With a load of veggies and a quick cooking method that makes it possible to make on a weeknight, this Vegetarian Black Bean Soup is healthy comfort food at its best. It can be served in a bowl, of course, but it also works as a dip—which some kids may prefer.
Vegetarian Black Bean Soup
Dinnertime is often the most stressful time of the day because it’s the time when the kids want my attention most—and yet, a meal somehow has to get to the table. I love to make easy soups and stews, especially during the colder months, since they can often simmer away on the stove while I do other things.
This Vegetarian Black Bean Soup has an easy method and is filled with nutritious ingredients and vegetarian protein. And it’s possible for me to add the ingredients to a pot quickly with the shortcut options that reduce chopping.
This soup recipe gets an unexpected flavor boost from orange juice, which lends a slightly sweet note—and a Middle Eastern flavor that makes it more interesting than many black bean soups.
It also adds vitamin C, which is always a good thing to help keep immune systems strong.
Ingredients You Need
To make this vegetarian soup, you’ll need the following ingredients on hand.
- Neutral oil: You can use canola, vegetable oil, olive oil, or avocado oil.
- Black beans: Homemade or canned both work just fine.
- Sweet potato: You can use a bag of frozen diced sweet potato or start with whole ones.
- Bell pepper: You can use a bag of frozen sliced bell pepper or start with a whole one.
- Carrots: You can use shredded carrots from the store or dice up a whole one.
- Onion: You can use frozen diced onion or dice up a whole one.
- Diced tomatoes: I use canned diced tomatoes with their juices.
- Chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder for flavor.
- Chicken or vegetable stock: I prefer to use reduced-sodium stock and add salt to taste.
- Orange juice: This adds sweetness and a burst of flavor.
TIP: This mix of ingredients makes for a soup that’s rich with vitamin A and C, as well as protein and fiber.
- You can omit the peppers or carrots and just use sweet potato if you prefer.
- You can use butternut squash instead of the sweet potato.
- You can omit the onion and add ½ teaspoon onion powder.
- Add a few cloves of minced garlic for even more flavor.
- Use regular or fire-roasted dice tomatoes.
Here’s a look at the process involved in making this Black Bean Soup. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the full information.
- Add the oil to a medium pot and warm over medium heat. Add the veggies and stir to coat. Add the spices. Cook until starting to soften.
- Add the beans, tomatoes, and stock.
- Bring to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are soft.
- Stir in the orange juice. Puree smooth (or leave chunky!) and serve topped with desired toppings.
TIP: Before serving, taste the soup and adjust the salt level as needed.
What toppings do you like on this soup?
This is great topped with shredded cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo, crushed tortilla chips, and/or avocado. And since it’s not spicy, you may also want to add hot sauce if you like a bit of heat from your black bean soup.
Can I make this in the slow cooker?
Totally! Simply put all of the ingredients except the orange juice into the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours. Since it’s an everything-into-the-pot affair, it’s perfect for assembling before work and enjoying on a busy weeknight.
What can I serve this with?
We like it paired with Cornbread, with soft strips of corn tortillas on top or served over rice, but serve it how you think your family will like it most. And depending on the preferences of your little one—which seems to be a moving target in our house—offer it up in a bowl or with the ingredients separated out with less broth. It’s pretty good both ways!
How to Store
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Or freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 6 months. Thaw and warm to serve, stirring a few times during warming to make sure it heats evenly.
Best Tips for Success
- If you’re looking for a more hands-off recipe, cook in the slow cooker on low for 7-8 hours.
- Puree smooth, use an immersion blender, or leave it chunky.
- Use canned or homemade black beans in this recipe.
- Use frozen or precut veggies to make the prep time on this recipe faster.
- Top with shredded cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo, crushed tortilla chips, and/or avocado for some extra crunch and flavor.
- If you want some more spice, add a mild hot sauce.
- Eat it plain, serve it over rice, or even pair it with cornbread. It’s all about how your family likes it.
I’d love to hear what you think of this recipe so please comment below with your feedback!
30-Minute Vegetarian Black Bean Soup
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil (like canola)
- 1 small onion (chopped; about 1 cup)
- 4 small sweet potatoes (peeled and chopped; about 3 cups)
- 28 ounce can black beans (drained and rinsed)
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 14.5 ounce can reduced-sodium chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup orange juice
- Sour cream, shredded cheese, fresh lime slices (optional)
To make on the stove top:
- Add the oil to a medium pot and warm over medium heat. Add the onion and sweet potato and stir to coat. Add the spices. Cook for about 5 minutes or until starting to soften.
- Add the beans, tomatoes, and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 12-15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
- Stir in the orange juice . Serve (or puree smooth and serve) topped with desired toppings.
To do this in the slow cooker:
- Place all ingredients except the orange juice into the slow cooker and cook on low for 7-8 hours. Add the orange juice, season to taste with additional salt and pepper as needed, and blend. Serve with sour cream shredded cheese as desired.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days or in a freezer container in the freezer for up to 6 months. Warm to serve.
- Add a sprinkle of cilantro on top.
- Serve over rice or couscous if desired.
- Use pinto beans instead of black, if desired.
- Use diced carrots and bell pepper instead of or in addition to the sweet potato if desired.
- Serve in a bowl, a reusable pouch, or as a dip for little kids.
This post was first published October 2018.