Spicy Vegan Black Bean Soup

Spicy vegan black bean soup recipe - cookieandkate.com

Now what day is it? I’ve lost track of space and time in the holiday-birthday vortex that sucks me up at the end of every year. Over the past week, I turned twenty-eight, ate lots of cake, and let my friends buy me birthday drinks. It’s been lovely.

I’m easing back into blogging and balanced meals with this hearty black bean soup. It comes together pretty quickly thanks to canned beans, but the soup tastes remarkably fresh with the addition of carrots, celery and garlic. I learned a lesson from this recipe, which is that a soup doesn’t need a long list of spices for a complex final flavor. Aromatics make all the difference!

onions, carrots, celery and garlichow-to-make-spicy-vegan-black-bean-soupSpicy vegan black bean soup - cookieandkate.com

Spicy Vegan Black Bean Soup
5.0 from 18 reviews
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
Healthy and hearty, spicy black bean soup made with canned beans. This soup is incredibly flavorful, thanks to aromatics like carrot, celery, garlic, cilantro and loads of cumin. This recipe yields quite a bit of soup—it is easily halved, or you can freeze the leftovers.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped fine
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • 6 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 4½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon+ red pepper flakes
  • 4 (15-ounce) cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, to taste, or 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Optional garnishes: diced avocado, extra cilantro, thinly sliced radishes, tortilla chips...
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions, celery and carrot and a light sprinkle of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetable are soft, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in the garlic, cumin and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the beans and broth and bring to a simmer. Cook until the broth is flavorful and the beans are very tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. Puree about 4 cups of the soup in a blender until smooth (beware the steam that escapes from the top of the blender, it's very hot). Return the pureed soup to the pot, stir in the cilantro, vinegar/lime juice and salt and pepper, to taste. Serve.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1½ cups


  1. says

    Happy belated birthday, Kate! It sounds like you had some fabulous celebrations. You’re totally speaking my language with this soup. I was just in California for a week and have returned to the snowy Canadian cold so I’m ALL about warm meals. Can’t wait to try it!

  2. says

    Mmmm … this looks like the kind of soup that you can make a great big pot of and keep eating for lunches for ages. And then you feel all self-righteous because you’re eating effortlessly healthy lunches … for ages!
    I especially like the idea of the optional garnishes … lovely! Thanks for the idea. Sounds like the perfect Jan 1 detox option.

  3. says

    This looks so tasty! Black bean soups are always so comforting. I love that you pureed just a portion of the soup so you’d get the smooth texture and the whole beans in every bite. Your photos are beautiful – and I know it’s tricky to make black bean soup look pretty :)

  4. says

    Aw, happy belated Birthday! 28 is an amazing year… I just turned 30 this year which was a bit more scary! Hope that you have a beautiful celebration tonight to say goodbye to the year that was. May 2014 bring even more wonderful things your way Kate! Thanks for this lovely recipe. Yum… I am starting to love black beans even though I only discovered them this year. So much goodness xxx

  5. Penny says

    Your blog is simply wonderful! I look forward to reading it all the time. I made a recipe tonight that was on your blog back in February – West african peanut soup and it was amazing!! I can’t wait to try this soup too!
    Happy belated birthday and I hope you a great new year! Best wishes!

  6. says

    So perfect for a) current chilly, grey weather and b) eating well again after so many days (weeks?) of holiday indulgences. I love the sound of this! Yum. Happy 2014 to you and Cookie!

  7. says

    Looks like a great vegetarian version! Mine started as a way to use up the leftover holiday ham! Gorgeous photography — as usual!

  8. Katie says

    This soup is amazing! So easy to make and very tasty. The ingredients used are things that I usually have around my apartment so very convenient. To add more protein I used nonfat greek yogurt to stir before eating instead of sour cream!

  9. says

    This recipe is SO GOOD!!! WOW! It’s absolutely delicious and SUPER easy to make (not to mention inexpensive). It made plenty to freeze too so it really makes a great meal for a large family or for people looking to stretch their meals out over a couple days. I’ll definitely be making this frequently! Thanks, Kate!

    • says

      Thanks, Amy! I’m happy to hear that you love the soup! I froze my second batch since I was leaving town for the holidays and got to eat soup for a week when I got back. :)

  10. Claire says

    After being told by my doctor to go off dairy, I’ve really been struggling with finding flavorful dinners that don’t have cheese, butter, or milk. This one hit it out of the park! Blending the soup gives it that creamy texture that I’ve been missing. Bravo!

    • says

      Hooray! Glad you enjoyed the soup, Claire! If you like coconut milk, you might like my curried cauliflower soup. It’s a great non-dairy creamer.

  11. Marcia says

    I’m a big fan of bean soups! I have never tried this soup with the lime juice and the cilantro. Sounds yumm! i know how you feel being in a swirl with birthdays around the holidays I have 3 of my children before xmas 12/13, 12/21 and 12/24 .Plus my granddaughter’s 12/23. We finish the birthday tour tomorrow with my last son’s birthday!…talk about not knowing what day it is!

  12. Sheena Armstrong says

    AMAZING! We are obsessed with this soup. Hands down the best black bean soup ever. I’m making it for the second time tonight! :)

  13. Bartek says

    This was great! Very rich and full of flavour. I added a whole sweet potato, cut into 1cm chunks and it added a nice flavour as well.

    My only caveat is the soup is very brown (might try adding some paprika?), so my fiancee will be a bit hard to win over on that first impression :)

  14. says

    Love your website. Really hoping to try this recipe, but I have a hard time being at the stove with a clingy 10 month old. Is there any way I can do it all in the slow cooker, or will all be lost?

    • says

      Stephanie, I’m sorry I didn’t answer your question sooner. I think this soup would be a great candidate for the slow cooker. For the best flavor, I recommend sautéeing the onions, carrots and celery before adding those to the slow cooker, but I’m pretty sure this soup would turn out well even if you just dumped all of the ingredients in the cooker and let it simmer away.

  15. Tracy says

    I just finished making this and I think it tastes delicious! Thank you so much for the recipe. I stumbled on it by accident and I am so glad I did. I will definitely be making this again in the future and will have to check out more of your recipes. I need all the help I can get!

  16. Sara says

    This soup was perfect! Thanks so much for the recipe. I’m a picky vegan foodie who does a lot of cooking and admittedly doesn’t like a lot of other people’s recipes, but this one was spot-on. I’ve made it several times already.

  17. Kirsti says

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I made it all winter and I’m eating it still. It’s a very easy and tasty recipe to just stick in the crockpot and come home to at the end of a long day.

    • says

      Thank you for commenting, Kirsti! I’m glad to hear that the soup turns out well in the crock pot. Thank you for letting me know.

  18. Krystal says

    I LOVE this soup. Love it so much. I’ve gotten so attached to it that I served it at a housewarming party on an 80+ degree day — hot soup on an 80 degree day probably not the best choice but there were hardly any leftovers so I’m guessing everyone was getting as attached as I! The last time I made it I had enough leftovers for lunch the next day. I used it as the insides of a burrito with your best salsa ever and one of your avocado/jalepeno/cilantro sauces (I think the one from the sweet potato tacos). It was great!!! Thank you!

  19. Ju says

    Hi, this soup or similar is a typical food in my country, but with variations like add eggs and white rice, is delicious, sometimes I agree lemon drops and the flavor is better! You can find “black soup of Costa Rica”

  20. Paul S says

    Hi Kate. I’ve been eating a plant based diet since May and was looking for a good vegan black bean soup recipe. I just cooked the beans in a pressure cooker will finish making the soup tomorrow. . . can’t wait to eat it. Thank you!

  21. Amber says

    I absolutely love love love this soup!! I’m a married college student that works overnights at the hospital and this is something that I love to bring for my 3am “lunch”. I batch cook it (double it) and freeze it into individual servings. It freezes beautifully. I always serve with with lime juice squirted on it right before eating (but after reheating). YUM! Thank you for this one!

  22. Julie says

    This soup is delicious! Very easy to make, too. The lime, cilantro, and avocado made it even more tasty! If you don’t have any of these things, it’s still very good. I will make this again. I also appreciate the comment above about making more and freezing it in lunch-sized portions. Thanks for this beautiful blog.

  23. Jen says

    This dish is amazing. My whole family love it (including the little ones which is a bonus) and it is perfect for the cooler weather we are now getting. Thank you from the UK! x

  24. Nicole says

    Came out good, but honestly….a bit too much of a carrot taste. I think I would forego the carrots/celery and maybe add peppers and possibly corn next time.

    • Amy says

      Hi, did you try this with peppers yet? I have some orange, red, and yellows that are about to go bad, so I was thinking of trying it, but wasn’t sure what it might do to the taste…

  25. Alex says

    This looks delicious! How long do you think this would last in the fridge before needing to be frozen? I’d love to make a pot and eat it for lunches for a week but am worrie about how long it stays fresh!

    • says

      Hey Alex! I can’t say with absolute certainty, but I think the soup would be good for about four days. You might want to freeze a few individual portions in mason jars for later in the week! Just leave some room at the top of the jar for liquid expansion as the soup freezes and wait to screw on the lid until after the soup has frozen. That’s probably your safest bet!

  26. Rebecca says

    This recipe was amazing and so simple. I’ve tried many black bean soup recipes looking for “the one” and this is the winner, hands down.

  27. Alyssa says

    This was great! Not spicy enough for me; I added cayenne and hot sauce. But then again, I like it hot enough to burn my taste buds off. :) I’ll probably throw in a jalapeno next time. I also added more liquid than called for in the recipe, since I like my black bean soup on the thinner side. Very fast, very easy, and definitely going in my “make again” folder. I love the idea of garnishing with avocado–I’d never thought of doing that with black bean soup before. It was delicious! Thanks!

  28. Gabrielle says

    Hi, Kate. Any substitutions for the cumin in this recipe? Unfortunately, even in small quantities my tastebuds do not like its flavor. Thank you!

    • says

      Hi Gabrielle, I can’t think of any straight substitutions. I would just leave it out and play around with other spices if you feel like the soup is lacking in flavor. It should still be good without it!

  29. Kathryn says

    As I’m sharing the link to this recipe for the umpteenth time, I had to comment and let you know how much this soup has become a weeknight staple for me. It is so simple, yet so absolutely rich and delicious! It has saved me from take-out on more than one occasion, and I make sure to always have four cans of black beans on hand “just in case”. Thanks!

  30. Anna says

    I’ve been feeling under the weather so I came home early today. I knew I wanted soup and this recipe was perfect! So fantastic! Thank you!

  31. Erin says

    Hi there! This soup looks and sounds amazing. Do you think it would ruin it to slow cook it in a crock pot?

      • Erin says

        So I made it in the crock! This soup is AMAZING!!! It’s so good and has just the right amount of kick. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I basically just put it all in the crock at the same time and slow cooked it for about 6 hours…PERFECTION!!!!

  32. Mary says

    This was a really good recipe, but I did make a few small changes recently – however – I think they really improve the flavour of this. I actually took my food chopper and grated 4 small carrots, rather than cut them into discs – this means they blended very well when you used your immersion blender. Next – I added 1 cup diced tomatoes and 2 small sweet potatoes – diced. I added the sweet potatoes last. I have made the original recipe before, but always felt it just lacked a little something. This really made a difference! Yummy.

Leave a comment below:

Your comments make my day. Thank you!

Note: Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: