This Black Bean Soup recipe is not only filling, it’s healthy, vegan and gluten free! Simple to prepare and perfect comfort food for dinner!
(Although inspired by the Hungarian recipe, included in this post are variations to transform this recipe into a Mexican or Cuban Soup Recipe!)
Life never turns out like we expect it, does it?
I normally start my blog posts with a reminiscent story. Perhaps about my childhood while weaving in a food-related topic. Sometimes it’s about a specific moment. Sometimes it’s funny or relatable. But not this time.
Funnily enough, if there was any recipe published on Curated Life that would be deserving of an intriguing childhood story, it would be this one. Bean soup has been cooked for years at my Grandmother’s table. I look back at the dish fondly. But the truth is, I never intended to share this recipe let alone prepare it.
While developing another blog post, How To Cook Black Beans, my partner became impatient by the number of beans in our kitchen. Blacks beans overflow our shelves and at any given time we have had 3 to 5 cups worth of cooked beans in our fridge.
At times we prepared a delicious Chilli Con Carne, other times a salad. One day in frustration by the sheer quantity of beans, I poured them into a pot and prepared this soup. I didn’t need to think. It was almost as if instinctively I leaned towards each ingredient knowing exactly what to do. Or perhaps it’s because it was whatever we had readily available? I like to think it was from the years of watching my grandmother cook, but it’s unlikely.
Either way, it doesn’t matter. Voila! It’s been made in my kitchen, my grandmother’s kitchen and now yours to enjoy for years to come! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 😉
Despite popular belief, it’s really simple to flavor beans without meat. Delicious flavour comes down to a few different factors. The key is to use great quality ingredients, a rich broth, spices, seasoning and aromatics.
Black Beans naturally taste rich and hearty, adopting the flavours they are cooked in. Paired with smoked paprika, garlic and slow cooked with carrots, this recipe has smokiness, depth and plenty of flavour. Although this recipe works wonderfully with water, if available, a good quality homemade broth or stock will elevate this recipe to the next level. With these elements combined, it’s effortless to make Black Bean Soup without meat, in fact, you won’t even notice it missing!
Many different cultures have their own variation of black bean soup which means you can adapt this recipe to suit your tastes! While preparing this recipe, I empower you to experiment with your spices and aromatics to make the recipe your own!
Some variations include:
– Mexican – Replace the smoked paprika with ground cumin, ground coriander, cayenne pepper or chilli flakes. While cooking the carrots, replace the celery with red capsicum and a can of diced tomatoes. Garnish with avocado and cilantro leaves.
– Cuban – While cooking the carrots, include some red capsicum. Garnish with diced tomato, onion and natural yogurt, or vegan equivalent.
Although you can easily prepare Black Bean Soup using canned beans, this simple recipe really shines in velvety texture and flavour when prepared using dried black turtle beans. Making this soup with dried beans is super easy. The key is to soak your beans for a minimum of 8 – 12 hours and pre-cook them before you start cooking the soup. I usually cooked them for 20 minutes using the pressure cooker.
Although this recipe assumes you have canned black beans or cooked dried black beans readily available, my post “How to Cook Dry Black Beans” offers simple step-by-step instructions on the process.
We’ve all been there, we’ve spent AGES cooking only to have a soup too watery in texture. Although this recipe will naturally thicken on it’s own, luckily there are a few simple ways on how to make black bean soup thicker.
– Blend half of the soup with a food processor or blender adding it back to the soup and cook for an additional 5 – 10 minutes; or
– In a separate bowl, stir through a ladle of soup with a 2 teaspoons of corn flour until it’s well combined. Stir the flour through the soup on a medium heat where the soup should thicken in 5 – 10 minutes. It’s important to mix the flavour in a separate bowl because if the flour is added directly to the soup, it will create clumps of flour which are unpleasant to eat.
Bean soups freeze very well and a great to have read-to-go in the freezer!
Unfortunately fresh herbs, flour and yogurt may not freeze and defrost well. If you’re preparing bulk Black Bean Soup for freezing, I suggest leaving out step 5 on this recipe instructions (the fresh herbs, flour and yogurt) and toppings until you’re ready to defrost and eat the soup.
Easy Black Bean Soup (Vegan, GF)
- extra virgin olive oil for cooking
- 1 medium onion finely diced (reserving 2 tablespoons for later)*
- 3 garlic cloves peeled and minced
- 2 large carrots peeled and finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks washed and finely chopped
- 2 ¼ cups dried black turtle beans cooked (or 3 x 400g canned black beans)
- 5 cups filtered water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1-2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp corn flour
- 2 tbsp fresh or dried parsley finely chopped
- ⅓ cup natural yogurt or vegan equivalent
- Preheat extra virgin olive oil in a large cooking pot over a medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook for approximately 5 minutes until transparent. Include the minced garlic, chopped carrots and celery. While stirring occasionally, cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Add the cooked black beans (or canned black beans), filtered water and salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for between 20 minutes until el dente.
- After 20 minutes has passed, in a separate frying pan, cook the 2 tbsp of diced onion for 5 minutes. (If you forgot to reserve the onions don't worry, continue with the instructions as usual). Add the smoked paprika, corn flour, parsley, yogurt and a ladle of the liquid from the soup. Stir until a consistent paste has formed.
- Include the paprika/flour mixture to the Black Bean Soup, stirring thoroughly until well combined. Cook the soup for a further 5 minutes.
- (Optional) Ladle half the soup into a blender or food processor, blend until smooth. Return the blended soup to the pot.
- Serve in bowls with your favourite toppings! Bon Appètit! 🙂
HAVE YOU PREPARED THIS RECIPE?
Let me know in the comments section below, or by tagging #CuratedLifeKitchen on Instagram! I love to see what people have created! 🙂