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Black Bean Soup

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Black beans at their best.

This black bean soup recipe is easy to prepare, and has a rich, hearty result. Top with grated cheese jalapeños, and fresh herbs. 

black bean soup ingredients

Black Bean Soup Recipe

It’s always soup season in my world — especially when beans are involved. This black bean soup recipe with all the fixin’s is exactly what I want to eat right now. It’s simple to make, hearty and warming, and tastes great on its own or with lots of toppings and a side of cornbread.

You’ll also enjoy: Green Chile Cornbread and Rosemary White Bean Soup

black bean soup in bowl

Is black bean soup good for you?

Everyone needs and deserves a good black bean soup recipe. Bean soups make a nourishing and satisfying dinner, so hearty that they stand on their own as dinner. I especially love this black bean soup recipe because of its Mexican or Southwest flavor slant. It can be heaped with all the best toppings: cheese, scallions, cornbread, sour cream, cilantro, you name it.

Black bean soup is a nutrition powerhouse.

Black beans are very good for you! These little beans contain lots of:

  • Protein
  • Fiber
  • Nutrients like iron, magnesium and selenium.

Black beans’ health benefits include strengthening bones, keeping blood sugar low, aiding digestion, and even helping with blood pressure and cancer prevention.

onion beans herbs garlic

Black Bean Soup: Recipe Notes

This easy black bean soup tastes very good as-is, but you can make substitutions and additions. Here are a few tips. This recipe can easily be made vegan or vegetarian. Cut the bacon and replace the chicken broth with water. The flavor of the herbs and spices will still make it very tasty.

  • Soup, like cake, is even better the next day. It will thicken slightly, and the flavors will meld together better.
  • If you like a very thick soup, use 3 cups of broth or water, and not the full quart.

bowl of soup with cheese, cilantro

What to serve with black beans soup

Topping your soup. Add as few or as many toppings as you like.

I like setting up a little fixin’s bar in the middle of the table. Suggested toppings include: sour cream (plain Green yogurt as a substitute), cornbread croutons, cilantro, diced red onion, grated cheddar or jack cheese, sliced jalapeño peppers, and sliced scallions. This recipe already calls for bacon, but feel free to top with some extra in the form of crumbled bacon as well because, well, bacon.

Canned vs. Dried Black Beans

Substituting dried beans. This recipe uses four cans of black beans for ease and speed. This soup only cooks for about 30 minutes. But you can easily substitute one pound of dried black beans. Boil them in water with a teaspoon of baking soda until softened. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, cook the onions and bacon together. Add the onions and bacon into the softened black beans and proceed with the recipe as normal. It will take about an hour to soften the beans, longer if you do not use baking soda.

bowl of black bean soup recipe

Love this Mexican black bean soup? You’ll also like:

bowl of black bean soup with cheddar cilantro jalepeno with spoon

Black Bean Soup With All the Fixin's

A hearty, satisfying blend of beans and all the right spices -- and spice.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Course: dinner, lunch
Cuisine: American, central american, Mexican
Keywords:: beans, black beans, easy, soup
Servings: 2 to 3 quarts


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 15-ounce cans unsalted black beans, with the liquid
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • minced jalepeño, optional
  • 2 ounces bacon, diced (optional)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 quart chicken broth or water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon mild chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, and more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar or fresh lime juice


  • Any combination of sour cream (plain Green yogurt as a substitute), cornbread croutons, cilantro, lime wedges, diced red onion, grated cheddar or jack cheese, sliced jalepeño pepper, and sliced scallions


  • In a soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and bacon and cook, stirring, until the onions are translucent and the bacon fat renders, about 5 to 7 minutes. Pour off some, but not all, of the grease.
  • Add the garlic, bay leaves, green bell pepper, and some minced jalepeño, if using. Stir for two minutes more.
    PRO TIP: For a full pot of black bean soup with medium heat, I recommended a full jalepeño pepper, without the seeds. The seeds are very spicy. You can always go up in spice by adding some seeds.
  • Add the beans with their liquid, oregano, chili powder, cumin, salt, and the broth or water. Stir. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer.
  • Cook, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. The liquid will reduce a bit.
  • Using a food processor, immersion blender, or regular blender, blend half of the soup and return it to the pot. (Be careful -- do not burn yourself!)
  • Stir in 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar or lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  • Ladle into bowls and serve with toppings of choice.


  • 5 stars
    I made this soup recently, using Rancho Gordo black beans. (I made them in a slow cooker, with one half of an onion, a garlic clove and a bay leaf.) I used bacon in the soup and added a little bit of smoked paprika, along with the other spices. For toppings, I used crumbled bacon, diced avocado and shredded cheddar. The soup was easy to make and excellent!

    • Unpeeled

      This sounds fabulous! Rancho Gordo is the best! And smoked paprika…yum. I love adding this to beans in general. It gives it such a wonderful earthy, spiced flavor. Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Suzannah

    5 stars
    great recipe. Could I make this using dried beans? If so, how?

  • 5 stars
    Good consistency and great flavor. I loved it and will make it again. I served the soup with lots of cheese and sour cream, and my family recipe for corn bread.

  • 5 stars
    Delicious and easy. I made without bacon.

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