Easy Black Bean Soup – Eating Bird Food


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!

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.

A bowl of black bean soup topped with avocado, cilantro, lime and vegan sour cream served alongside tortilla chips.
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes

Servings 8 servings

  • 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
  • Soak the beans overnight or about 8-12 hours. Drain and rinse.

  • 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.

  • Add all the other ingredients to the pot, except the lime, cilantro and avocado. Stir to make sure everything is combined.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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.

  • 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. 

Serving: 1/6 of recipe Calories: 199kcal Carbohydrates: 42g Protein: 14g Fat: 6g Sodium: 512mg Fiber: 22g Sugar: 4g

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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