This simple black bean vegetable soup 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, healthy meal that I find myself coming back to over and over again. Perhaps you will too.
Spicy Black Bean Vegetable Soup
The first time I made a version of this black bean soup 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.
But, years ago, my husband and I decided to eat less meat. Neither of us had any intention of giving meat up entirely. We just realized that we felt better when we ate less of it.
Also, the introduction of The River Cottage Meat is primarily devoted to urging readers to eat less meat, for good reasons.
Devoting page after page in a cookbook all about meat to tell readers to eat less of it made an impression on me. 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.
Factory farming is a terrible, unethical way to raise animals for food.
The only reason it exists to the extent that it does is because it's a good way to produce cheap meat. And, there's a market for cheap meat because we eat so much of it. So, unless money is no object for you, the best way to be able to afford higher quality, responsibly raised meat, is to eat less of it.
This is what we do at my house. As a result, I've built up a nice collection of meatless recipes that are simple, hearty, and flavorful enough to make the addition of meat seem downright superfluous.
This Black Bean Tomato Soup is One of Those Deliciously Meat Free Recipes
I make this soup a lot for good reason: It's fast, healthy, inexpensive to make, and - most importantly - super delicious.
The tomato and bean soup in The River Cottage Veg calls for homemade tomato sauce and fresh tomatoes. These ingredients make a delicious soup, but in many places, good tomatoes are only available for a few months of the year. I wanted the option of making this soup all year round.
Instead of fresh tomatoes, I like to use canned tomatoes that are fire roasted. The best brand available in my local market is Muir Glenn.
Use whatever brand is available to you, but the fire roasted part really does make a difference. It imparts a nice smoky flavor that gives canned tomatoes the depth they sometimes lack.
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 a 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. So, there you have it. We are learning all kinds of things in this post, now aren't we?
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...
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.
The Toppings for Black Bean Vegetable Soup are Half the Fun
This soup is delicious and flavorful completely unadorned, but even better topped with some fresh avocado and cilantro, a dollop of sour cream (or 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.
What to Serve with Tomato Black Bean Soup
#1. 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.
Fair warning: Make them once and you'll probably never want to purchase them again - they really are that much better than anything you can buy at the market.
#2. 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.
#3. Buttermilk Cheddar Jalapeño Cornbread
This Cheddar Jalapeño Cornbread is sweet, savory AND spicy, with a touch of brown sugar and honey, pickled jalapeños, and loads of cheese.
#4. Homemade Dinner Rolls
These homemade dinner rolls have been a staple recipe in my family for decades. They show up on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas of course, but also on birthdays, family dinner nights, and nearly every time someone in my house says, "Can we have those rolls?"
They are also the perfect thing to serve with a piping hot bowl of soup.
More Popular Vegetable Based Recipes:
- Black Bean Soup with Pickled Onions and Cilantro Oil
- Black Bean Enchiladas with Creamy Tomatillo Sauce
- Vegetarian Chili with Pico de Gallo and Chimichurri Sauce
- Quick and Easy Lentil Dal
- Vegetarian Spaghetti Carbonara
- Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Cheesy Stuffed Tomatoes
Meal Plans that include Black Bean Tomato 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 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium size red onion, peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoon 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 vegetable stock)
- 2 ½ cups vegetable stock (can also use water)
- One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
- One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
- 4 cups black beans
- 1-2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice (to taste)
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- ½ cup sour cream - OR vegan sour cream (see link to recipe for vegan sour cream below)
- 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.
Vegan Sour Cream
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.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 298Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1068mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 16gSugar: 13gProtein: 14g