When it comes to get 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.
I used my favorite spices and toppings for the version I’m sharing, but feel free to add any spices you’re dying to incorporate and top with your desired toppings. This recipe is really straight forward, 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 too so I’m giving instructions for both.
Are Black Beans Healthy?
Yes! Black beans are packed with plant-based protein and 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.
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 the 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 prep and freeze this soup if you won’t be eating it the week 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=done! Black bean soup should keep in the freezer for at least 3 months.
Ingredients in Black Bean Soup
Like I said earlier, 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
- veggies – garlic, onion and carrots
- spices: cumin, chili pepper cayenne pepper, dried basil, dried oregano, bay leaf, pinch of cinnamon, sea salt and black pepper
How to Make Black Bean Soup
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.
Whether you’re making this in the slow cooker or on the stovetop, you want to cook your veggies first! In a saucepan or large soup pot, heat the oil and add your onions, carrots, garlic and sea salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until the onions are translucent and beginning to brown.
For the stovetop version you’ll add all the remaining ingredients right into the soup pot. If you’re making this recipe in your slow cooker, you’ll transfer the cooked veggies into your slow cooker at this point and add all the other ingredients.
For the stovetop version, you’ll bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 2 1/2 – 3 hours or until the beans are tender.
For the slow cooker, you’ll cover and cook on high for 6-8 hours or until the black beans are tender.
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!
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.