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!

If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider leaving a ⭐ star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below.

4.38 from 64 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




85 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    trying to find filling and nutritious meals while having a lot of dietary restrictions is tough but this soup is perfect! will definitely be making again in future.

    1. YAY! I am so glad you found this recipe and are loving it, Naphtali. Thank you for taking the time to share your review + star rating, I really appreciate it!

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

    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!

    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. 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. 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. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 5 stars
    I’ve made this several times, always a hit with the family, even my 2 year old Grandson (though with less chili powder). I am wondering if you chose to serve a meat with it, what meat would you choose?

  6. I’m wanting to make this to save in the freezer… What is the best way to reheat after freezing? Also, does it have to be cooked before freezing or can I just prep the vegetables and put it all in a bag?

  7. 5 stars
    So, so good! I love black bean soup, and this recipe is my new favorite! I cooked mine in my Instant Pot after first microwaving my dried black beans for 10 minutes and then letting them stand for an hour. I sautéed the onion, carrot, and garlic, then added the drained beans and remaining ingredients, cooked for 45 minutes, then waited for 25 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure. I gave the soup a quick whizz with my immersion blender, then served it with a squirt of lime juice! Yum! Thank you for a great recipe!

    1. Yay! So glad this black bean soup was a hit, Becky! Thanks for the review. It means the world to me!

  8. 5 stars
    I have been on the hunt for years for the elusive perfect black bean soup recipe, and this is it! The combination of spices and beans and veggies is exactly what I’ve been hoping to find, and this will go on my “Favorites” Pinterest board so I never lose it! I made this in my Instant Pot. I microwaved the black beans for 10 minutes, then let them sit on the counter for an hour while I did other things in the kitchen. I sautéed my veggies in the Instant Pot, then added the spices and other ingredients and cooked it all for 45 minutes, then let it sit for 25 minutes before I released the remaining pressure. I made this last week, and I’ve been enjoying it since then. I swear, it gets better with each passing day! Thanks for a fantastic recipe!

    1. Woo!! That makes me so happy to hear, Becky! Thanks for making this soup and coming back to leave a review. It means the world to me.

  9. 5 stars
    Made this tonight. It was so delicious! My whole family loved it. Best black bean soup we’ve ever had! Thanks for the great recipes!

    1. Yes – you should be fine using the same amount of broth with canned beans. Just make sure to rinse and wash your beans before using them.

  10. 3 stars
    I made this soup today.used 7 cups of stock, omitted the cayenne ( I have grandkids) .it was flavorful but too watery.even after using immersion blender it was still too thin

    1. Oh no! So sorry to hear that this soup turned out to be too thin, Ann. Did you change anything about the recipe? Did you use dry or canned black beans?

  11. 5 stars
    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. 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

  12. 5 stars
    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. 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!

    1. 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!

    1. 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. 🙂

  13. 5 stars
    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. 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. 🙂

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

  14. 5 stars
    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. 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. 🙂

  15. 5 stars
    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. Ahh yay!! So glad you’re a fan of this recipe, Diane. I appreciate you coming back to leave a comment + star rating! 🙂

  16. 5 stars
    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!

  17. 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. 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!

  18. 4 stars
    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. 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!

  19. 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. 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. 5 stars
        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. 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

  20. 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!

  21. 3 stars
    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.

  22. 5 stars
    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. 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!

  23. 5 stars
    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. Ahh! I love hearing that, Marylou! Thanks so much for coming back to leave a comment and star rating. I so appreciate it!

  24. 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. 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.

  25. 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

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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

  29. 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. 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.

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

  31. Another delicious recipe! Yum- there is something so great about soup in the winter! I love the avacado chopped on top too. Is corn bread healthy…?
    It’s also super fun to read about other TEDx events- I was part of the first Buffalo version last year. 🙂

  32. This black bean soup look so delicious and easy to make! Thanks for the recipe, I bet that avocado on top added a delicious cool taste with every bite! 🙂

  33. Black bean soup is my absolute favorite! I might try it all in the crockpot. Love the contrast of the avocado in the photos!

  34. The soup looks so good! Perfect way to enjoy your veggies! Also a perfect meal for vegan and vegetarians lots of protein and fiber 🙂

    My mom taught me neat trick to freeze my leftover soups in small plastic containers and anytime I am in need of a quick meal all I have to do is defrost. (I’ve tried it with bean soups in the past and it was perfect!)

    By the way did you watch modern family last night? What did you think? Lily’s light up dress was too cute!!

    Have a great day 🙂

  35. Are you going to put a link to Google Plus? I’m changing to Google Plus and would love to get your posts there.