Vegetarian/Vegan Black Bean Soup

Total Time
2hrs 50mins
Prep 20 mins
Cook 2 hrs 30 mins

I like this recipe because it is so simple. I love the rich, velvety flavor and texture of black beans, and this unfussy soup highlights those qualities. I like that it starts with dried beans, which have less salt and a nicer texture than canned, but does not require you to pre-soak them (although you can). Unlike many of the black bean recipes here, this one does not have ham, chicken broth, or tomatoes. If you leave off the sour cream or use something non-dairy, it will be vegan. I got this from the newspaper in Raleigh, North Carolina. It says it's from the Carolina Coffee Shop. I think the article said something about it being from an independent Carolina Coffee Shop in Chapel Hill, but there is a chain, one of which is in Raleigh, so I'm not sure. I like to put rice in mine (it's still a soup, not black beans and rice), but it's also good with cornbread.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. If you like, you can presoak the beans overnight to reduce cooking time; the cooking time here assumes you haven't.
  2. Heat oil in a large pot, then saute the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic until softened but not browned (about 3 minutes).
  3. Add beans and water.
  4. Bring to a boil.
  5. Add cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper.
  6. Lower heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 2 1/2 hours or more, until beans are beginning to fall apart and the surrounding liquid has thickened.
  7. Adjust seasoning.
  8. Serve with sour cream or yogurt, and/or any of the other toppings.
  9. For the vegan option omit the sour cream or yogurt.
Most Helpful

I had trouble keeping this at a simmer and ended up having add a lot of water to it during the day. Thus the taste was watery and we found that it really needed something so we added about 2/3 of a cup of salsa which helped. I am not adding stars right now because I think it was my cooking ability (and my stove!) and not the recipe. A good solid black bean soup recipe that smelled wonderful. Hopefully I'll be able to try it again and re-review.

ladypit November 28, 2005

This is a great, simple recipe for black bean soup. I used the suggested addition of a rice garnish and added some cooked basmati to the pot. I put the soup on at noon time and we didn't eat until 5pm. Keeping it at a low simmer all day worked just fine. My one deviation from the recipe was to use chicken stock instead of plain water. My husband said this was the best black bean soup he ever tasted. My daughter preferred it pureed. Either way, the flavor is there and it's a healthy, hearty meal. Thank you for posting a real keeper!

mermaidmagic January 11, 2005