This creamy black bean soup recipe is easy to put together with canned beans! It makes a deliciously quick lunch or dinner idea.

Black Bean Soup

Want to make black bean soup and don’t have time to cook dried beans? Try this Quick Black Bean Soup recipe! Using canned beans makes it possible to whip up this tasty soup in 30 minutes. It’s creamy, garlicky and hearty, and a big bowl feels positively restorative. Top it with pico de gallo for a bright and zingy contrast in flavors. Then take it over the top with crushed tortilla chips and pickled peppers, or serve it with a baked quesadilla.

Ingredients in this black bean soup recipe

Many black bean soup recipes use dried beans: and they’re incredibly delicious. If you’ve got time, we highly recommend a recipe cooked from dried beans. But if you’re in a hurry, canned beans make deliciously creamy soup. In fact, you can use the can liquid to make the soup lusciously creamy. Here’s all you need for the base recipe of the soup:

  • Olive oil
  • Vegetables: onion, bell pepper, garlic and jalapeño pepper (optional)
  • Canned black beans
  • Cumin, oregano, fennel seed, salt
  • Vegetable broth
  • Butter
  • Lime zest
Black Bean Soup

Tips for making it creamy

This black bean soup recipe is ultra creamy because it uses a few tricks! Here’s what to know about the secrets behind the creamy body:

  • Use the can liquid from 3 cans black beans. In fact, we recommend canned beans for this recipe! The can liquid is very thick, which makes the perfect thickener for a soup.
  • Pulse with an immersion blender a few times (or normal blender). It’s optional, but you can pulse with an immersion blender to make it even thicker. Just blend until some beans puree but most are still whole. You can also use a standard blender: just be careful not to over-blend.

Toppings for black bean soup

This black bean soup recipe looks pretty monochrome as is. So make sure to step it up with garnishes and toppings when you serve it! The pico de gallo or salsa fresca is required in our opinion: it adds just the right zip to the flavor. We’ve got a few more ideas for decking it out with toppings. Here are the toppings we recommend:

  • Pico de gallo, aka salsa fresca: This is required. Find it in the refrigerated section at most grocery stores, or you can make your own homemade pico. (Or for a cheater version, chop tomatoes and a little onion and add cilantro and a squeeze of lime.)
  • Cilantro: Torn fresh leaves add just the right fresh flavor
  • Crushed tortilla chips or strips: Make Tortilla Strips for a little crunch
  • Pickled peppers: Use Pickled Jalapenos for spicy or Pickled Banana Peppers for mild (we had a jar of banana peppers on hand and it was perfect)
Black Bean Soup Recipe

Is this a spicy black bean soup?

This black bean soup recipe is not spicy, but it can be! The base recipe is very mild, even though it calls for ¼ jalapeno pepper (it’s just enough to add flavor but not heat). If you’d like a spicy black bean soup, here are a few things you can do to bring the heat:

  • Use a whole jalapeño pepper with seeds, instead of 1/4
  • Add 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo (this also adds more flavor nuance)
  • Load on the hot sauce, which is the easiest way to customize the heat level

Make it a meal! Sides to serve

This black bean soup is pretty filling, but we’d suggest adding a few side dishes to make it into a full meal.

Black Bean Soup

More bean soup recipes

A few cans of beans make dinnertime easy! Here are a few more soup recipes we love featuring other types of beans:

This black bean soup recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Black Bean Soup

Easy Black Bean Soup

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 1x


This creamy black bean soup recipe is easy to put together with canned beans! It makes a deliciously quick lunch or dinner idea.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 jalapeño pepper* (optional)
  • 3 15-ounce cans black beans (don’t drain)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seed, crushed with fingers
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter (or vegan butter or refined coconut oil for vegan)
  • 1/2 lime, zested
  • Pico de gallo (salsa fresca)*, for serving
  • Fresh cilantro (optional)
  • Other toppings: Crushed tortilla chips, tortilla strips, sour cream, pickled jalapenos or banana peppers, etc


  1. Finely dice the onion and green bell pepper. Mince the garlic. Finely mince the ¼ jalapeño pepper (take care to wash your hands afterwards). 
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic and jalapeño and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Once softened, add the black beans including their can liquid, cumin, oregano, fennel seeds, kosher salt, and broth. Bring to a simmer and cook about 20 to 25 minutes until the beans start to break down. Stir in the butter and lime zest. If desired, pulse a few times with an immersion blender to thicken the soup, just until some of the beans puree but most are still whole (be careful not to over-blend; you can also pulse 1 to 2 times with a standard blender).
  4. Ladle the soup into bowls (it thickens more once in the serving bowls). Garnish with pico de gallo, torn cilantro leaves, and any of the optional toppings. Serve immediately. Leftovers last 3 to 4 days refrigerated. 


*This soup is mild with ¼ jalapeno. Want a spicy black bean soup? Use a full jalapeno pepper with seeds. Or, stir in about 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers. 

**Pico de gallo aka salsa fresca is sold in the refrigerated section at most grocery stores. If you can’t find it, make Homemade Pico de Gallo or a cheater version: top with minced tomato. white onion and cilantro, spritzed with a little lime juice. 

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican inspired
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Black bean soup, black bean soup recipe

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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