Black Bean Soup So Easy You Can Make It Now!

This smoky vegetarian black bean soup is so easy to make, you can enjoy it in about 30 minutes. It’s comforting and made with ingredients you probably have on hand. Plus, get ideas about what to serve it with.

I’m calm amid the terrifying coronavirus pandemic and stifling stay-at-home measures. I tell myself that everything is okay.

I’m figuring out online grocery shopping. I FaceTime with my girls and my new grandpuppy nearly everyday. I’ve kept up with my self care routine: reading, jogging, healthy food, lots of doggie cuddles, warm embraces with my husband. Calm.

But blammo! Out of the blue, but not out of the blue, I’m on the floor with tears and gasps because I messed up another grocery order. Yes, another one! By tomorrow, I’ll have 12 pounds of tofu in my fridge. But what I won’t have is my normal life, in-person get-togethers with friends and colleagues, or my favorite cereal.

Clouds, water and stones

What I’m craving, but not what I’m feeling. / © Can Stock Photo / marilyna

Everyday activities like buying groceries and taking a yoga class are layered with complications, leaving me struggling to grit my teeth and brush aside little annoyances. And they are only little annoyances! Without the sense of control I used to have, I’m desperate for some things that are really, really easy. Something that doesn’t drain my mental energy.

Enter my healthy vegetarian black bean soup. It’s so simple, I first created it when I had no stove or running water in my kitchen. Since the major kitchen overhaul, I’ve recreated this smoky black bean soup recipe to cook on the stove instead of the microwave. Fast, easy, delicious, little mental energy. Check, check, check and check.

If you also crave simple in the kitchen, I’ve got you covered.

Vegetarian black bean soup served with fruits and vegetables

Why this smoky vegetarian black bean soup is so simple & fabulous

Pandemic or no pandemic, there’s lots to love about this smoky soup.

  • It’s FAST.
  • You probably have most of the ingredients right now.
  • If you can’t get an ingredient, I’ll show you some simple substitutions.
  • It’s warming and comforting. And a welcome and nourishing escape from daily stresses.
  • Vegetarian black bean soup goes with LOTS of foods.
  • Every member of your family can personalize it with their favorite toppings.
  • It reheats beautifully. Hello lunch!
  • No drama, no trauma (my mantra).

What to serve with black bean soup

When I made this a couple weeks ago – when my pandemic food supply was at its highest – I served it for dinner with a salad and my favorite frozen pizza. Easy, simple, peaceful. I ate it the next day for lunch with fruit and veggies. Apparently, frozen pizza has gone the way of hand sanitizer, yeast and toilet paper. Gone today, but will be back again another day. Or so they say. But there are many other things to serve with a healthy vegetarian black bean soup.

  • Bread, salad and fruit
  • Toasted cheese sandwich and sliced tomatoes
  • Any favorite flatbread
  • Vegetarian or other taco
  • Pita bread stuffed with avocado, tomatoes, bell peppers, red onions and a sliced egg
  • Tuna on tomato slices
  • Whatever you have on hand

Bowl of vegetarian black bean soup topped with herbs

Easy ingredient swaps

No red bell pepper? Chop up any color you do have. Or substitute a carrot.

If you don’t have smoked paprika, grab a jar of chipotle pepper powder, but use much less because it’s way spicier. Or use 2 parts sweet paprika, 1 part cumin and a dash of cayenne.

If you don’t have a lime or lime juice, use lemon. Or skip it altogether.

Vegetarian black bean soup served with fruits and vegetables

EASY Smoky Vegetarian Black Bean Soup

3.58 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Keyword: plant-based, pulses
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 245kcal


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ⅛ - ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans black beans, undrained
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Toppings such as cilantro, scallions, red onions, avocado, plain Greek yogurt


  • Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to cover the pan. Add the chopped onion and bell pepper. Sauté about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, smoked paprika, cumin and cayenne pepper. Stir.
  • Add the undrained beans and the vegetable broth. Bring the contents of the pot to a low boil, and heat about 15 minutes.
  • Blend half of the soup. If you have an immersion blender, blend the soup while still in the pot about halfway. If you use a stand blender, carefully transfer about 3 cups of soup to the blender and process until smooth. Combine the blended and unblended soups. Add the lime juice and stir.
  • Serve with Greek yogurt and toppings of your choice.


This soup is not for you, if you watch your sodium intake. Alternatively, you can drain and rinse the beans and use low-sodium vegetable broth. If you drain the beans, you'll need an additional cup or so of broth or water.
For my carb-counting folks with diabetes, round out this meal without the bread. Instead fill up on non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, zucchini and carrots. If you prefer a smaller portion, a 1-cup serving of soup provides 29 g carbohydrate, 9 g fiber, 9 g protein, and 162 calories.


Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 245kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Fiber: 14g

Anxiety and stay-at-home orders have ripped me of my sense of control. I’m glad to grab control where I can.

Like how I’ll prepare my 12 pounds of tofu.

Find 75 Simple Food Tips for Safety and Health (and fun) during COVID-19. There’s a free download too!

Stay well, my friends!

Jill Weisenberger

I'm Jill, and I believe simple changes in your mindset and health habits can bring life-changing rewards. And I don't believe in willpower. It's waaaay overrated. As a food-loving registered dietitian nutritionist, certified diabetes care and education specialist and certified health and wellness coach, I've helped thousands of people solve their food and nutrition problems. If you're looking for a better way to master this whole healthy eating/healthy living thing or if you're trying to prevent or manage diabetes or heart problems, you'll find plenty of resources right here.

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Hi there! I'm Jill, a nutrition & diabetes expert and the author of 4 books.

Jill Weisenberger

I believe simple changes in health habits can bring you life-changing rewards.

And I believe willpower is way overrated.

Right here is where you can discover the mindset and habits to stick with healthy lifestyle choices most of the time - and drop the guilt when you don't.

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