Black beans are full of fiber, protein, and a rich flavor, making them the perfect choice when you’re looking to cut down on your meat consumption and clean up your diet. And when you make them as the main star of a soup packed with veggies and spices, you’ll be charging up your system with the vitamins and minerals you need to support heart health.
While you may not always think of soup as a main course, recipe developer Sher Castellano emphasizes that beans are particularly filling, so you can feel confident serving this black bean soup as a main dish paired with a salad and tortillas. It takes just 40 minutes to make 4 cups worth, but you can easily double (or even triple) the recipe without adding much prep time to serve a crowd. And soups are one of those dishes that keep well and taste delicious when served as leftovers, so don’t shy away from packing up a Tupperware container and heating up your leftovers for a quick and healthy lunch.
Gather your ingredients to prepare this healthy black bean soup
Of course, the main ingredient in your black bean soup is … black beans. But it’s certainly not the only ingredient you need to make this heart-healthy soup. In addition to the two cans of black beans you’ll need, you’ll want to dice up a small onion, and ½ cup each of celery, carrots, and red bell pepper. Then, hit up your spice rack to add minced garlic, ground cumin, coriander, crushed red pepper, sea salt, and black pepper to your soup. You’ll also want a cup of low-sodium vegetable broth, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil.
It may sound like a lot of things, but most of these items you likely already have on hand. And if you’re looking to cut down on prep time, consider picking up pre-minced garlic and pre-chopped veggies that are often available in the deli section of the grocery store.
Sauté your veggies
It’s important to sauté the veggies before you start your soup to ensure they’re cooked and flavored well. The good news is, you don’t have to dirty a separate pan. Simply heat up your olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add your onion, celery, carrots, and red bell pepper, and sauté them, stirring regularly, for roughly five minutes. Then, add the minced garlic, and continue sautéing for five more minutes. Not only will the ingredients in your pot look so colorful, but the aroma in your kitchen is going to be pretty yummy, so get excited.
Add the seasonings and spices
With your veggies nicely cooked, it’s important to add the seasonings to the mix before you add the beans and the vegetable broth, giving the veggies even more flavor. Go ahead and add in the apple cider vinegar, which according to Castellano, helps develop the flavor when it’s combined with the heat of the pan and the olive oil (the fat). Stir well. Then, add in the cumin, coriander, salt and pepper and cook for one minute.
Add your beans and liquids to the pot
With your veggies sautéed and seasoned, it’s time to turn your dish into a soup. Turn up the heat on the stove to medium-high, and add the beans and broth. It’s important that you don’t drain the beans before adding them to the pot — the juice in the cans adds flavor and extra liquid for your soup. Stir your ingredients, mixing them well, and bring your soup to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat, and allow the soup to simmer, the flavors melding, for 15 minutes.
Blend your black bean soup
Technically, at this point of the recipe, your soup is actually ready to serve and enjoy. But in its current state, you’re looking at having a chunkier soup with whole beans intact, and it will be absolutely scrumptious. However, if you and your family would prefer a creamier version of black bean soup, you can use an immersion blender (or transfer to a separate blender), and blend the delicious soup that you just prepared. It’s up to you just how creamy you’d like to make it — Castellano prefers a version that’s a little bit chunky — but really it comes down to personal preference. So get to it, and make it your own.
Plate, garnish, and enjoy this hearty meal
With your soup prepared to your preferred consistency, all that’s left to do is to serve it up! Get out your cutest soup bowls, scoop it up, and add your toppings and garnishes as desired. Castellano suggests adding a spoonful of plain yogurt (Greek yogurt provides a particularly creamy flavor.), crushed red pepper, and cilantro. In addition, you could opt for crushed tortilla chips, a sprinkle of sharp cheddar cheese, diced onions, hot sauce, or sliced radishes for extra flavor.
And don’t forget to add a side salad to really round out your meal, along with some fresh dinner rolls and butter. You could also serve a basket of the tortilla chips in the center of your table. This is going to be a great meal that all will enjoy, and the best part is, you can whip it up pretty quickly for dinner any time of the week.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
- ½ cup celery, finely diced
- ½ cup carrots, finely diced
- ½ cup red bell pepper, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans (not drained w/ liquid)
- 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- fresh cilantro, for topping
- sliced radishes, for topping
- yogurt, for topping
- hot sauce, for topping
- Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add in the finely diced onion, celery, carrots, and red bell peppers, and sauté for 5 minutes. Then, add in the minced garlic, and sauté for 5 minutes more.
- Add in the apple cider vinegar, and stir. Then, add in the cumin, ground coriander, sea salt, and pepper, and cook for 1 minute.
- Turn the heat up to medium-high heat, and add in the black beans and broth. Stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Blend the soup (leaving it slightly chunky) using an immersion blender, or blend it in a blender.
- Garnish with yogurt, crushed red pepper, and cilantro, and serve.