Black Bean Soup from Scratch

This vegetarian black bean soup soup balances the earthiness of all those protein-rich black beans with fresh orange juice and orange zest.  A nice dose of cumin, oregano and garlic amp up the flavor nicely. My son Charlie loves nothing more than a dinner of black beans and rice, and this soup is another very well-received iteration of one of his favorite foods.  

Vegetarian Black Bean Soup

Budget-Friendly Black Bean Soup

This black bean soup is a flavorful reminder of how great food doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.  Beans are kind of a perfect food.  A great vegetarian protein, easy accessible, flexible, really cheap, and with a long shelf life. The recipe calls for canned beans, but if you prefer to cook your own dried beans, that another — even cheaper! — option.  Think of ½ cup of dried black beans equaling 1 can of drained beans.  So, 4 cups of dried black beans, cooked, would equal 8 15-ounce cans of beans

Black Bean Soup Variations

If you don’t want a vegetarian soup, you could add some diced ham or bacon with the onions when you are sautéing them.  You could also bolster the soup with shredded cooked chicken (all hail the rotisserie chicken!) or perhaps cooked crumbled or sliced sausage, again if a vegetarian or vegan black bean soup isn’t what you’re after.

Vegetarian Black Bean Soup

I have also made this soup with the addition of tomatoes, with a 28-ounce can of crushed or diced tomatoes, and once with about two cups of roasted cherry tomatoes (leftover from a burrata and roasted tomatoes festival). The tomatoes aren’t necessary, but they add another layer of flavor and some nice acidity.

How to Make Vegetarian Black Bean Soup

Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onions and saute for 5 minutes, until golden and tender.  Add the garlic, cumin and oregano and stir for 1 minute until you can smell the garlic.  

Stir in the black beans, orange juice, orange zest, and chicken broth.  

Vegetarian Black Bean Soup

Season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes until the flavor meld a bit.  

The soup gets its body from a simple step: half of the black bean mixture is pureed in a food processor or blender until it’s chunky-smooth, and then stirred back into the pot.  

Vegetarian Black Bean Soup

Adding the pureed mixture back in with the whole bean mixture ensures a soup that has some creaminess, a lot of heft, and a thick but very spoonable consistency.  Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed.  If the soup seems too thick, you can add a bit more broth.

Vegetarian Black Bean Soup

How to Serve Black Bean Soup

You can serve it over rice if you like, which is often how Cuban black beans soup are served, or just scoop it into bowls.  The soup is lovely on its own, but you can get creative with the toppings, picking the one or two you like best, or going for broke with a plethora of add-ons.  Think about sour cream, lime wedges, fresh cilantro leaves, sliced scallions, crushed tortilla chips and diced avocados.

Vegetarian Black Bean Soup: This robust and immensely satisfying soup balances the earthiness of protein-rich black beans with fresh orange juice and orange zest.

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Vegan Black Bean Soup

Serve without sour cream for a vegan black bean soup.

How to Store Black Bean Soup

You can keep the black bean soup in the fridge for up to 5 days.  This soup freezes well for up to 6 months.

Vegetarian Black Bean Soup

Other Vegetarian Soup Recipes:

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Vegetarian Black Bean Soup

This robust and immensely satisfying soup balances the earthiness of protein-rich black beans with fresh orange juice and orange zest.
Yield: 8 People
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 onions , chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 4 (15-ounce) black beans , rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2 cups less-sodium vegetable broth , or more as desired
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

To Serve (Pick and Choose):

Directions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 5 minutes, until golden and tender. Add the garlic, cumin and oregano and stir for 1 minute until you can smell the garlic. Stir in the black beans, orange juice, orange zest, and chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes until the flavor meld a bit.
  • Remove half of the bean mixture and puree in a food processor or blender. Return the pureed beans to the pot. Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed. If the soup seems too thick, you can add a bit more broth.
  • Serve hot in bowl with the desired toppings.

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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