Black Bean Soup

It’s the first of the month, so of course I’m coming in hot with a virtuous recipe. Not only is it good for your waistline, but also your wallet. It is not, unfortunately, very pretty. Surprise! Why do I love so many gloppy, questionably colored soups? 

Great avocados, dodgy colored soup.

This soup sort of works with any kind of bean, but I find we eat the black bean version fastest. Perhaps because any other color bean produces an even more questionably colored food? 

The only trick to this soup is to think about it 10-12 hours in advance. Want to eat it for lunch? Put it in the crockpot the night before. The only way to mess up this recipe is to rush it, and end up with not-quite-soft beans which confirms all the assertions of all the many bean-doubters in the world. 


1 bag dried black beans 

1 red onion, roughly chopped

1-2 peppers, roughly chopped (I always have green on hand because they’re the cheapest, any color will do)

3-6 cloves garlic, smashed 



Chicken stock or water

Put all ingredients in a crockpot and cover with water or stock. Stock will make this richer, but water works just fine (and keeps it vegetarian). Make sure you cover the dry ingredients with at least two or three inches of liquid, because the dried beans will absorb a TON of liquid. 

Cook on low for 10-12 hours. 

Once your beans are soft (they should break apart when you gently press on one with the back of a spoon), you have a few options. For the pickiest eaters, I recommend blending everything using your immersion blender or in a stand blender. I used to reserve a cup or so of beans to add back in as sort of “proof of life” beans (you know, so there’s no question what you’re eating. It’s beans! I swear!), but I found that makes bean-haters hate this soup. So blend it all. 

Not trying to satisfy any anti-legume losers? I think this is delicious when you mash it with a potato masher so there’s still plenty of visible beans. This way also makes it the most versatile for leftovers: nacho topping, taco filler, the possibilities are endless. 


Alicia Amling View All →

Recovering journalist who discovered a life outside of news leaves you time for things like getting angry, cooking and traveling. Plus, hopefully, writing. I’m a wife, dog mom and Washingtonian.

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