This simple black bean soup recipe uses canned black beans–making for a quick prep since you don’t need to soak the beans. The soup is flavorful and you can adjust the heat-level to suit your tastes. Slow cooker variation included.
There’s a lot to love about this soup. I’ve been making the recipe for almost 20 years. And every time I make it, I’m surprised by how tasty it is–especially since it uses such simple ingredients.
And not only is it really flavorful, it’s quick to make and nicely filling. From start to finish, it takes about an hour to prepare. Most of the work is hands-off, since the soup simmers for 30 minutes. If you want to make it in advance, do it. The soup reheats beautifully.
- Black Beans. I like to use no-salt added black beans. This way I can control the amount of salt in the soup. By the way, I like to rinse my beans before using but this is totally optional.
- Green Chiles. These come diced in a can. Use your favorite spice level: mild, medium, or hot. If you can’t find the seven-ounce can, use two four-ounce cans.
- Carrots, celery, and onions. Cooking the diced carrots, celery, and onions before adding the rest of the ingredients adds a nice flavor to soup.
- Chili Powder. Chili powder is a blend of spices, usually a ground chili, cumin, garlic, and oregano. Don’t confuse it with cayenne powder, which is very spicy.
How to Make Black Bean Soup.
Cook the carrots, onions, and celery in hot olive oil until the onions begin to soften. This step adds a nice flavor to soup. Once the vegetables are cooked, add the minced garlic. It’s always a good idea to wait to add the garlic. If you add it at the beginning, along with the rest of the vegetables, it can burn.
After the garlic cooks for a minute, add the chili powder and cumin to the hot vegetables. Stir everything to combine. Doing this brings out the flavor in the chili powder.
Then, add the rest of the ingredients. Bring the soup to a boil and then, as soon as it boils, reduce the soup and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.
How to Purée Black Bean Soup.
You don’t need to purée this soup. But there’s something about a smooth, thick black bean soup that I really enjoy. If you like this texture too, here’s how to do it.
- Use an immersion blender. This is how I purée it. Carefully place an immersion blender into your pot of soup. Make sure the soup covers the base of the blender where the blade sits. Run it in short, 5-second bursts. Move the blender around the pot of soup until it’s the consistency you like.
- Use a blender. If you use a blender, you must puree this soup in batches. Never fill a blender more than halfway full with hot soup. The heat can cause the soup to expand and spill out of the bender.
To safely use a blender, ladle the hot soup into a blender until it’s ½ full. Remove the center of the blender lid and cover with a towel. Run the blender until the soup is smooth. Repeat until all the soup is blended.
Can I make this soup in a slow cooker?
This recipe works great in a slow cooker. Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker insert. Stir everything together to combine. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours or until the vegetables are soft.
What do I serve with black bean soup?
- Sour cream
- Diced red onions
- Picked jalapeños
- Tortilla Chips
- Chopped cilantro
How do I store the leftovers?
This recipe makes a large pot of soup. So you’ll probably have leftovers, unless you’re feeding a crowd. Here’s how to store it or freeze it. And remember, don’t let the soup sit out at room temperature for more than two hours.
To store the soup in the refrigerator.
- Transfer the soup to a shallow container, no more than 2-inches deep. You want to cool it to below 40℉.
- Refrigerate it for up to three days.
- When ready to serve, reheat the soup to 165℉.
To freeze the leftovers.
- Place the soup in freezer-safe containers. “Souper cubes” are great for this.
- Date and label the container. It’s easy to forget what’s in the freezer.
- Freeze for up to three months.
- Thaw the soup in the refrigerator overnight or use the defrost setting on your microwave.
- When ready to serve, reheat the soup to 165℉.
Black Bean Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced (about 1 ½ cups diced)
- 2 stalks celery, diced (about 1 cup diced)
- 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup diced)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or put through a garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt, see note
- 3 (15 ounce) cans no-salt added black beans, rinsed, see note
- 1 (7 ounce) or 2 (4 ounce) cans diced green chiles, mild, medium, or hot
- 6 cups water or chicken broth, plus more as needed
- 2 teaspoons chicken base, Better than Bouillon recommended
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the carrots, celery, and onions. Cook until the onions begin to soften, about five minutes. Stir frequently while it cooks. Add the minced garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Stir to combine and cook for an additional minute.
Add the black beans, diced chiles, water, and chicken base. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil. When it reaches a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft. Stir the soup occasionally as it cooks.
You can serve it right away or puree it.
To puree with an immersion blender: Carefully place an immersion blender into the pot. Make sure the soup covers the base of the blender where the blade sits. Run it in short, 5-second bursts. Move the blender around the pot of soup until it's the consistency you like.
To puree with a blender: To safely use a blender, ladle the hot soup into a blender until it's ⅓ to ½ full. Never fill a blender more than halfway with hot soup. Remove the center of the blender lid and cover with a towel. Run the blender until the soup is smooth. Repeat until all the soup is blended.
If the soup is too thick, add an additional cup of water or broth.
Store the leftover soup in the refrigerator for up to three days. Freeze the cooled soup for up to three months.
This soup thickens when stored. When reheating, you might want to add a splash of water until it's the consistency you like. Reheat soup to 165℉
Salt: The salt is a suggested amount based on using no-salt added black beans and water. If you use canned beans that include salt and salted chicken broth, you might want to reduce the salt. Taste the soup once it simmers and then adjust the salt to taste.
Beans: I like to rinse my black beans before using them. This is optional. If you’re using canned beans with sodium, rinsing removes some of the salt.