Easy Black Bean Soup

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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 getting 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.

A bowl of black bean soup topped with avocado, cilantro, lime and vegan sour cream served alongside tortilla chips.

This recipe is really straightforward, 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 so I’m giving instructions for both. 

Why You’ll Love This Soup

  • It’s a budget-friendly meal!
  • Totally customizable – feel free to switch up the toppings or add protein.
  • Can be made on the stovetop or in the slow cooker.
  • You only need 5 main ingredients, plus spices!
  • One pot meal that is perfect for meal prep – cook once and eat healthy all week!
Ingredients measured out to make black bean soup: onions, cumin, garlic, vegetable broth, cinnamon, dried black beans, olive oil, cayenne, basil, chili powder, oregano, bay leaf, carrots, pepper and salt.

Ingredients Needed

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. I include tips for how to prepare dried beans below, but most importantly, make sure you soak them! You can also use canned black beans instead as a shortcut.
  • vegetable broth – the base of this soup. If you don’t need this recipe to be vegan you can use chicken broth or bone both.
  • olive oil – just a little bit, to cook the veggies in.
  • veggies – garlic, onion and carrots come together and provide delicious flavor for this soup. Feel free to add celery if you have it on hand!
  • spicescumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, dried basil, dried oregano, bay leaf, pinch of cinnamon, sea salt and black pepper. If you want more of a smoked flavor add smoked paprika or some chipotles in adobo sauce.
  • toppings – fresh cilantro, avocado and lime wedges. Feel free to use your favorite toppings here!
Collage of six photos showing the process to make homemade black bean soup.

How to Make Black Bean Soup

Soak black beans: 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.

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

For the stovetop: Add all the remaining ingredients, including the pre-soaked beans, right into the soup pot with the vegetables. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the beans are tender.

For the slow cooker: Transfer the cooked veggies into your slow cooker and add all the other ingredients. Cover and cook on high for 6-8 hours or until the black beans are tender.

Puree: 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! If using a traditional blender, be careful! The soup will be hot. Blend in small amounts to prevent splattering hot soup everywhere.

Two bowls of black bean soup topped with avocado, cilantro, lime and vegan sour cream.

How to Serve

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. If you’re not worried about this soup being vegan or dairy-free you can also sprinkle it with shredded cheese!

This soup would be delicious paired with my pumpkin cornbread muffins or almond flour crackers. If you want a boost of protein, you can add shredded chicken, ground chicken or ground turkey. Just cook the protein first and then mix it into the finished soup.

A wooden ladle with a portion of black bean soup over a pot beneath it.

Black Bean Soup FAQ

Are black beans healthy?

Yes! Black beans are packed with plant-based protein and are 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.

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 beans, they’re ready to be used in whatever recipe you’re making.

Can black bean soup be frozen?

Absolutely. Whether you choose to puree or keep your beans whole, you can make and freeze this soup if you won’t be eating it when 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 tip – portion out serving sizes in individual bags prior to freezing to make defrosting a breeze. Black bean soup can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Can I use canned black beans?

Yes! You’ll need about 3 15-ounce cans of black beans. Do not rinse, just add to the pot. You will only need about 4 cups of broth as opposed to the 8 this originally calls for. If the soup ends up too thick you can always add a little more.

A spoonful of black bean soup lifted out of a bowl beneath it.

How to Store Black Bean Soup

Like I mentioned earlier, this soup is a great meal prep recipe. I like to make a batch at the beginning of the week and enjoy it for easy lunches or dinners throughout the week. Allow the soup to cool slightly and then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

More Vegan Soup Recipes to Try

More Black Bean Recipes

Be sure to check out all of the black bean recipes as well as the full collection of soup recipes on EBF!

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4.35 from 61 votes

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.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients  

  • 1 pound (about 2 ½ cups) dried black beans, soaked and rinsed
  • ½ 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
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • For serving: chopped fresh cilantro, avocado and lime wedges

Instructions 

  • Soak the beans overnight or about 8-12 hours. Drain and rinse.
    Black beans soaking in water overnight.
  • 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.
    Onions, carrots and garlic sautéing in a pot.
  • Add all the other ingredients to the pot, except the lime, cilantro and avocado. Stir to make sure everything is combined.
    Ingredients for black bean soup added to pot.
  • 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.
    Black bean soup cooking in a pot.
  • 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.
    Black bean soup after being blended with an immersion blender.
  • 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.
    Fresh cilantro added to black bean soup in a pot.

Slow Cooker:

  • Soak the beans overnight or about 8-12 hours. Drain and rinse.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Video

Notes

  • To make this with canned black beans, you’ll need about 3 (15 ounce) cans of black beans and you can decrease the broth as well. You’ll likely need about 4 cups of broth, but feel free to add more if the soup is too thick. 

Nutrition

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

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: Soup
Keyword: black bean soup
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

More about Brittany
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Recipe Rating




83 Comments

  1. This soup is easy and delicious. The spice mix is really good. Eating Bird Food has become my recipe site of choice. The healthy recipes are clear, easy to follow, and most importantly, delicious. Brittany frequently provides easy to use substitutes for items on the ingredient list. Excellent site.

    1. Ahh! This makes me so happy to hear, Deb. Thanks so much for making the soup, the review and the kind words. I so appreciate it!

    1. Hi Ann Marie! If you don’t need it to be vegetarian, yes! Using chicken broth instead of vegetable broth is just fine. Let me know how it turns out for you!

    1. Woo! So happy to hear that, Jacquie. Thanks for coming back to leave a review and star rating, I really appreciate it!

    2. Yay! I’m happy to hear that, Jacquie. Thanks for coming back to leave a review, I really appreciate it!

    1. Yay! So glad this soup was a hit, Kris. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!

    1. Hi Laura – I usually leave the lid off while simmering. So glad you are loving this soup. Thank you so much for sharing your review + star rating, I really appreciate it!

    1. Yum! I am so excited to hear that you are loving this recipe, Deb! Thank you for your review + star rating, I really appreciate it!

  2. My ingredients are in the slow cooker ready to go! I don’t remember ever cooking a soup on high for 6 – 8 hours in the slow cooker. Usually that time is for the low temperature. Of the many reviews, I didn’t see anybody else question the time. Thought I’d confirm. Thanks for the easy recipe, smells delicioius!

    1. Yes! You’ll want to cook this soup that long on high because you are using dried beans. Hope you loved it and it turned out great for you!

  3. 5 stars
    This soup was EXCELLENT. My husband and I loved it. I was going to make Pinto Beans with Cornbread, but no pintos in the cupboard (highly unusual for me) so I looked up a recipe for the Black Beans I had. Afterwards, I was told by my husband . . . I’ll be asking for this again! Served with the avocado, cilantro, sour cream and tortillas! A healthy, inexpensive, delicious meal.

    1. YUM! I am so happy to hear that you and your husband are loving this recipe, Deborah. Thank you for your review + star rating, it means so much to me!

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