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.
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.
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
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.
- 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.
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.
Please tell me what food problems you have right now. I’ll do my best to answer them.
Stay well, my friends!
Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, CHWC, FAND, is a Nutrition, Culinary & Diabetes Expert, Wellcoach®-certified health and wellness coach, Freelance Writer, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's also the author of four books, including a best-seller. She's a nationally-recognized media expert in high demand for print and online interviews, as well as corporate and one-on-one nutritional counseling. Jill's philosophy is that nutrition science should be understandable, realistic and oh so delicious.
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Like most of my patients and clients, I lead a busy life. You probably do too. Fortunately, you don’t need weeks, days or even hours to start living better and healthier. This blog offers timesaving strategies and bite-sized nutrition and health information. Come by often for tips and inspiration to healthy living – no matter how busy you are. I am a registered dietitian nutritionist offering credible, practical nutrition advice to keep busy people healthy. Yes indeed, we can be both busy and healthy.