitting in your pantry. You’ve got this!

  • dried black beans – buy these from the bulk bin for the best deal 
  • veggies – garlic, onion and carrots 
  • spicescumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, dried basil, dried oregano, bay leaf, pinch of cinnamon, sea salt and black pepper

Two bowls of black bean soup topped with cilantro, green onion, avocado, and lime. A bowl of plantain chips are next to the bowls of black bean soup.

How to Make Black Bean Soup

First things first, make sure you soak your dried beans! Figure out when you want to actually cook your soup and adjust accordingly. I like soaking my beans overnight so I’m ready to go, but if you’re making this recipe on the stovetop you can soak them during the day and they’ll be ready to use by dinnertime. 

Whether you’re making this in the slow cooker or on the stovetop, you want to cook your veggies first! In a saucepan or large soup pot, heat the oil and add your onions, carrots, garlic and sea salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until the onions are translucent and beginning to brown.

For the stovetop version you’ll add all the remaining ingredients right into the soup pot. If you’re making this recipe in your slow cooker, you’ll transfer the cooked veggies into your slow cooker at this point and add all the other ingredients.

For the stovetop version, you’ll bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 2 1/2 – 3 hours or until the beans are tender.

For the slow cooker, you’ll cover and cook on high for 6-8 hours or until the black beans are tender. 

Now… choose your own adventure: you can either keep the beans whole or puree them using an immersion blender or traditional blender to your desired texture. Pureeing will thicken the soup, but you can also leave a little texture if you don’t fully puree everything! I prefer it pureed just a bit so there’s still some texture!

Spoon the soup into bowls for serving and top with sliced avocado and fresh cilantro. Serve with a lime wedge and plantain or tortilla chips! You can also add a little sour cream and green onion.

Like this recipe? Here are other soup recipes you should try!

If you make this easy black bean soup recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Your feedback is super helpful for the EBF team and other readers who are thinking about making the recipe. 

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Bowl of black bean soup topped with avocado, cilantro, red cabbage, and lime.

Easy Black Bean Soup


  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings

Description

The perfect black bean soup recipe! It’s healthy, easy to toss together and super flavorful. Instructions included for the slow cooker and stovetop.


Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried black beans (about 2 1/2 cups), soaked and rinsed
  • 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon ground chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt + more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper + more to taste
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • for serving: chopped fresh cilantro, avocado and lime wedges

Instructions

  1. Soak the beans overnight or about 8-12 hours. (see notes above). Drain and rinse.
  2. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and garlic. Season with a little sea salt and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent and starting to brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add all the other ingredients to the pot, except the lime, cilantro and avocado. Stir to make sure everything is combined. Bring mixture to a boil before reducing the heat to medium and letting the soup simmer for about 2.5 – 3 hours, or until the beans are tender and creamy. Remove bay leaf.
  4. At this point you can either keep the beans whole or puree using an immersion blender or traditional blender to your desired texture. I like to puree just until pieces of the beans are still visible. This makes the soup thick, but keeps a bit of the texture.
  5. Taste soup and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Spoon soup into bowls for serving and garnish with avocado and cilantro. Serve with a lime wedge.

Slow Cooker:

  1. Soak the beans overnight or about 8-12 hours. (see notes above). Drain and rinse.
  2. In a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and garlic. Season with a little sea salt and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent and starting to brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Place cooked veggie mixture in your slow cooker and add all the other ingredients except the lime, cilantro and avocado. Stir to make sure everything is combined.
  4. Cover and cook on high for 6-8 hours, until beans are tender and creamy. Remove bay leaf and follow instructions for blending and serving above.
  • Category: Lunch/Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Soup

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
  • Calories: 199
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Sodium: 512mg
  • Fat: 6g
  • Carbohydrates: 42g
  • Fiber: 22g
  • Protein: 14g

Keywords: black bean soup, slow cooker black bean soup

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    49 comments
    1. Michelle S
      October 26, 2020 AT 7:54 pm

      This was delicious! I made minor changes – omitted the cayenne (for husband and toddler) and found the spice level was still perfect. I only had half the carrots, so I added a handful of chopped mini sweet peppers, and I used chicken broth because it’s what I had. We loved this!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 26, 2020 AT 9:01 pm

        Ahh yay! So glad this soup was a hit with your fam, Michelle. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. <3

    2. Samantha Shapiro
      October 19, 2020 AT 10:22 pm

      My family and I gobbled this up. Easy, delioucs, and filling. We halved the cayenne for our 6 y/o and it was just the right amount of heat. Served with brown/red rice, topped with cilantro, avo, lime, and a drizzle of sour cream. Thanks EBF for yet another simple, but tasty recipe!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 20, 2020 AT 2:15 pm

        Woo!! So glad this soup was a hit with your family, Samantha. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I really appreciate it!

    3. Marzia
      October 12, 2020 AT 9:56 am

      I made this soup last night and so easy to make! It has a nice kick to it and delish!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 12, 2020 AT 10:57 pm

        Yay! So glad this soup was a hit! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it!

    4. Carol Anderson
      October 10, 2020 AT 10:28 am

      This soup was delicious & so easy to make Will be making often this winter. Thanks for all of your wonderful recipes.
      csanderson8582@att.net

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 10, 2020 AT 7:33 pm

        You’re so welcome, Carol. I’m so glad this soup was a hit! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I appreciate it. 🙂

    5. Heidi
      October 7, 2020 AT 10:25 pm

      My first time making black bean soup and this recipe was soooo good. I topped It with a little bit of sour cream, queso fresco, and tortilla chips. *chefs kiss

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 9, 2020 AT 1:40 am

        Ahh yay!! So glad you enjoyed this soup, Heidi. Thanks so much for trying my recipe and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. 🙂

    6. twnkle.me
      September 28, 2020 AT 12:05 am

      Your recipe is excellent. I will try it at my home, maybe it delicious. Thanks for sharing an amazing recipe.

    7. Julia
      September 1, 2020 AT 3:03 pm

      I love this recipe! So easy, nutritious, and adaptable.The instructions are easy to follow, too. Thank you!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 1, 2020 AT 9:38 pm

        So glad you love this recipe, Julia! I appreciate you coming back to leave a comment + star rating. It means the world to me. 🙂

    8. Susana Williams
      July 27, 2020 AT 9:31 am

      Absolutely delicious! I didn’t soak my beans overnight but did give them a quick soak. Didn’t cook the carrots, etc ahead. Just added them to the beans as they cooked and turned out wonderfully. The pinch of cinnamon is a must!!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 27, 2020 AT 9:34 pm

        So glad this soup turned out for you, Susana! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. The reviews are super helpful to other readers, so I appreciate it. 🙂

    9. Diane
      July 12, 2020 AT 6:49 pm

      This recipe is fast and easy!
      I’ve made this with dry beans and canned; both versions are absolutely delicious. The cayenne does give it a nice kick. Following the recipe exactly as written as well as the sour cream, avocado, lime and cilantro garnish puts it over the top. At the last minute I added this to the Father’s Day Mexican theme dinner and it was the star of the show!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 13, 2020 AT 1:20 pm

        Ahh yay!! So glad you’re a fan of this recipe, Diane. I appreciate you coming back to leave a comment + star rating! 🙂

    10. Sarah
      May 1, 2020 AT 6:10 pm

      This was super tasty and a great way to use up the huge bag of black beans I bought awhile back! Had to use smoked paprika instead of chili powder since I ran out (oops) and used chicken broth. We’ll definitely be having this again!

    11. Brittany
      April 28, 2020 AT 12:58 pm

      WOW! I made this soup with 4 cans of black beans and about 8 cups of chicken stock. It is absolutely delicious.I simmered it for about 1 hour because the canned beans are already pretty soft. I topped mine with greek yogurt, avocado and shredded cheddar. I froze half and I cannot wait to defrost it next week!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 29, 2020 AT 12:31 am

        Ahh yay!! I’m so glad you enjoyed this soup recipe, Brittany! Thanks for trying it and for coming back to leave a comment. I really appreciate it!

    12. Julia
      April 17, 2020 AT 10:25 pm

      This recipe was seriously easy and delicious but I just have to leave a note that this is SPICY. I followed the recipe exactly, even added milk at the end to cool it down and my husband couldn’t eat it. I could but I sweat through the whole bowl, even after adding yogurt and avocado! If you don’t like spicy, I would halve the spices!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 20, 2020 AT 2:18 pm

        Thanks for coming back to leave a comment, Julia! It’s definitely good to point out that if you don’t like spice you can easily half or leave out the cayenne pepper. I’m sorry it was too spicy for your husband, but I’m glad it still turned out for you!

    13. Ashlee
      March 23, 2020 AT 4:22 pm

      Would this be ok with canned black beans? I don’t currently have dried ones on hand… if I used canned, would I drain them? Two cans do you think? Thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 25, 2020 AT 12:23 am

        Hey Ashlee – I haven’t tried canned, but it should work just fine! It looks like 1 lb of dried black beans is equivalent to 7 cups cooked, so you’d need about 4 cans of black beans for this recipe. And yes, I would definitely drain them. Let me know if you try it and how it turns out!!

        1. Ashlee
          April 7, 2020 AT 1:24 pm

          I made this last night using canned beans. I used 3 cans of black beans and 6 cups of vegetable broth and also added a small can of green chili. The rest of the recipe I kept the same. It was delicious! My husband loved it topped with a little salsa, radishes, cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. I’ll definitely double the recipe next time so I have some to freeze for future meals. Thanks!

          1. Brittany Mullins
            April 9, 2020 AT 1:31 pm

            Yay!! I’m so glad this soup was a hit!! Thanks for trying it, Ashlee and for coming back to leave a comment and star rating. I appreciate it. <3

    14. Jennifer
      February 18, 2020 AT 5:07 pm

      Love this recipe!
      I dump all main ingredients into my Instant Pot and hit the “soup” button!
      Once it’s done, I use a hand blender to puree.
      Delicious!

    15. Jan
      February 13, 2020 AT 12:26 pm

      Delicious recipe but Imade it wit a teaspoon of chili powder instead of a tablespoon. I was also careful witch the ground cayenne and stil I had a sweaty moustache.
      The soup was a bit to thin so maybe a potato would make the substance a bit more consistent. 4 carrots could be anything from a few ounces to the pounds depending on the size of the carrot. So maybe some adjustments would make the soup even better.

    16. Paola
      February 6, 2020 AT 5:51 pm

      I love this recipe! It was super easy and tasty even if it was a little time consuming.I will definitely make this again with a side of tortilla chips!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 6, 2020 AT 11:17 pm

        Yay!! So glad you tried and enjoyed this soup, Paola. Thanks for coming back to leave a comment and star rating. I so appreciate it!

    17. marylou
      December 6, 2019 AT 6:35 am

      Another winner!
      So comforting to come home from work to the home smelling good and the wonderful soup just waiting for us last night.
      Appreciate your helping us so much!
      Try it, everyone!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 9, 2019 AT 8:32 pm

        Ahh! I love hearing that, Marylou! Thanks so much for coming back to leave a comment and star rating. I so appreciate it!

    18. Katie Sprayberry
      January 30, 2013 AT 9:03 pm

      For breakfast I made your pumpkin protein pancakes topped with half of a banana, 1 tbsp walnuts and a tiny drizzle of agave syrup… My husband (a serious carnivore /typical male food lover) adored it!!! I heard MMM from the other room 😉 Then, for dinner I made the black bean soup and we both enjoyed it SO much and my young nephews did too!! Thanks again for such wonderful recipes!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 31, 2013 AT 9:48 pm

        Hi Katie – Thank you so much for coming back to leave a comment and let me know how the recipes turned out. I LOVE it when readers do this. 🙂 So glad you and your hubby liked the pancakes and the soup.

    19. Ashley Benson
      September 2, 2012 AT 8:17 pm

      This looks good and healthy! I may add it to the menu for my HEALTH & FITNESS VACATION to St. Augustine, FL this Nov! Spots still available! Check it out: ashleybensonfitness.com

    20. Jes Suazo
      January 29, 2012 AT 9:54 pm

      I’m making this tonight! Can’t wait to taste it tomorrow for lunch. Thanks for the recipe!!

    21. Practical Rabbit
      January 26, 2012 AT 11:38 am

      My husband doesn’t eat tomatoes because of their acid content and I have been searching for a crock pot taco soup substitute. I just made this yesterday and was so happy with how it turned out! Thanks for posting this! I just found your blog a few days and am so happy to find all of these wonderful healthy recipes.

      1. Eating Bird Food
        January 26, 2012 AT 12:46 pm

        So glad you liked the black bean soup! I hope you’ll continue reading. 🙂

    22. Plant Patience
      January 24, 2012 AT 12:24 pm

      Oh, yum! Another fabulous recipe option… I really need to dust off ye olde crock-pot. I can’t wait to make some of this to warm my poor cold New England bones.

    23. Jasper @ crunchylittlebites
      January 20, 2012 AT 3:30 am

      random thought/question!! : what do you think of the food guide pyramid vs. the food plate the the us government is pitching? love to hear what you think brittany! 🙂 – jasper

    24. Sarah
      January 20, 2012 AT 12:49 am

      Great recipe, sucker for black bean anything! Do you think the crock pot is necessary for the soup though? I wonder if a large pot and low heat would suffice?
      –Sarah

      1. Eating Bird Food
        January 20, 2012 AT 6:34 am

        A large pot would be perfectly fine and I don’t think you have to cook it for 8 hours either. The original recipe’s instructions would work too: Bring soup to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

    25. Lauren @ Fun, Fit and Fabulous!
      January 20, 2012 AT 12:03 am

      I’m pinning this right now. This would be perfect to make on the weekend to take all week for lunch! 🙂

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