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Black Bean Soup

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Indulge in our Simple Black Bean Soup, a nutritious and incredibly flavorful vegetarian dish! Packed with hearty black beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, sweet corn, spicy peppers, garlic, and all the savory elements that define delicious Southwest cuisine!

Finish it off with a generous sprinkle of fresh green cilantro, chilies, tomatoes, crispy tortilla strips, and a zesty squeeze of lime to take it to the next level! For crispy tortilla strips, check out the recipe in our Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe.

Close up shot of a bowl of Black Bean Soup garnished with crispy tortilla strips.

It’s versatile too, make it with dried or canned beans. Purée a cup or two and combine it back into the soup for great body, hell purée the entire batch for a crazy good dip!

If brothy soup is more to your liking skip the purée and ladle into warm bowls and serve. Try adding rice or quinoa for a super satisfying meal, or spoon some over baked sweet potatoes.

Rinsing canned beans is recommended to remove excess sodium and reduce the presence of the starchy liquid they’re packed in. This not only helps improve their flavor but also reduces the potential for digestive discomfort caused by the starches. Additionally, rinsing can help remove any preservatives or additives present in the canning liquid.

Overhead shot of a slice of triple layered corn bread being served with black bean soup.

Optimal Soaking Techniques for Dried Beans

Opinions vary widely on this matter, much like the multitude of bean recipes out there. A close friend and owner of a Cuban restaurant, renowned for his out of this world black beans, swore by soaking his beans without salt. Following his lead, I’ve adopted the same method. Salt, besides potentially increases sodium content (if you’re monitoring your intake), and can toughen the bean skins. In lieu of salt, I opt for baking soda, which I’ll detail below.

Directions for Presoaking Dry Beans

Bean Soaking Hack: Adding 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to 1lB (0.45 kilogram) of beans tenderizes them and reduces the content of gas-producing sugars from the raffinose family, resulting in less bloating. Don’t forget to rinse the beans thoroughly after soaking! Check out the directions below for more details.

  1. Rinse the dried beans under cold water to remove any dirt or debris.
  2. Place the beans in a large bowl and cover them with water. Use about 3-cups (0.71 liters) of water for every cup of beans.
  3. Add a 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda per 1lB (0.45 kilogram) of beans to the soaking water, if desired, to help soften the beans and enhance their flavor.
  4. Allow the beans to soak for at least a minimum of 6 hours or overnight. For a quicker soak, bring the beans and water to a boil, then remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 1 hour. Please be aware this quick soak method will degrade the firmness of the beans.
  5. After soaking, drain and rinse the beans thoroughly before cooking.
  6. Use the soaked beans in your favorite recipes, adjusting cooking times as needed, since soaked beans cook faster than unsoaked ones.
Black beans soaking in a large glass bowl for black bean soup.

Dump the beans into a fine mesh colander, rinse and pick through to make sure that there are no stones or twigs, it can happen! Imagine breaking a guests tooth, or your own? 

If your kitchen is hot, refrigerate black beans while they soak to prevent fermentation.

Bean Soaking Methods

  • Overnight method (my preferred): Add the washed beans to a large container to allow for expansion, plus the 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. Add enough water to cover the beans by an excess of 2-inches of water. Let the beans sit overnight. Before cooking the next day, drain the beans, flush with water and proceed with cooking directions.
  • Quick-soak method: Place the beans in a large pot and cover with water and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda; bring to a boil and continue to boil for two minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit covered for two hours. Drain, rinse thoroughly, and continue with the recipe. However, the quick-soak method might cause your beans to break-up when cooking. 
Close up of bowl of black bean soup with crispy tortilla strips as garnish.

Storing Black Bean Soup: Tips for Freshness

To safely store black bean soup:

  1. Cooling: Allow the black bean soup to cool to room temperature before storing to prevent bacterial growth.

  2. Refrigeration: Transfer the black bean soup to an airtight container or airtight resealable bags.

  3. Shelf Life: Black bean soup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

  4. Labeling: Label the container with the date it was prepared to keep track of freshness.

  5. Reheating: When ready to eat, reheat the black bean soup gently on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through.

By following these storage guidelines, you can safely store black bean soup and enjoy it fresh for several days.

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Bowl of Black Bean Soup garnished with crispy tortilla strips, jalapenos and cilantro.

How to Make Black Bean Soup

Close up shot of a bowl of Black Bean Soup garnished with crispy tortilla strips.

Black Bean Soup

Easy Black Bean Soup, a healthy, super flavorful vegetarian soup! Enjoy loads of black beans, fire roasted tomatoes, corn, peppers, garlic and everything that makes a for great southwest flare!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
overnight bean soak: 8 hours
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
overnight bean soak: 8 hours
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Mean Green Chef

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (2 cups or 500 grams) dried black beans, sub 4 cans rinsed back beans
  • 1/4 teapoon baking soda, for soaking dried beans
  • 1 large onion, peeled + diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, washed + diced
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, washed + diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, washed + diced
  • 2 whole jalapenos, (remove seeds if you want less heat) washed + sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups organic frozen corn
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed + diced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) organic diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth, sub any broth desired
  • Kosher sea salt + freshly cracked black pepper

Toppings

  • thinly sliced crispy tortilla strips
  • freshly squeezed lime juice, to taste
  • fresh cilantro

Instructions

Soak the beans

  • Dump the beans into a fine mesh colander, rinse and pick through to make sure that there are no stones or twigs. Add the washed beans to a large container to allow for expansion, plus a 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. Add enough water to cover the beans by an excess of 2-inches of water. Let the beans sit overnight. Before cooking the next day, drain the beans, flush well with water and then proceed with recipe.
    Black beans soaking in a large glass bowl for black bean soup.

Soup

  • Heat a large heavy-bottomed Dutch Oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and reheat for 30 seconds. Stir in the onions, red bell, yellow bell, green bell, jalapenos, and corn. Sauté for 5 minutes. 
  • Add the garlic, cumin, chili powder, and oregano sauté an additional 2 minutes.  
  • Stir in the tomatoes, all of the black beans, and broth. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low, cook for 90 minutes or until the desired doneness., Stir frequently and taste to test for doneness and flavor. Adjust with salt, pepper and more seasonings as desired. 
  • Remove a cup and a half of the cooked beans and place in a food processor or blender. Purée until smooth and then add back to the soup and stir until combined. 
  • Remove from the heat, ladle into warm bowls and garnish with crispy tortilla strips, cilantro, and fresh lime juice, or any other desired toppings. 
    Close up shot of a bowl of Black Bean Soup garnished with crispy tortilla strips.

Notes

  • Prep time is approximate. 
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3-4 days. 
  • To freeze, cool completely and store in an airtight container or freezer bags up to 6 months.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Creative Recipe Inspiration

Ham Hock Stock, is a rich and flavorful base perfect for enhancing soups, stews, and sauces. Made with tender ham hocks, aromatic veggies, and fragrant herbs, this stock adds depth and complexity. 

Texas Pinto Beans – a hearty and flavorful dish that’s a staple of Texan cuisine. Slow-cooked with savory bacon, aromatic spices, and a touch of smoky chipotle, these beans are simmered to perfection for a rich and satisfying meal.

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Hey there, fellow food enthusiast! Welcome to Mean Green Chef, where every dish tells a story and every recipe is a labor of love. I’m thrilled to share a bit about myself and the journey that led me here, stirring pots and sprinkling spices for over three decades!

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    1. Another favourite of mine!! Wow you definitely can cook! Can’t wait to try this recipe at home.

      1. Aww, thanks so much, Jane!! I hope you love this recipe ? we really appreciate YOU! 🙂

    5 from 1 vote

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