Spicy Black Bean Soup
This Spicy Black Bean Soup makes the perfect one-pot vegetarian weeknight dinner or simple meal prep recipe for a busy week! It’s a one-pot, easy, vegetarian (or vegan!) dinner that is both hearty and healthy. Spicy Black Bean Soup is full of vibrant flavor and texture–even the most hardcore carnivores will be satisfied!
This is the 4th recipe for So Much Food Soup Week! Black bean soup has always been one of my absolute favorite soups. It’s filling, rich in flavor and texture, healthy, and so, so cozy. I find that often when I order black bean soup at restaurants, I’m disappointed. So I had to make this restaurant-quality Spicy Black Bean soup recipe to share with you!
It is seriously packed with flavor and topped with a roasted poblano crema that perfectly balances the soup. Seriously, I could drink the crema! Once you try my easy recipe for Spicy Black Bean Soup, it’ll be your go-to!
The Best Spicy Black Bean Soup Recipe EVER!
I don’t claim lightly that this truly is the BEST Spicy Black Bean Soup ever. I’ve ordered black bean soup at restaurants so many times only to receive watery and flavorless soup. Not this time! This recipe for Spicy Black Bean Soup is thick, hearty, and full of warm spices.
I like to lightly puree my black bean soup with an immersion blender, but you can leave your black beans whole, smash them a little, or puree until smooth. I love a slightly chunky black bean soup recipe so that’s what you can expect here! Adjust the texture according to your tastes.
Black beans are one of my favorite affordable ingredients as they’re super heart healthy, high in fiber, vitamins, potassium, and phytonutrients. They’re also low in cholesterol, making this spicy black bean soup an easy, healthy dinner idea I frequently crack out during the week. I love the combination of knowing that I’m putting healthy foods in my body without sacrificing flavor!
What Makes this Soup Recipe So Great?
There are a lot of reasons to love Spicy Black Bean soup! I have a feeling this soup recipe is going to become a staple in your cooking endeavors.
Healthy – This is a healthy and balanced recipe! Black beans are low in cholesterol and high in fiber and flavor! I love an easy way to add more veggies into my diet. We try to eat plant-based at least once a week, so this is a great recipe for meatless Monday!
One Pot – On busy weeknights, I love ANY recipe that can be made in one pot on the stove! Yes, you have to soak the beans in advance but the rest of the recipe comes together in one pot. I even use an immersion blender so that I don’t have to get my blender dirty!
Comforting – There’s nothing quite as comforting as a bowl soup! This Spicy Black Bean Soup soup recipe is so flavorful and rich without being too heavy. It’s the soup we turn to over and over again for cool nights!
How to Make Spicy Black Bean Soup
As with all my soup recipes, I highly recommend investing in a 4 qt dutch oven. It’s the most used pot in my kitchen and does all the heavy lifting for so much of my cooking!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Dried black beans. This is really the key for great black bean soup! Sure, you could use canned, but the texture just is NOT the same. Dried black beans cook up better and more creamy. It requires a little bit more planning, but no real extra work.
- Sofrito. Sofrito is the KEY to building a base of flavor in our black bean soup. Sofrito is onion, bell pepper, and garlic often seen in Cuban cooking. In this instance, I took it a step further and did red bell pepper and poblano pepper for a bit more heat and flavor.
- Chipotle peppers. Canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce add a smokiness to the soup that is so, so good. In a pinch, you could use a bit of smoked paprika.
- Spices. Ancho Chili powder, cumin, bay leaf, and paprika add warm spiced flavor.
- Broth. I always make my soups with homemade chicken broth, but to keep this soup vegan, opt for vegetable broth.
- Bouillon cube. I like to bolster the flavor with a cube of tomato bouillon or chicken bouillon. This is an optional ingredient!
- Sherry Vinegar. I cannot tell you how much a splash of vinegar brightens up this soup! I add it towards the end before blending and it’s perfection. I use this same technique in my Red Beans and Rice Recipe!
- Soak the beans. This is so important to getting tender beans. Pour the beans into a large pot, cover with cold water by 2 inches or so and stir in a tablespoon of kosher salt. Let them sit overnight, or for at least 8 hours.
- Saute the veggies. Heat olive oil in a 4 qt dutch oven and add the onion, red bell pepper, and poblano. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are soft, about 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes.
- Spice time! Stir the ancho chili powder, cumin, and paprika into the veggies and let them cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring often. This helps wake the flavors up. Add the chopped chipotle chili with adobo sauce.
- Add the beans. Add the beans to the pot with the broth, bay leaf, and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, until the beans are very creamy and tender. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
- Blend. Use an immersion blender to partially blend the soup to the desired consistency. Add the sherry vinegar and simmer the soup for 5 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with crema and cilantro and serve with charred tortillas on the side.
Why Soak Beans with Salt?
This is a crucial step! Soaking the black beans in water with salt helps soften the skin on the beans, adds more flavor, and actually changes the texture of the beans. Beans soaked in salt water end up being much creamier.
Start with your water and kosher salt and stir until the salt is dissolved. Add the beans and make sure that they’re covered by the water. Let them sit overnight and then drain and rinse before using.
Making Spicy Black Bean Soup Vegan
Spicy Black Bean Soup is naturally vegan! Make sure that you use vegetable broth and vegetable or tomato bouillon to keep the soup vegan.
To make the poblano crema vegan, I recommend using an alternative sour cream or crema (like cashew crema!) to achieve the same result.
Making Spicy Black Bean Soup in the Instant Pot or Slow Cooker
I love making Spicy Black Bean soup on the stovetop, but that’s not always feasible! If you forgot to soak your beans, use the Instant Pot. If you want dinner ready by the time you’re done with work, use your Slow cooker!
To make Spicy Black Bean soup in the Instant Pot: Follow the recipe as written, using the saute function on your instant pot. When it comes time to add the beans, add the un-soaked beans and maybe an extra 1-2 cups of broth. Set the Instant Pot to ‘pressure cook’ for 45 minutes, with natural release. After the lid has released, return the pot to the saute function and simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, add the vinegar, and use an immersion blender to blend to your desired consistency.
To make Spicy Black Bean soup in the Slow Cooker: You’ll need to still have soaked the black beans overnight for this recipe, so keep that in mind! In a saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cook the onion, peppers, and garlic until lightly browned and soft. Transfer the veggies to your slow cooker. Add the drained and rinsed beans, broth, spices, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Let to low for 8 hours, or high for 4-5 hours. Add the vinegar towards the end of cooking and then blend with an immersion blender to your desired consistency.
Storing, Freezing, and Reheating Spicy Black Bean Soup
I love making a huge batch of soup to save the leftovers for week-long lunches. The soup can keep in the fridge for up to 5 days! Store the soup in an airtight container, and reheat portions either in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Spicy Black Bean soup freezes beautifully! I store all my soups in freezer-safe ziplock bags for space storage or souper cubes. To freeze, cool the soup to room temperature. Pour the soup in a freezer-safe ziplock bag and seal, pressing as much of the air out as possible. Freeze for up to 6 months!
To defrost, transfer the soup from the freezer to the fridge to defrost. Once defrosted, reheat on the stove, adding liquid as needed.
More Soup Recipes to Try Now
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Spicy Black Bean Soup
Charred Poblano Crema
- 2 poblano peppers
- 8 oz thick Mexican crema
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- salt and pepper
Spicy Black Bean Soup
- 1 lb dried black beans
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 poblano, seeded and diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2-3 canned chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
- 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from canned chipotle peppers
- 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 vegetable or tomato bouillon cube
- 3 tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar
- kosher salt, to taste
- freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- chopped cilantro, for serving
- lime wedges, for serving
- Char the poblanos over an open flame or under the broiler until black all over. Transfer to a ziplock bag, seal, and let them cool. Peel the poblanos and remove the seeds and stem.
- Add the poblanos to a blender with the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Store in the fridge until ready to use.
Spicy Black Bean Soup
- Rinse the dried black beans and pick out any odd looking pieces or rocks. Add the beans to a large pot and cover with cold water by 2 inches. Add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and stir to dissolve. Let the beans soak overnight. Drain and rinse before using.
- Heat the olive oil in a 4 qt dutch oven over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the diced onion, red bell pepper, and poblano. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are soft and starting to brown. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the spices to the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Add the black beans, broth, bouillon, and bay leaf to the pot and bring to a simmer. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and stir to dissolve. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and creamy.
- Once the beans are creamy, add the vinegar and simmer for 5 minutes. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup to your desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with poblano crema and cilantro and serve with lime wedges on the side and charred tortillas.