Spicy Black Bean Soup Recipe

When the weather starts to cool down, there's no better way to warm up than with a cozy bowl of soup. There are countless soup options to choose from, but it can be easy to get stuck in a rut of defaulting to the same soup over and over again. It's understandable — you're cold, hungry, and making your go-to chicken noodle or minestrone again is just the easiest option.

If you've been wanting to spice up your soup routine — quite literally — look no further than this spicy black bean soup by recipe developer Hayley MacLean. Soup is often the perfect choice to feed a crowd, and this soup is no different. "This is a great meal to make for groups, as it is so customizable," MacLean adds.

MacLean, who notes she has a "high heat tolerance," calls this soup "about a six and a half or seven out of 10 on the spiciness scale. The chipotle pepper and adobo sauce add a nice smoky spiciness, while the red pepper flakes give some background heat to the whole dish," she says.

Gather the ingredients for spicy black bean soup

Start by getting your ingredients together. You'll need black beans, of course, more specifically 4 cans of them. Vegetable-wise, you need a yellow onion and a red bell pepper, plus some celery, carrots, and garlic. To cook, season, and finish the soup, you'll need olive oil, vegetable broth, chili powder, paprika, oregano, cumin, red pepper flakes, canned chipotles in adobo, lime juice, and cilantro, plus some salt and pepper.

Yes, that sounds like a lot of items, but it'll result in an extra flavorful soup! If you have another color of bell pepper, go ahead and use it, and if you have dried black beans instead of canned, you can also make this soup — you'll just need to slightly modify the cooking process.

Prep your veggies

Soup just tastes better when everything is smooth and bite-sized. To help that process along, prep your veggies. Peel and dice your carrots, mince your garlic cloves, and dice your celery, onion, and bell pepper. Isn't it satisfying to transform everything into uniform chunks?

While you're at it, measure everything else out: the spices, the lime juice, the cilantro — everything. Of course, we have no way of telling if you actually do this, but trust us — it'll make the rest of the recipe go so seamless.

Start cooking

Let's get that soup started! Heat a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat, and then add the olive oil. Once the oil starts to look a bit shimmery, you'll know it's hot enough, and you can add the peppers, onions, celery, and carrots.

Cook that down for a bit, and then spice things up by adding in your seasonings: paprika, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, garlic, oregano, and chipotles in adobo. Stirring frequently, cook until the spices start to smell really amazing in your kitchen, which should take about 30 seconds.

It's time for the beans

Now that your veggies are cooked and seasoned, it's bean time. Add in your canned beans and broth to the pot, and bring everything to a boil, then a simmer. Let the soup contents cook for 30 minutes, until the beans are tender. If using dried beans, MacLean suggests using "1 pound of dried black beans and 8 cups of vegetable stock instead, and simmer it for one and a half to two hours until the beans are very tender."

Once you're done cooking, use an immersion blender, and blend about three quarters of the soup, so you get a smooth consistency while retaining some nice chunks. Add some salt and pepper as you see fit, along with the cilantro and lime juice.

Serve, and enjoy

After that, your spicy black bean soup is ready to be lovingly topped with garnishes. "To garnish this soup, I use a dollop of sour cream, queso fresco crumbles, fresh chopped cilantro, diced avocado, or thinly sliced scallions," MacLean says. The fun part with garnishes is you can use whatever you want! If you want to serve this soup with other food items, MacLean suggests "a side of tortillas or tortilla chips to help scoop up all the yumminess! It can also be served with a side of cilantro rice or a light salad with an avocado-based dressing to bring the whole meal together."

If you end up with leftovers, MacLean says they'll keep for about five to seven days in the fridge and three months in the freezer, which makes this soup great for planning ahead — you can make a double batch on a fall day and defrost it when it gets really cold out.

Spicy Black Bean Soup Recipe
5 from 53 ratings
If you've been wanting to spice up your soup routine — quite literally — look no further than this spicy black bean soup.
Prep Time
Cook Time
bowl of black bean soup
Total time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 canned chipotle chili + 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • juice from 1 lime
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  1. In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers.
  2. Once shimmering, add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and carrots. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.
  3. Add the garlic, chipotle pepper and adobo sauce, chili powder, paprika, oregano, cumin, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for 30 seconds, constantly stirring, until the spices are fragrant.
  4. Add the black beans and vegetable broth, and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 30 minutes, until the beans are very tender.
  6. Remove from the heat, and use an immersion blender to blend about ¾ of the soup until smooth.
  7. Stir in the lime juice and cilantro.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Serve immediately topped with the garnishes of your choice.
Calories per Serving 346
Total Fat 5.9 g
Saturated Fat 0.9 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 57.8 g
Dietary Fiber 22.9 g
Total Sugars 4.6 g
Sodium 1,274.6 mg
Protein 18.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe