Meet my favorite black bean soup! It takes advantage of canned black beans and comes together quickly. Yet the soup tastes remarkably fresh thanks to the carrots, celery and garlic.
Cumin and a little bit of sherry vinegar (or lime juice) add a Cuban flair that takes it over the top. This lightly creamy black bean soup is packed with flavor.
This homemade soup is a million times better than the store-bought variety. Read the comments if you don’t believe me just yet!
How to Make The Best Black Bean Soup
A few notes and tips before you get started:
You don’t need a long list of ingredients for complex flavor. Basic, fresh aromatics like onion, carrots and celery make all the difference. Just cook them until they’re nice and tender.
Briefly sauté the cumin, garlic and red pepper flakes to enhance their flavor. Then, add the remaining ingredients and gently simmer until the beans are tender and the flavors have melded.
To achieve the perfect soup texture, purée a portion of the soup in the blender until it’s super creamy. Then stir it back into the pot. Ta da! Now you have black bean soup with tender beans and a lightly creamy consistency, no cream required.
Black Bean Soup Storage Tips
I should mention that this recipe makes quite a lot of soup. Leftovers will keep well for four to five days, so it’s perfect for weekday lunches.
You can also freeze this soup. I always freeze my soup in pint-sized mason jars, leaving room for expansion at the top and waiting to screw on the lids until the soup has fully frozen. Then I just defrost it later.
Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup
Rumor has it that this black bean soup turns out well in a slow cooker (Erin said she “basically just put it all in the crock at the same time and slow cooked it for about 6 hours”). If you give that a try, will you please let me know how it turns out?
Please let me know how this soup turns out for you in the comments! I’m always so eager for your feedback and hope my recipes turn out wonderfully for you.
Craving more hearty vegetarian soups? Don’t miss the following soup recipes on Cookie and Kate:
- Vegetarian Chili
- Butternut Squash Chipotle Chili
- Pinto Posole
- Mexican Quinoa Stew
- Best Lentil Soup
- Plus my cookbook has eight of my favorite soup recipes!
Watch How to Make Black Bean Soup
Spicy Black Bean Soup
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Vegan
This healthy black bean soup recipe is easy to make with canned beans. Thanks to some basic aromatics and Cuban spices, it’s incredibly flavorful and delicious. This soup is naturally vegan, vegetarian and gluten free. The recipe yields quite a bit of soup (6 to 8 servings)—it is easily halved, or you can freeze the leftovers.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
- 3 celery ribs, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
- 6 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 4 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (use ¼ teaspoon if you’re sensitive to spice)
- 4 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups (32 ounces) low-sodium vegetable broth
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons 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…
- Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot 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.
- 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 over medium-high heat. Cook, reducing heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, until the broth is flavorful and the beans are very tender, about 30 minutes.
- Transfer about 4 cups of the soup to a stand blender, securely fasten the lid, and blend until smooth (never fill your blender past the maximum fill line, and beware the steam that escapes from the top of the blender, it’s very hot). Or, use an immersion blender to blend a portion of the soup.
- Return the pureed soup to the pot, stir in the cilantro, vinegar/lime juice and salt and pepper, to taste. Serve.
Recipe adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook.
Suggested sides: Chunky avocado salsa, a little green salad, quesadillas or a grilled cheese sandwich.
Hi the Honda ad on this page prevents me from seeing the recipe! I hope this won’t become the norm with ads on this page! I had to keep refreshing the page to be able to read it. Excellent recipe though!
Hi Ellen, I’m sorry to hear that. Can you send me a screen shot to firstname.lastname@example.org of what you are seeing with your URL & browswer? I want to make sure I understand. I’m happy you enjoyed this recipe!
Don’t usually like black beans, and I’m not the hugest soup fan…but this was AMAZING. I used chicken broth instead of vegetable broth and topped with avocado, tortilla chips, and sour cream. What a yummy recipe – thank you!
You’re welcome, T! I appreciate your review.
Hi! Can this soup be frozen once it’s made?
Hi Clare! This is a great option for the freezer. Thank you for sharing.
I love every recipe of yours that I have tried! I’m anxious to try this one but the sodium content is crazy high! Why is that? Because of the canned beans?
Hi Heather, more on my Nutrition Disclaimer. You can use no sodium added beans and/or reduce the amount of salt added if you prefer. These are estimates.
I grew up in Miami and we would have the Cuban version, Black Beans and Yellow rice. My mother was from Key West, (can’t get any closer to Cuba than that). Your recipe is close, but we would never use caned Beans. I always make it more flavorful by putting in a ham hock, some tomato sauce and a couple of packets of Goya ham flavored concentrate.
Absolutely phenomenal!!! Wonderful taste. I couldn’t stop eating though I was by all accounts already full!:)
Thank you for publishing the recipe.
That’s great to hear, Sean! Thank you for your review.
Absolutely delicious, thank you for the recipe. I had basil, green onions and dill that needed to be used up. The mix of herbs worked well in the soup and on top with a dollop of plain yogurt. Yum!
BTW, love your recipes ❤️
I don’t want to freeze it. Can I can this recipe?
Hi Walda, This recipe isn’t meant for canning.
This was the best black bean soup I’ve ever made! Thank you for the recipe.
Thank you for your review, Kate! I’m happy you enjoyed it.
Hi! I love this recipe—the soup is delicious! Wondering if it can be frozen if I made a big batch? Thanks!
Hi! Yes, this is a good option to freeze.
I just made this soup. Love it!! Thanks for another great recipe!!
I was considering soaking my black beans. However, to save time I used canned. Came out delicious!
Great to hear, Joan!
just laced it up. brilliant recipe!
Thank you! I’m happy you enjoyed it.
I made the bean soup exactly as instructed and it is really good. The sherry vinegar at the end was a great addition.
Absolutely delicious. I recently remembered this soup – having made it a long time ago. My whole family loves this satisfying, yummy soup. Perfect without toppings but also amazing with recommended toppings. Thank you!
You’re welcome, Lynne!
I have made this soup three times now. Each time it was delicious. I would give it a five star rating. I did use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth and also used two cans of northern white beans along with black beans. That is what I had in the cupboard. Delicious!
I haven’t made soup before. I need to make three quarts of soup for an event. Do I double or triple the recipe?
Hi, I’m not sure as I do this based on servings. To be safe you can always triple as it makes great extras.
Thanks for your reply.
I love all your recipes. Indeed, instead of typing “best xxx”, I type “Cookie and Kate xxx., and that’s how I found this recipe for black bean soup. If I want to cook my own beans (I am planning to pressure-cook them), is there a change I should make to this recipe? Thanks!
Hi, you will want to use the same quantity of beans and you may want to adjust the salt. Let me know what you think when you try it!
SOUPer tasty :) This was exactly the soup I was craving!! I used the food processor to help my prep along and it came together pretty fast!
I’m trying this in the slow cooker today! Will update later:)
What a delicious soup!! Thank you!
You’re welcome, Anita! I appreciate your review.
Do you really mean 4 1/2 tsp cumin or is it 2 tsp cumin?
Hi George, you can reduce if you prefer. I do like this with the amount of cumin stated. I hope you try it!
Kate – I like to cook my own beans from scratch and never know whether to use the water they soaked and cooked in or drain the water. Do you have an opinion about that?
Thanks. I love all your recipes!
I’ve made this recipe several times. It’s very easy to make, very hearty, good for a winter weeknight. But it’s not spicy. Like, I made it for my midwestern grandparents, who shy away from even onions as “spicy” and it was at their spice level. I added about a half tablespoon extra each of cumin, red pepper flakes, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. It’s still not particularly spicy, but I can now feel any burn at all.
Hi. I love your recipes! If i am cooking black beans from scratch, how many cups of cooked beans equal the 4 canned black beans in your recipe here?
Hi! There are roughly 1.5 cups of beans in a can I believe. I hope this helps!
Delicious! I did not have any celery in the house but made it anyway and it was very good, I can’t wait to make it again when I have everything on hand.Thank you!
Very yummy and pretty easy to make. I pureed half my black beans before actually making.
Great flavor. I about doubled the amount of beans since I used dried ones. I cooked them and then made the soup so the cooking time was much less.
I really enjoyed this, but I should note I made a few changes. I don’t love cooked celery, so I replaced one rib of celery with about that much sweet red bell pepper. I also only had 1 tbsp of cumin left, so I used some of my Penzey’s “Arizona Dreaming” blend (a mixture of different “Mexican” spices). Also, I get a bit nauseated from fresh garlic :( so I used only a small dash of garlic powder. It all worked really well, and the lime we squeezed on top really made it! We ate it all in a few days (just two of us) and are already going to make more. Just a note — 4 1/2 teaspoons of cumin = 1 1/2 tablespoon of cumin. Much easier to measure! :)
Thank you for sharing, Loretta!
It is 10:30 in the morning and I am eating a bowl of this astonishingly wonderful Black Bean Soup. I have made it FIVE times in the last month. Is there a higher form of praise than to tell you this?
I love that you have made it so much! Thank you for sharing, Sher.
This recipe is delicious and easy to make. Good Flavors!
I did try once in the slow cooker instead — and for feedback on that, just to let you know, it does not thicken like it does on the stovetop. I reduced the amount of stock, anticipating that, but ended up dumping into a pot on the stove at the (after six hours in the slow cooker) to thicken up. It took just 15 or so minutes and we had a lovely dinner of it. If you have ideas of how to adjust please reply!
Thank you for sharing, Lane! I appreciate you sharing your experience with making it in a slow cooker.
Outstanding soup recipe! I added a venison ring bologna sliced into the soup at the end for those meat lovers. Love this soup enough with family making it again!
I’m glad you loved it, Kiril! I appreciate your review.
Just wondering if you have a calorie/nutrition count on this recipe?
Hi Deb! It’s below the notes section of the recipe.
Made a half batch the other night. Had to sub red wine vinegar for the sherry. Also, I used three cans of beans as the half recipe was looking a bit shy. Used chopped scallions (green and white parts) as a topping placed on table to spoon on top. Was great! Had a bit left over and because the starchy beans soak up a lot I simply added a little more organic veggie broth. The second night was even better as flavors developed more I guess. The recipe’s a keeper for me!
Wow! This soup is unbelievable! I just found this recipe a few days ago, and we’ve already made 3 batches! For one of the batches, I didn’t have quite enough black beans, so I subbed half kidney beans and it worked great. I also added a can of corn and it made the soup even better! I would note that this soup is really not all that spicy. I have a very low spice tolerance and even with the full 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes per batch thought it was only mildly spicy. If you really like spice, you may want to increase the red pepper flakes even more!
Hooray! That’s great to hear, Laura. I appreciate you sharing how adapted it.
I did not like this recipe at all. I had to throw the whole batch out. Way too much cumin. That’s all they taste it was cumin.
I’m sorry you didn’t love it. You can always reduce the amount of cumin if you prefer.
I added a dried smoked ancho chili and some bay leaves. I remove them before the puree step. Delicious!!!
Delicious and so easy to make.
I only yielded 4 cups. Only thing I changed was 1 less onions. Not enough for 6 people.
I added a can of chopped tomatoes. That seems to brighten it up. I just always put tomatoes in my soup. I added lemon juice as I don’t have lime juice. It’s delicious.
Wow! I have made a lot of black bean soup recipes, and this is by far the best! The only change I made was that I added chipotle peppers in adobo (about six with just a little of the adobo). Thank you so much!
You’re welcome, Amanda! I appreciate your review
Delicious! I added extra cumin and doubled the pepper flakes. I also did a bell pepper instead of celery. Ate it with avocado and tortilla chips, will definitely make again!
Just finished a bowl for lunch. Excellent as written. The cumin is perfect as it’s flavoring 4 cans of beans! It’s a keeper, as are all of your recipes:)
I added smoked paprika and ten white button mushrooms to the cumin/garlic step in the recipe. It is my new favorite soup! I also added chopped tomato and Greek yogurt along with the cilantro and avocado for the topping. Thanks for the recipe!
You’re welcome, Tricia!
This was SO good!! I couldn’t find any spice in it though so I added a jalapeno and quadrupled the red pepper. I will be putting this on my dinner rotation. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!
You’re welcome, Karyn!
Thank you for sharing this recipe – it was so simple and fast but full of flavor. I added lots of fresh cilantro and garlic along with some homemade sofrito. Perfect for adding some flavor to a chilly weeknight. My boyfriend even dug into this as a snack with tortilla chips! Definitely adding to my rotation :)
I’m glad you enjoyed it, Kimoria! I appreciate your feedback and review.
I have made this soup twice now. It is fabulous!! My whole family loves it and it is so simple to make. I like that you can make it as smooth or as chunky as you prefer.
That’s great to hear, Deborah! I appreciate your review.
Hi Kate. Here in France, canned black beans are as rare as hen’s teeth so I used 500 grams of dried beans, which I soaked overnight then simmered for 1¾ hours. Apart from this I followed your recipe.
It worked! The result was amazing. Thank you so much for my new fav soup!
I enjoyed making and eating this hearty soup. I needed an extra quart of vegetable stock to get the consistency to my liking. I also added about a teaspoon of salt and about 2/3 of a teaspoon of Lawrey’s seasoned salt, as well as a good measure of pepper, which increased the spice to a good level. Garnished with Kite Hill plant based sour cream and red onion.
Great base recipe! Hard to beat!!
I HATE carrots n carrot water (veg. broth)…that’s just me…so I sub. red bell pepper and chicken broth. Often add sweet potato and/or a can of tomatoes, depending on what I have or feel like that day.
I like to dual purpose and make a big batch including sweet potato using minimal broth. Take as much as you need, add spinach and make black bean/sweet potato burritos. Then add whatever amt. broth to have additional soup. Soup freezes well, even with the sweet potato.
I’m glad you were able to make it to fit your tastes, Edith!
Delicious! I didn’t have canned black beans so I made it from dry ones (Instant Pot first) and added the leftover (somehow thick) black water to the veg broth part. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly, and the soup was done in 30 min, including all the chopping. Thank you for the wonderful recipe, Kate.
You’re welcome, Alice!
Joanne Renee Marie Francis
I’ve made this spicy black bean soup many times … it’s delicious!
I’m glad you love it, Joanne!
I love it! Very much how I remember having it in a restaurant in Zihuatanejo, which made me love black bean soup.
I made the Spicy Black Bean Soup exactly according to the recipe – and LOVED IT!! I’l make it again and again and again. And maybe again.
Excellent recipe, I have made it multiple times now. A weeknight favourite!
This recipe is fantastic, except: It would be much better without the olive oil and the salt. The oil more than doubles the calories and fat content, and is not needed for the flavor. Even extra-virgin olive oil is not good for your cardiovascular system compared to no oil. And there are plenty of other seasonings that can be used other than salt. Most people get way too much salt and would be better off without it. See how great this recipe is without the oil and salt.
I’m sorry you didn’t love it as is. I’m glad you have found a way you can enjoy it.
Fantastic! For an extra protein push I served this over plain cooked quinoa, for my fit and happy fuel burning husband!
Great to hear, Tonya!