This fiber-packed Canned Black Bean Soup is hearty, filling, and on the table in 45 minutes. Made with canned black beans, vibrant veggies, and cozy spices, it’s chock-full of flavor and delicious textures.
Top it with avocado, onion, cilantro, and lime for a Latin American-inspired twist everyone will love!
Throughout parts of Latin America, where black beans are a dietary staple, you will find various versions of black bean soup either served on its own or poured over rice for a filling main course.
That said, this canned black bean soup recipe is my take on a classic!
It’s easy to make with pantry staples, including canned black beans, crushed tomatoes, and warming dry spices. Plus, an array of fresh veggies.
Don’t get me wrong – I love cooking black beans from scratch, but making this soup with canned black beans is a huge timesaver.
I love serving this soup garnished with sliced avocado, fresh cilantro, chopped red onion, and lime. But you can easily mix and match the toppings to create your perfect bowl of black bean soup and add even more awesome nutrients!
But first, let’s make the best black bean soup with canned beans!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Here are five reasons why this easy black bean soup recipe is a keeper:
- It’s an excellent plant-based meal with plenty of fiber and will keep you feeling full and satisfied for hours.
- The depth of flavor is next-level, and the texture is the perfect balance of smooth & creamy and thick & chunky.
- It’s made with budget-friendly produce and pantry staples you may already have in your kitchen.
- It’s quick, easy to make, and great for meal prep.
- It keeps well in the fridge, so you can cook a large pot once and enjoy it all week.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make black bean soup with canned beans:
- Olive oil – To coat the bottom of the pot and prevent sticking, as well as to add the first layer of flavor.
- Onion – For flavor, sweetness, and a tasty textural depth. Yellow onion is best, but whatever type of onion you have on hand will work.
- Carrots – Their natural sweetness helps balance the acidity of canned tomatoes while adding texture and a boost of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
- Celery – It adds a unique aroma and natural saltiness to enhance the overall flavor.
- Red bell pepper – Adds color and texture and expands the flavor profile with sweetness and tanginess.
- Spices – One teaspoon of chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder each adds just enough warming, smoky, and savory notes without overpowering the natural flavors of the veggies and beans.
- Vegetable stock + water – I cut the concentrated flavor of vegetable stock with water for the broth base. If you prefer a more intensely flavored broth, use less water and more vegetable stock or all vegetable broth.
- Crushed tomatoes – A can of crushed tomatoes helps thicken the broth and adds rich flavor.
- Canned black beans – These add protein and fiber to the soup, so it’s more satisfying and filling. They also add a creamy texture and nutty, earthy flavor. I buy low-sodium, BPA-free black beans to avoid salt and unwanted chemicals.
- Salt and pepper – To taste.
- Cilantro – Adds a zesty, citrusy element and a pop of bright green color.
- Garnishes – I topped this soup with avocado, red onion, cilantro, and lime. See below for more nutritious and delicious topping ideas.
How to Prep Canned Black Beans
To use canned black beans to make soup, they should be rinsed and drained first.
This helps to reduce the sodium content of canned beans because a lot of salt is concentrated in the can liquid.
Here is how to prep the beans:
- Open the can and transfer the beans into a fine-mesh strainer.
- Rinse the beans under cool running water until the water runs clear.
- Shake a few times to get rid of the excess liquid.
How to Make Black Bean Soup
This canned black bean soup recipe moves quickly.
So it’s best to practice mise en place and have all the veggies cut and the beans drained and rinsed before you start working through these step-by-step instructions:
- Sauté the vegetables: Heat the olive oil in a medium pot, then add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to caramelize. From there, add the carrot, celery, and red bell pepper to the pot and continue cooking while stirring occasionally until the vegetables start to soften.
- Bloom the spices: Stir in the chili powder and cumin and cook for one minute or until fragrant. Then, add the garlic powder. This technique is known as “blooming,” or the process of cooking dry spices to release their natural oils. Doing so adds complexity to the broth base, making an overall more flavorful soup.
- Add the broth base and beans: Add the vegetable stock, water, and crushed tomatoes to the pot, and begin heating the soup to a boil. Meanwhile, mash half of the beans in a bowl using a potato masher, then add them to the pot along with the rest of the beans. Season with salt and pepper.
- Simmer and serve: Continue heating until the soup reaches a boil, then reduce the heat, place a lid on the pot, and let it simmer until the vegetables are tender. Turn off the heat, stir in the cilantro, and serve bowls of this black bean soup garnished with avocado, cilantro, red onion, and lime.
How to Thicken the Soup
This soup is only partially thickened because it tastes best when it’s still quite chunky. Pureeing part of the soup will improve the mouthfeel.
To thicken the soup, you can mash half of the beans with a potato masher or try one of these techniques:
- Immersion blender – When the soup is finished cooking, insert the blender into the pot and blend until your desired consistency is reached.
- Regular blender – Wait until the soup is cool enough to handle, then transfer about half of it to the blender and puree until smooth and creamy. Return the pureed soup to the pot and stir.
Here are a few ways to customize this recipe:
- Make spicy black bean soup – Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes for a fiery flavor. Or, swap the bell peppers with jalapenos or poblano peppers for a spicier kick.
- Add extra veggies – Add a can of corn or diced green chiles when you add the beans. Or, add sweet potatoes or butternut squash when adding the carrots.
- Add more beans – Experiment using other types of canned beans, like kidney, pinto, or red beans.
Soup Toppings for More Flavor and Nutrition
The easiest way to make this black bean soup more nourishing and flavorful is by garnishing it with tasty toppings.
Here are a few topping ideas for you to try:
- Diced avocado
- Sliced green onions
- Pico de gallo
- Sliced jalapenos (fresh or pickled)
- Pickled onions
- Sliced red onions
- Chopped cilantro
- Sliced radishes
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Cotija cheese or queso fresco
- Lime wedges
- Tortilla strips
Storing & Reheating
Storing: This black bean soup tastes even better the next day! So if you’re lucky enough to have extra, let it cool to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight container, and keep it in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Freezing: After the soup is cooled to room temperature, transfer it to a freezer-safe bag or container, and store it in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
Reheating: Return the soup to a pot on the stove and reheat it over medium heat, stirring occasionally. If it needs to be thinned out, gradually stir in small amounts of broth, stock, or water.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few related questions about making black bean soup:
What do you serve with black bean soup?
In Latin America, black bean soup is often served with white rice and a side of fried plantains or tostones, but it also goes great with cornbread, tortilla chips, or crusty bread for dipping and scooping.
How do you make black bean soup with canned beans in an Instant Pot?
Heat the olive oil on SAUTE mode, then add the veggies and sauté until tender. Next, add the dry spices and cook for one minute before adding the beans, tomatoes, stock, and water.
Lock the lid in place with the valve turned to the sealing position, and pressure cook on HIGH for 10 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes before manually releasing the remaining pressure.
How do you make black bean soup with canned beans in a slow cooker?
Saute the veggies and spices in a skillet, then transfer the mixture to the slow cooker. Add the beans, tomatoes, stock, and water and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
More Hearty Soup Recipes
If you love homemade soups, check out these recipes:
- Hearty Barley Vegetable Soup
- Hearty Bulgur Soup
- Spicy Red Lentil Soup with Veggies
- Hearty Ground Turkey Soup
- Instant Pot Mushroom Barley Soup
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, thinly sliced or grated
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 small can (14 oz/398 ml) crushed tomatoes
- 2 cans (19 oz/540 ml) low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
- a handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
For Garnish (Optional):
- fresh cilantro
- chopped red onion
- In a medium pot, heat the olive oil. Add the sliced onions and cook stirring occasionally until the onion starts to caramelize for about 4 to 6 minutes.
- Add the carrot, celery, and red bell pepper. Cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables start to soften for about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle the chili powder and cumin over the vegetables. Stir and wait until the spices become fragrant. This usually takes about one minute. Then add the garlic powder.
- Add the vegetable stock, water, and crushed tomatoes.
- Place half of the black beans (one can) into a bowl and mash them with a potato masher until almost all beans are broken. (See the notes *).
- Add all the beans (both cans) to the soup. Season with salt a pepper.
- Bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through.
- Turn off the heat and the cilantro.
- To serve, garnish with avocado, fresh cilantro, and chopped red onion.
- * Instead of mashing the beans you can puree the soup with an immersion blender or transfer half of the soup into a regular blender and puree it by pulsing a few times. Make sure the soup is cool enough to handle before proceeding. Don't over-process the soup because it tastes best when it's still chunky.
- Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 out of 6 servings calculated for the canned black bean soup without any toppings using low sodium canned black beans and low sodium vegetable broth.
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Nutrition InformationYield 6 portions Serving Size 1/6 of recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 318.7Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 0.9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5.1gCholesterol 0mgSodium 360.6mgCarbohydrates 53.5gFiber 19.2gSugar 5.9gProtein 15.4g
Nutrition facts provided on this website are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a qualified health care provider for personalized diet advice and make sure that each of the ingredients is allowed in your diet.