This delicious and easy black bean soup can stand alone as a savory meal, or pair it with a sandwich or salad for a healthy lunch or dinner.
Oh how I love homemade black bean soup. There's just no comparison to it's fresh flavor profile, and the satisfaction that each bite is super healthy and nourishing. Don't get me wrong--I love a big bowl of Panera black bean soup when I'm on the go, but this homemade version is so easy that it's a no-brainer to make when I'm cooking at home.
As promised, the ingredients in this vegetarian black bean soup are fresh and awesome:
- extra-virgin olive oil
- onion, celery, carrot, red pepper and garlic
- ground cumin and chili powder
- low-sodium chicken broth (or substitute low-sodium vegetable broth for vegan/vegetarian black bean soup)
- black beans
- sea salt and pepper
And for bonus points, you can top with any or all of the following toppings to really take things to the next level. 😉
- fresh cilantro
- sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- shredded cheddar cheese
- green onions
As with all of my recipes, I like to prep all of the fresh produce ahead of time so that cooking is simple and stress-free. (Full disclosure: I didn't use to be this diligent, but learned over the years that this simple step makes cooking SO much more enjoyable!) With that said, go ahead and dice the veggies and mince the garlic, and set everything aside. Then, rinse and drain the black beans.
Next, I heat some olive oil in a large soup pot and sauté the onion for a few minutes, followed by the celery, carrots and red pepper until they all start to soften. Then add the garlic and sauté for another minute or so. Oh, the aroma, the aroma!
And finally, I add some cumin, chili powder*, salt and pepper, followed by the broth and black beans. Increase the heat to medium-high until the broth boils and then simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes over medium-low heat.
*If you like spicy black bean soup, you can adjust the amount of chili powder in the recipe upward to your liking! As written, the spice level of this soup is mild and very kid-friendly. 🙂
If you prefer smoother, creamy black bean soup, scoop about 3-4 cups of the soup into a blender and blend at low speed until smooth. Be careful: the steam escaping through the top of the blender will be hot. Add the blended soup back in to the pot. Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender right in the soup pot to reach your desired consistency. If you prefer all-chunky soup, simply omit this step.
Stir in the fresh cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste, serve in individual soup bowls and garnish as desired.
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Easy Black Bean Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 carrot
- 1 small red pepper
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth or low-sodium vegetable broth for vegan/vegetarian
- 3 15-ounce cans black beans
- ½ small bunch cilantro about ¼ cup chopped
- ½ lime
- sea salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
Toppings (all are optional):
- sliced ripe avocado
- chopped cilantro
- a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- shredded cheddar cheese
- sliced green onions
- Prep: Dice the onion, celery, carrot and red pepper, and mince the garlic; set aside. Chop the cilantro and juice the lime, chopping a little extra cilantro for garnish if desired. Rinse and drain the black beans.
- Sauté: Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat until shimmering, and add the onion. Sauté for a couple minutes and then add the celery, carrots and red pepper and sauté for another couple minutes until the veggies start to soften. Add the garlic and saute one minute more.
- Simmer: Add the cumin, chili powder, salt, broth and black beans, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
- Blend (Optional): Using a ladle, scoop about 3-4 cups of soup into a blender (but don't exceed your blender's max fill line) and blend at low speed until smooth being mindful that the steam escaping through the top of the blender will be hot. Add the blended soup back in to the pot. Or, use an immersion blender right in the soup pot to the desired consistency. The goal is for the soup to be about half smooth, half chunky. If you prefer all-chunky soup, simply omit this step.
- Season: Stir in cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.
- Enjoy: Serve in individual soup bowls and garnish as desired.