This simple vegan black bean soup with tomatoes packs a serious amount of flavor. Tomatoes and black beans are simmered in a wine and vegetable broth, flavored with onions, garlic, jalapeño, cumin, oregano, lime, and cilantro.
Start to finish, this fresh-tasting soup will be on the table in well under 30 minutes, making it a super quick, nutritious, meatless meal that I find myself coming back to over and over again. Perhaps you will too.
The first time I made a version of this black bean soup with tomatoes was after reading Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's cookbook The River Cottage Veg.
I already owned Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's The River Cottage Meat, which had become one of my most dog-eared reference books when cooking any kind of meat dish. An interesting fact about this book - the introduction is primarily devoted to urging readers to eat less meat.
Hugh urges his readers to eat less meat in general so that when we DO choose to eat it, we can afford to purchase higher quality, responsibly raised meat.
This was a message that resonated with me then and even more so today. I cannot imagine ever choosing to give up meat entirely. But, in general, most of us probably eat way more of it than is good for our health or good for the welfare of the animals we raise for food, or good for our environment.
I'm grateful for so many delicious, nutritious, meat-free recipes, like this one.
Ingredients Needed to Prepare this Soup
I make this soup a lot for good reason: It's fast and inexpensive to make and most importantly, super delicious. Most of the ingredients in this recipe are long-shelf life pantry items making this soup as convenient to make as it is delicious.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- A red onion
- A few fresh garlic cloves
- 1 jalapeño
- Ground cumin and dried oregano
- 2 teaspoon dried oregano
- A teaspoon or two of granulated sugar. This brightens up the flavor of the tomatoes in this soup.
- Salt and pepper
- Vegetable stock
- Dry white wine or dry vermouth, or a bit more vegetable stock
- A large can of diced tomatoes and a large can of crushed tomatoes. I like to use canned tomatoes that are fire roasted. The best brand available in my local market is Muir Glenn.
- Black beans from a can or cooked from dried in an instant pot, slow cooker, or on the stovetop.
- A couple of fresh limes
Beans, Beans, the Magical Fruit...
... the more you eat, the more you toot. 😂 I do not know where this catchy little jingle came from, but my husband used to say it to the kids when they were little and it always made them giggle. Joking aside, beans really can create a, ummmm, gassy situation.
Beans contain sugar that, for us humans, can only be broken down by bacteria in the large intestine. As the bacteria gets to work on those sugars, it creates some gas.
One way to lessen the gas-producing effects of beans is to simply make sure they are fully cooked.
If using canned beans, just make sure to purchase a high quality brand. If cooking them yourself, just make sure you've let them cook all the way through.
Speaking of cooking dried beans...
- Cooking dried beans in the slow cooker or the Instant Pot only takes about 5 minutes of prep work and the result is infinitely better than anything you'll ever find in a can.
- One pound of dried beans will give you more than enough for this soup, with plenty left over to use later in the week or freeze. Most of the time, this is what I do.
- Dried beans are extremely economical and cooking them myself allows me to add plenty of herbs and spices so that they contribute a whole other layer of flavor to whatever dish I put them in.
Having said that, god bless beans in a can. They work just as well and require only the forethought to have purchased them.
How to Serve Black Bean Soup with Tomatoes
This soup is delicious and flavorful completely unadorned, but even better topped with some fresh avocado and cilantro, a dollop of vegan sour cream, and some crispy tortilla strips.
The recipe includes instructions for crispy tortilla chips, which are easy to make while the soup simmers. A crumble of purchased tortilla chips works well too if you don't feel like frying the strips.
And, while this soup is a meal unto itself, I sometimes like to do the whole soup and sandwich thing by serving it with a vegan wrap. Which, yes, I realize that a wrap is not technically a sandwich, but I feel it serves the same basic purpose.
What to Serve with Tomato Black Bean Soup
- Homemade Tortillas. If you've never made homemade tortillas, this might sound like a ridiculous suggestion. If you have made them, you know that they are considerably more impressive and delicious than they are difficult.
- Buttermilk Biscuits. These incredibly tender and flaky buttermilk biscuits are the perfect thing to serve with any kind of soup. They are soft on the inside, slightly crispy on the outside, and rise to impressive heights with layer after delicious layer.
- Homemade Dinner Rolls. These homemade dinner rolls have been a staple recipe in my family for decades.
- Simple Roasted Beets. This simple method for Roasted Beets requires just 3 ingredients - beets, olive oil, and salt. Eat these deliciously tender, flavor-packed beets as is, add them to other dishes or dress them up in an endless variety of ways.
- Jicama Salad with Apples and Honey Lime Dressing. This jicama salad with apples is light, crisp, tart, and refreshing. It's quick and easy to make and packed with nutrition.
- Israeli Salad. Israeli Salad is a delicious, fresh mix of vegetables and herbs chopped into very small pieces so that every bite contains a variety of flavors and textures.
I've also recently discovered that a tablespoon or two of miso butter added to this soup right before serving adds a delicious, rich, buttery, layer of umami that's incredibly delicious. Miso butter takes about 5 minutes to make but it is quite salty, so if you plan to add it, reduce the amount of salt in the soup.
If you give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or take a picture and tag it #alittleandalot on Instagram.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium size red onion, peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper (more to taste)
- ½ cup dry white wine or dry vermouth (or, just use another half cup of vegetable stock)
- 2 ½ cups vegetable stock (can also use water)
- One 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
- One 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
- 4 cups black beans
- 1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (to taste)
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- ½ cup vegan sour cream
- Corn tortilla chips
- Add the extra virgin olive oil and diced onions to a large heavy bottom saucepan or dutch oven and set it over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes
- While the onions are cooking, add the garlic, jalapeño, cumin, oregano, sugar, salt and pepper to a small bowl. Add to the pan with the softened onions and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute longer.
- Add the wine or dry vermouth, turn the heat to high, and cook, stirring frequently, until about 75% of the liquid has evaporated.
- Add the stock, both cans of tomatoes, and black beans to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add 1 tablspoon of lime juice. Taste and add more lime juice, salt, and/or pepper, if you like.
- Serve soup topped with chopped cilantro, sour cream and tortilla chips.
- This Vegan Sour Cream is pretty much the only sour cream we eat at our house and we're not even vegans. It's just simply more delicious than regular dairy sour cream.
- For this black bean soup recipe, you can use canned black beans or dried beans that you've cooked in advance in the slow cooker, or the instant pot.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 298Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1068mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 16gSugar: 13gProtein: 14g