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.

black bean soup in white bowls on table

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.

ingredients in black bean soup
  • 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.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • 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.

Step-by-Step Instructions

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.

how to make vegetarian black bean soup in grid
  1. 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.
  2. Add the beans, tomatoes, and stock.
  3. Bring to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are soft.
  4. 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.

black bean soup on kids plate as dip

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!

black bean soup in freezer container

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.

Related Recipes

I’d love to hear what you think of this recipe so please comment below with your feedback!

black bean soup in white bowls

30-Minute Vegetarian Black Bean Soup

You can serve this soup chunky or pureed smooth, according to what your family might prefer. There's also a slow cooker option if that's more your speed! Try it as a dip for little kids if they're not into a full bowl.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Cuisine Mexican
Course Soup
Calories 140kcal
Servings 6


  • 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.


Calories: 140kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Sodium: 551mg, Potassium: 537mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 7939IU, Vitamin C: 56mg, Calcium: 58mg, Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

This post was first published October 2018.

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How many stars would you give this recipe?


  1. 5 stars
    Just gave it a try today, I used everything including carrot, paprika, and brown rice. The whole family (wife and 2 kids) loved it, me as well! Will be in our book for a long time, thanks!!

  2. I’m so curious how and why you add orange juice to this recipe. I love black bean soup, and I also love how many additional veggies you put in this one. Would you say the flavor of this is still savory (just not spicy)?

    If I’m trying to cut out the added (even if natural) sugar from the orange juice, could I sub in more chicken stock or water?

    1. Hi- I added it to this recipe since it adds nice flavor that’s sort of Moroccan and really compliments the spices. You can use additional broth though if you prefer, sure.

  3. Hi there, I am planning to make this recipe this week. I noticed in the description it list bell pepper and carrots as an ingredient but in the printable version they are omitted. Are they meant to be in the recipe? Thank you and I am excited to try this recipe.

    1. Hi. You can use diced carrots and bell pepper instead of or in addition to the sweet potato if desired. Which means you can do all sweet potato or a mix with the others.