Black Bean Soup

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Black bean soup is a very hearty soup, super high in fiber, and so inexpensive to make. It's perfect topped with low fat sour cream and fresh chopped herbs such as chives, cilantro or scallions.

Although I’m sad summer is coming to an end, I do look forward to making homemade soups and stews. Black bean soup is a very hearty soup, super high in fiber, and so inexpensive to make. It’s perfect topped with low fat sour cream and fresh chopped herbs such as chives, cilantro or scallions. Cooking the vegetables on the side, and adding it to the soup rather than cooking them all together, really adds to the flavor of this soup. If you are on Weight Watchers, soups are such a great low point, low fat meal option.

I’ve been getting a lot of requests for freezer meals so I’ve added a label to the recipes on my site that I think would freeze well, you can find them under Freezer Friendly Recipes in the right column. This soup recipe is perfect for freezing and reheating. Freezing meals by portion to use throughout the month for lunch or dinner is a great way to save time and money, and also makes counting points easier. Recipes that freeze well are soups, sauces, stews, chili, uncooked meatballs or meatloaves, and casseroles.

Black bean soup is a very hearty soup, super high in fiber, and so inexpensive to make. It's perfect topped with low fat sour cream and fresh chopped herbs such as chives, cilantro or scallions.
5 from 8 votes
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Black Bean Soup

234.5 Cals 13.5 Protein 40 Carbs 2.5 Fats
Cook Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time: 2 hrs 30 mins
Yield: 8 servings
COURSE: Dinner, Soup
CUISINE: American
Black bean soup is a very hearty soup, super high in fiber, and so inexpensive to make. It's perfect topped with low fat sour cream and fresh chopped herbs such as chives, cilantro or scallions.


For the beans:

  • •    1 lb dry black beans
  • •    1 small bell red pepper
  • •    1 small onion, quartered
  • •    2 cloves garlic
  • •    3 bay leaves

For the soup:

  • •    1 tbsp olive oil
  • •    1 large onion, minced
  • •    1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • •    1 red pepper, minced
  • •    2 medium carrots, shredded
  • •    5 cloves garlic, minced
  • •    1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • •    1/4, 2 oz cup white wine
  • •    1 tsp cumin
  • •    1 tsp oregano
  • •    1 chicken bullion, vegans use vegetable bullion
  • •    salt and black pepper


  • Rinse beans and place in a large pot with about 8 cups of water.
  • Cover and bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let the beans sit, covered for one hour. (Or you can let them soak overnight in cold water)
  • Drain the water, then add 8-10 cups of cold water when ready to cook.
  • Add 1 bell pepper, 2 garlic, small onion and bay leaves to the beans. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about an hour, or until tender, stirring occasionally. (Add water if necessary)
  • Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat oil on low. Add chopped vegetables (onion, parsley, carrots, pepper, garlic) season with salt and pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until soft.
  • Add the vegetables to the soup after it has simmered an hour, then add wine, vinegar, cumin, oregano, bullion, salt and pepper and adjust water if needed.
  • Cover and simmer on low about 15 - 20 minutes.
  • Remove bay leaves, then using an immersion blender, partially blend the soup for about 10 seconds to thicken. If you don't have an immersion blender, put about 3 cups of the soup in a blender, then add it back to the pot.
  • Adjust salt, pepper and cumin to taste and ladle about 1 1/2 cups into each bowl.
  • Top with sour cream (extra points), chopped onions, scallions, chives or/or cilantro and enjoy!


Serving: 1-1/2 cups, Calories: 234.5kcal, Carbohydrates: 40g, Protein: 13.5g, Fat: 2.5g, Fiber: 19.5g
WW Points Plus: 5
Keywords: Freezer Meals, Gluten Free, Vegetarian Meals

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  1. Hi, can I use canned beans. ? I have lots of cans I want to use up

  2. Does anyone have updated directions to do this in the instant pot? Thank you! 

  3. This was outstanding! I used the instant pot to soften dried black beans and then transferred them to my Dutch oven for making the rest of the recipe. I didn’t use a separate pan to sauté the veg, I added everything at once and it turned out absolutely delicious. Used a Knorr Homestyle Stock pod in Low Sodium Chicken for the bullion cube. Highly recommend!

  4. Loved it! It is a great base to experiment with and I love how the side veggies added to the beans give it extra flavor.

  5. Mine was definitely not the beautiful black color shown in the picture. I think next time I will not drain the beans after the first round of cooking as I drained a whole pot of that beautiful broth which probably would’ve made a nice black bean soup. The flavor was fine. I love skinnyatste recipes and fail to ever be disappointed but I think the directions on this one are somewhat vague. I found myself having to guess at a lot of steps.  Despite that the result, while not visually appealing, was enjoyable. 

  6. Made this tonight and it was delish! I love all of your recipes! We try a new one just about every week plus several on regular rotation. 💜

  7. what do you do with quatered onion used to cook the beans? do you leave that in the soup or remove once beans are cooked?

  8. What doe you mean with ‘bullion’ Do you mean bouillon??

  9. This was awesome. I made it in my instant pot. Cooked dry beans for 20 minutes. Then added chili seasoning and cumin and salt to the beans sautéed for a few minutes to combine the flavors. Took out the beans sautéed onion garlic the adoba chili’s sauce carrots white wine vinager and red peppers. Added the bean broth to the mixture. Manual high pressure for five minutes then added back the beans  and added cumin and oregano to taste. Blended . Squeezed a lime and added cilantro and a dollar of fat free Greek yogurt. Tasted like Panera’s black bean soup. Will make again

  10. Hi Gina, Loving all your recipes that I have made. Thank you for all you do. Could you use a can of rinse black beans for this recipe? Thank you.

  11. I gotta say, your site is a lifesaver! I have never in my life counted calories before, I’ve done low carb and such, but never calorie restriction. My son and I are on the every other day diet by Krista varaday and all your low cal options are making it easier for him (and me) to stick to diet days since we can eat more than just a little bowl. We have loved a number of your soups so far and I will definitely be trying this one soon.

  12. Can I make this in slow cooker? 

  13. Made this exactly as written. Absolutely delicious. I love all of your soup recipes, Gina. I have several on regular rotation. 

  14. How many Freestyle Smart points in this soup?

  15. This recipe is awesome- added some lime juice and it’s amazing!!
    Anyone know how many points a serving in WW freestyle? I saw smart points and points plus but I don’t think those are the same. Thanks!!

  16. Absolutely perfect! I have never been able to make this come out tasting near as good as Mom used to make so I quite trying a few years back–until now! Tastes like my childhood! Delicious!
    Just another ST recipe to go on permanent rotation around here!
    THANK YOU Gina!

  17. Great recipe!!!!

  18. Modified for instant pot sounds fabulous!!

  19. Could this be modified for the Instant Pot?

  20. Made this with some substitutions using what was on hand, and it turned out delicious. I used two cans of black beans (no draining) and a carton of beef stock. Threw in some garlic and onion powder and roasted red pepper. Added a jalapeno to the vegetables in the frying pan, threw it all together in one pot following the instructions for the other ingredients and simmered for 20 minutes. Blended and then stirred in some sour cream and a can of corn. Delicious! Many thanks Gina!

  21. Made this today and it's delicious! Thank you! I wasn't sure what the "1 red pepper" was that it called for (a second bell pepper?), so I skipped it.

  22. I have an ungodly number of cans of black beans to use up (one night my husband comes home with literally 30+ cans of black beans like, "isn't this great? They were on sale!" so I made this with canned beans instead of dry (4 cans– that's what I read the equivalent of one pound of dried beans is– and I rinsed them well first, of course). I threw the garlic and bell pepper and everything that would go into cooking the dry beans in with the rest of the ingredients to saute (except the bayleaf, added at the simmering step). I used the wine (dry vermouth actually, I always use that in place of wine since it keeps longer once opened) to deglaze the pan after sauteing all the onion and everything, and I also used two dried chiles from my FIL's garden for spice and a little more cumin than was specified. I subbed part fresh cilantro, part dried parsley for the fresh parsley that is called for (just didn't have any fresh parsley). Used veggie bullion instead of chicken and served each bowl with a dollop of sour cream, a quarter of an avocado, chopped, a lime wedge squeezed overtop, and the chopped chives. I didn't think that the changes I made were anything too drastic, and I didn't think it was bland at all! My husband and I both loved it, in fact, and were super glad to have the leftovers for lunches and/or freezing. Great recipe!

  23. I made this tonight, and I agree with the other reveiws that this soup is bland. After adding quite a bit more oregano, cumin, salt, and boullion, it still seemed…dull. I got an idea to add lime juice, and BAM!, perfectly rounded out.

  24. I also found this watery and bland. I strained and pureed the solids. Added them back to the broth and hit it up with a ton more, cumin. oregano, salt and Adobo seasoning. Simmered it down to a thicker consistency and it came out great. Thank you for the recipe!! Love all your recipes!!

  25. Just to confirm, by "red pepper" you mean "red bell pepper" not small hot red peppers like jalapenos?

  26. Meant to put previous comment on crockpot picante chicken and black bean soup. Sorry!

  27. Was snowed in last week so I made this soup to pass the time. Made on stove instead of crockpot. Already had shredded chicken left over from another recipes. Blended my black beans & broth added them to remaining chicken broth ( also had broth in freezer) cooked on low so flavored would have depth. Oh my gosh . This was so good! I will definitely make this again.

  28. Left out the wine and substituted the bell pepper for jalapenos. Good, but needed a lot of salt to have some flavor.

  29. Before I try any new recipe I read the reviews especially since this was the first time making black bean soup and using dry beans. It looked like a lot of people had trouble or said is was bland. I followed the instructions. I left out the wine though. My soup came out great. The beans were cooked, it was not watery and not bland. I did like Gina said and adjusted the spices to taste at the end. I kind of got scared to make this from the reviews but glad I did!

  30. I also added a little extra bouillon, the juice of 2 limes, and topped it with minced cilantro, raw onion, and melted cheese. Delicious.

  31. Would I be able to cook this in a crock pot?

  32. Can you make this with any other dry bean like kidney beans or pinto beans?

  33. YUMMY! Just made this and while a bit labor intensive for me, it is delicious and all three kids LOVE it. So yes, we will be making this one again.

  34. Made this tonight. My favorite part was how pretty the sautéed veggies looked in the pan – all those beautiful colors looked so yummy! I used a red onion so mine had purple bits too. I'm going to have to find something to stuff that veggie mix into – maybe a vegetarian zucchini boat?

  35. Fantastic! We all loved this, especially with a dollop of light sour cream and some chives. Great comfort food and VERY filling.

  36. As always, Gina, OUTSTANDING!! Whole family loved this.

  37. Everyone who is fussing at Gina for not answering the canned bean question: She DID answer it! Read through the comments before you get snippy! She said that she thinks it would work fine, but that without testing it herself, she can't know exactly how much you should use. Later, another poster wrote that she used 3 cans of black beans, rinsed.
    Also, why does everybody ask her about crazy substitutions or how certain alterations would change the points? How could she possibly know the answer to those questions unless she went back and tested it exactly. If you want to know how the points would change, then plug it in the WW recipe builder yourself. If you want to substitute something, then do it. Cooking is usually not an exact science (though baking is, of course). Be creative and adapt your recipes however you'd like. Gina is an awesome, talented cook and writer, but she's not omniscient.

    • Seriously! I don't even understand the fuss. It took me ten seconds on Google to find a website with dry to canned bean conversions. It is not even that hard, ingredient conversions/substitution suggestions are out there for everything you can possibly think of, people just have to take a few seconds to actually look. I guess there will always be people who think it is every blogger's responsibility to answer every single question they have no matter what it is right now!

  38. THis might be a silly question and maybe I'm missing something but for the beans do you put the red pepper in whole or do you cut it up. Also the onion that is quartered do you take it out after the beans cook or leave it in?

  39. vegetarians don't eat chicken bouillon either?

  40. What can I use to sub for olive oil?

  41. i can never get my bean to cook fast even after soaking them overnight

  42. There have been SO MANY questions about using canned beans instead of dry, but not one of them have been answered.

    For speeding up the process, how would you make the receipe with canned beans?

  43. Hi Gina! Love the recipes! I was also wondering if you could recommend the best freezer containers. I've been using freezer bags that I freeze while laying flat on a cookie sheet. This seems to allow for minimum freezer space. Any other suggestions?

  44. Loved this recipe. I cooked the beans overnight in defatted ham stock made from the Thanksgiving ham, then just kept that stock for the soup rather than draining. It's delicious with some pico and a spoonful of sweet corn kernels and a few crumbles of feta. So filling just a cup really does it.

  45. Gina, what are the best and lowest cost containers you recommend for freezing soup (or any freezable food, for that matter)? I bought some plastic freezer containers, but their lids popped off, even after I let the soup cool completely. And glass containers are expensive. Love, love, love your site and recipes! You've never steered me wrong!

    • I've used freezer bags. I put the bag inside a large coffee mug, fill, press as much air out as possible then seal. I write the name and PP on the bag, lay flat on cookie sheet then freeze. It seems to work well but I am also interested in other methods.

    • Kelly, good idea, I'll try the freezer bags, thanks. I was just hoping for something "sustainable" that doesn't end up in our landfills, but it looks like Gina has been too busy to respond for awhile. The holidays, no doubt!

  46. Hubby made this soup last night, following (for once!) the directions exactly. He, too, found it a little bland. The addition of 1/2 tsp each of shallot and regular salt, pepper, cayenne and crushed red pepper made it outstanding.

    Tonight, we cooked part of it down into what was essentially a salsa and ate it on top of nachos, topped with chopped tomatoes, scallions, and a dollop of sour cream. Fantastic!

  47. I made this recipe using 3 cans of black beans. I rinsed and drained each can thoroughly. I basically followed the recipe after the first step. I added 9 cups of water back. I simmered my beans for 30 minutes uncovered and then covered for 30 minutes. I did stray from the recipe a bit. I read the reviews that it lacked flavor so I added in a Black Bean Seasoning packet ( I added half the pack to the minced veggies as they were sautéing and half to the soup. I also added about 3/4 a tsp of both oregano and cumin. I'm on the final step now. The beans taste just as good as they smell. I didn't have any carrots so I skipped that and I subbed the wine for 2 Tbsp vermouth.

  48. Hi Gina!

    Can this be made with canned black beans? If yes, how many? Also, I have made dozens of your recipes, and they are all fabulous!! I don't use any other sites, or even use my cookbooks anymore. Thank you so much,Emily

  49. I don't know how this could have been bland! Of course, I didn't make it exactly as the recipe calls because I threw together a quick meal before we went out trick or treating. Cutting corners aside, it was delicious. (We did add some grated cheddar cheese and diced avocado on top, yum.) Can't wait to make it again!

  50. Huge Skinny Taste Fan! First time I made one of your recipes and it wasn't impressive. Unfortunately, it was bland and tasteless… :((

  51. I've made great recipes from this site. Unfortunately, this was not one of the them. It was watery and bland (as others have mentioned) and the beans were undercooked (even though I cook about 45 minutes longer than directed).

  52. my soup was bland and watery too. I'm trying to figure out where i went wrong because i usually don't mess up soup. So, I had soaked my beans overnight…they had been rinsed and drained and cooked already. so I took 3 cups of the beans (that had been cooked) and put them in 8 cups water with the pepper, onion, etc…then added the veggies..should I have just cooked it all together because the beans had been cooked? I'm stumped and frustrated! (I usually use canned beans for this reason!)

    • A pound of dry beans is about the same as four cans of beans, or about 7-8 cups of cooked beans. That's probably why your soup was too thin.

  53. This soup is so yummy! I made it with only 8 1/2 cups of water & simmered w/ the lid propped open.

  54. So bummed! My soup turned out like a couple of other reviewers: super bland and watery. I guess I should have let it simmer longer. I think if there was some pictures of the cooking process that would help (especially for us amateur cooks). This was my first unsuccessful skinnytaste recipe. I love this site though!!

  55. So this step

    "Add 1 bell pepper, 2 garlic, small onion and bay leaves to the beans. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about an hour, or until tender, stirring occasionally. (Add water if necessary)"

    I have the same question, I know you've answered above to someone else but I still wasn't sure, is the pot suppose to covered or uncovered during the simmering for an hour???


  56. Alas, I ended up with watery, tasteless soup, too. I even added more boullion, too much salt for my low-sodium Hubby, and extra cumin. Still blah. Boo.

    Wondering…could the culprit be a lid? Is the soup supposed to simmer for a hour UNcovered?

  57. I made this last week which took a bit of time but well worth it. I would soak the beans overnight. Also I served this with the cilantro, lime rice (I can't take the hot peppers). It was a hit! For dinner I reduced the amount of soup per a serving and added a tablespoon of fresh cooked and chopped bacon with the rice and soup. I love meat…

  58. This sounds delicious! I saw in previous posts asking if you can used canned black beans but didn't an answer. So, can you use canned black beans?

  59. I add the red pepper twice. The second time adds extra flavor.

  60. I can't wait to try this recipe! I have one question though … I see "red bell pepper" to be added w/ the beans, then "red pepper" to be added w/ the soup. Is the red pepper to be added w/ the soup also a red bell pepper or is it a different kind of pepper? I feel silly asking this … but I'm a pretty inexperienced cook, so thought I might be missing something =). Thanks.

  61. Instead of using sour cream, I substitute with a dallop of 0% fat greek yogurt. Extra protein and 1 tbsp is 0 Points plus points!

  62. The vinegar gives it that extra something. Loved it!

  63. We just had this for dinner. It was fabulous! Thank you for the delicious recipe! I have an 8yo and a 6yo who loved it as well!

  64. Just a thought – if you don't have an immersion blender, you can use a potato masher.

  65. Hello – I have noticed that a lot of your recipes call for wine. I am extremely allergic to wine(sulfites), and no the sulfites do not cook off. What can I do to substitute? I really want to make these recipes, but will taste be compromised?

    • Just leave it out then.

    • I just leave the wine out,and it's still good. Apple juice sort of works as a substitute, or you could try raw apple cider vinegar, just start with about half the amount so the soup isn't too vinegary.

  66. Really, really good! Just had it for lunch and it is excellent. Thanks so much for sharing. Your website is going to help us plan our meals.

    Lots of thanks from Barcelona!

  67. I made this tonight and boy did it knock my socks off! loved it, even if i blended it a *little* too much–oops!

  68. I'm not sure if my instructions were clear, I just adjusted them if they were confusing. You were to add the sauteed vegetables at the end, this gives the soup a lot of flavor. I really can't see how they would have turned out bland unless you added everything in the beginning.

  69. I really love your site and recipes but this on in particular I was pretty disappointed in. I found that the spices and veggies werent enough to flavor the water. so this soup tasted like veggies in a bowl of water. I tried adding more cumin and some garlic powder and even cheese but It was still very bland. Do you have any recommendations as to what I could do differently? thanks!

  70. I dont have a blender…could I use my magic bullet?

  71. Awesome recipe! I used Vermouth for the wine.

  72. This one's on the menu for tomorrow night – so excited to try it!
    I put the recipe into Recipe Builder, omitted the white wine, and I got 6 points for each serving?

  73. Making this again tomorrow for meatless Monday….so excited, can't wait, soaking the beans now!! 🙂 I've got several of your recipes on the menu this week….Turkey Meatloaf, Spinach Meatballs, and the Cheesy Broc Potato soup….yum.

  74. can use use the black beans from the can?

  75. I made this yesterday. So good!! I had to use orange bell peppers as the store was out of red (don't know why). I portioned out the rest for future lunches in the freezer.

  76. Just finished making this. First time I have ever used dried beans. Came out SO good! Love it! I think next time I make it, I will take a little liquid out before I blend it, just to make it a bit thicker. HUGE amount for 5 points! thanks

  77. Yes, you can, but it would be hard for me to type it up without making it for correct amounts. You could add beans with broth and boil, then add the vegetables in the last step and season to taste, cook until about 20 minutes.

  78. Is there any way to use canned black beans for this? I have some in the pantry and would like to make it to accompany the cuban quesadilla tomorrow night!

  79. Making this now…smells wonderful. I'm trying it in the crock pot, practicing making this a weeknight thing. Throwing the idea of adding some sliced smoked andouille chicken sausage in after I use my blender on it…and cornbread (have a need for some sort of bread tonight)…

  80. could you convert this recipe and your other soup ones to point plus? it's winter and i love soup in winter!

  81. Yes, 1 cube, I thInk it's the equivalant to 1 tbsp.

  82. Gina when you say "1 chicken bullion" does that mean one cube? and if so, I only have powdered – what is the equivalent? One tsp?

  83. Marisa, nice touch adding lime!

    Kent- You could cook it longer uncovered, it will evaporate and thicken to your taste. I like my beans soupier. That's just me.

  84. Another great recipe from your site – I swear you can't go wrong! I think next time I'll use cilantro instead of parsley. Also mine is REALLY soupy and I followed your instructions exactly. What did I do wrong?

  85. I just made this soup and it's DELICIOUS!!! I followed the recipe exactly other than adding a little fresh lime juice at the end. I can't wait for my husband to get home so he can enjoy one of his favorite soups (I've already had a small cup, yum). Thank you for so many delicious recipes. You are the greatest..

  86. Yes, exactly.

  87. So, do we add the second set of ingredients (the carrots, wine . . .) after the black beans have simmered for an hour?

  88. Yes, that is correct. It does not taste overly garlicky, it's a big pot of soup. You could mince them in step one. Trust me, this will be very flavorful!

  89. I am confused too. So basically you are adding minced garlic and onion to the recipe twice, both during the initial cooking of the beans and again when you add the sauteed veggies?

  90. I am in the process of making this recipe right now, and I am noticing that there is a LOT of garlic. Is this how it is supposed to be? I also would like to know if you are to keep the garlic whole when adding it to the beans. Thanks.

  91. Yes, mince it all and keep it covered.

    • This was not clear.

      Also, the U.S. dry bean council recommends keeping the onion whole:

      I kept the onion, garlic cloves, and pepper whole. I hope it turns out OK!

  92. Should I be mincing the peppers, garlic for the beans part? and do you leave it uncovered while it simmers?

  93. Making this for dinner tonight!

  94. Wondering about using canned beans as well. Any thoughts on that?

  95. Any way to cut down time and use canned black beans? I have a ton in the pantry and this would be a super way to put them to use!
    Thanks again for all you do!!

  96. Thanks for a delicious recipe! My entire family enjoyed this recipe (I have a toddler and pre-schooler who wanted seconds!). This will be making its way into the favorite recipe folder.

  97. It sounds like you either added too much water, or it needed to cook (uncovered) longer. Mine was so thick I had to add more water to it.

  98. Okay, I just made this recipe, but mine looks like dirty dishwater. Not sure where I went wrong? I just added some potatoes to kind of thicken it up too.

  99. Yes, you cook the beans first until they are soft. Usually takes about an hour. Then add vegetables and simmer a little while longer. If it gets too thick or dry, add water.

  100. Mm.. this is definitely dinner tonight. Just to confirm, you let the beans / bell peppers, etc simmer for an hour and *then* add the rest of the veggies you sauteed on the side?


  101. Yum! I love black bean soup! Will definitely try this one!

    PS, @mesapapist, DON'T use those gross little bottles of "cooking wine" they have at the grocery stores. They're full of salt and don't taste like wine at all!

  102. @mesapapist – I used Pinot Grigio or a Chardonnay would work fine… or you can simply leave it out if you don't like cooking with wine.

  103. Sounds WONDERFUL. 🙂 We're not wine people – anything I can add instead, or just leave it out?

  104. I'm not much of a cook so I enjoy your recipes because they are usually pretty easy. This one sounds really great also, but….dry wine or any kind I might have in the refer?

  105. So do I!

  106. Sounds like a filling and delicious meal! I love soup in all kinds of weather 🙂

  107. This is excellent! Don't be afraid of cooking with dry beans!!

  108. Black bean soup is one of my all time favorites – I made a good one before and lost the recipe! This sounds fantastic, I can't wait to make it!