Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

$4.81 recipe / $0.79 serving

I love black bean soup like I love chili. It’s great on its own, but it’s also fun to get creative with toppings and turn it into a bowl full of fun (okay, maybe I get too excited about food). This awesomely flavorful and easy version of black bean soup practically makes itself in the slow cooker, which is awesome on hot summer days like this when you don’t want a pot of soup boiling away on the stove making your whole kitchen extra steamy.

What else is awesome about this soup? Wellll…. It’s vegan, super filling, low cal, high fiber, high protein, full of veggies, and costs next to nothing. Need I say more?

And about those awesome fun toppings? I ate mine with a dollop of sour cream, but you could do crispy tortilla strips, green onions, cilantro, pepitas, cheddar or pepper jack cheese, or even a scoop of cooked rice. Actually, just about anything that goes good in a taco would probably go awesome on top of this soup. Go wild!

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

4.8 from 17 reviews
Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Total Cost: $4.81
Cost Per Serving: $0.80
Serves: 6 (1.5 cups each)
Ingredients
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 medium onion $0.41
  • 2 stalks celery $0.33
  • 2 medium carrots $0.28
  • 1 lb. uncooked black beans $1.75
  • 1 cup salsa $0.85
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder* $0.30
  • ½ Tbsp cumin $0.15
  • 1 tsp oregano $0.05
  • 4 cups vegetable broth $0.53
  • 2 cups water $0.00
Instructions
  1. Mince the garlic, dice the onion and celery, and grate the carrots on a large holed cheese grater. Rinse the black beans in a colander under cool running water and pick out any stones or debris.
  2. Combine the garlic, onion, celery, carrots, black beans, salsa, chili powder, cumin, oregano, vegetable broth, and water in a 5-7 quart slow cooker. Stir well.
  3. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 6-8 hours (you want the beans to get VERY soft). Once the beans are very soft, use an immersion blender** to blend the soup until it is thick and creamy (leave some beans whole if desired). Taste the soup and add salt if needed (this will depend on the brand of vegetable broth used).
Notes
*Chili powder is a blend of mild red chiles and other spices. It is not cayenne pepper, which is extremely spicy.

**If you do not have an immersion blender, wait until the soup cools some and then use a blender to purée the soup in batches. Make sure to never blend hot liquids as they can build pressure in the blender and explode, causing severe burns.

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

 

Step by Step Photos

Rinse BeansRinse the dry beans under cool water to remove any dust and dirt. If there are any pebbles or other debris, pick them out.

Black Bean Soup IngredientsAdd the beans to a 5-7 quart slow cooker along with 2 cloves of minced garlic, one onion (diced), 2 stalks celery (diced), 2 carrots (grated on a large holed cheese grater), 1 cup salsa, 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1/2 Tbsp cumin, and 1 tsp oregano. Add to that 4 cups of vegetable broth and 2 cups of water. Stir well, place the lid on top, and let it cook on high for 6-8 hours (the goal is VERY soft beans). 

Cooked Black Bean SoupAfter 6 hours on high (it can go 8 hours if needed), the beans will be soft and floating around in a bunch of liquid. You want this to be a thick soup, so you’ll need to purée some of the beans (or all if you want it to be a super smooth soup). The easiest way is to use an immersion blender, but if you don’t have one, it can be done with a regular blender. If using a regular blender, let the soup cool until it’s no longer hot (warm is okay). blend about half of the soup in batches for a slightly chunky soup, or all of the soup for a smooth soup. When blending warm liquids it’s always a good idea to throw a towel over the top of the closed blender to catch any spray if it does build pressure and burst out the top. Never, NEVER, blend hot liquids. (speaking from experience).

Blended Black Bean SoupI blended about half of my soup and left some beans whole for texture. Blending the beans also thickens up the soup considerably. Once it’s blended, give it a taste and see if you need to add salt. I used Better Than Bouillon soup base for my vegetable broth, which tends to be on the salty side, so I didn’t need to add any. If you’re using a low sodium broth, you’ll probably need to add a pinch to make the flavors pop.

Slow Cooker Black Bean SoupAnd then go crazy with toppings! Woot! 

59 Comments

  1. Jeff says:

    Did you soak the beans overnight, or did you start with dry beans?

  2. Emily says:

    Great recipe! Started it this morning before school and ate it for dinner. Perfect for a broke college girl!

  3. Sunshine says:

    Can’t wait to try this recipe…if it’s anything like your other recipes, I’m sure it will be very good! I do have a question though. What size is your crockpot? With a family of 6 I usually have to double recipes. Just want to make sure that I don’t overflow my crockpot, lol.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Love this recipe!!!! I found that beans were soft enough (at least in my opinion) after about 5 hours or so — but that could just be my slow cooker. It was nice to be able to come home after work this summer, and have something I could eat for dinner without much extra effort!

  5. Heather says:

    I know the recipe calls for vegetable broth, but I completely forgot to pick it up at the store. I have chicken broth. Would that suffice or would the flavor be wonky?

  6. pamela says:

    This turned out great! I added 1 large golden beet (trying to use up my CSA box) in place of one carrot. I also used green salsa since that’s what I had on hand. I was worried when I filled up my crock pot that the beans would expand and spill over (I have a smaller crock pot), but I had just about an inch of clearance and it worked fine. Froze some to have later.

  7. Jerod says:

    This is a fantastic recipe. Easy to make and very flavorful.

    As someone else pointed out, I used Medium salsa and added half a jalapeno. It really gave it some extra zing. Honestly, for me it could be spicier, I’ll probably add a whole jalapeno next time, and there will definitely be a next time on this one!

  8. Annie says:

    Tried this recipe. Kids LOVE it. It is SO versatile! Used mild salsa. Next time I will use medium or add a jalapeno to the mix. (We like a little more spice.) Served it with a little more salsa and some sour cream.

    My kids took some of the pureed bean mixture and slapped it inside a tortilla shell with some diced tomatoes, lettuce, and cheese. We then had TWO uses for it: Soup AND tacos. I could add less water and use the black bean mixture in place of refried beans (which no one in the family will eat). My 15 year old also suggested cooking the beans in the slow cooker and then using them to make a black bean hummus!

  9. Maggie says:

    Made this soup earlier this week. My husband really enjoyed it, but I love Beth’s other black bean soup way more (black bean and roasted salsa). Regardless, an easy, very inexpensive vegetarian dish.

  10. Mandi D. says:

    This looks delicious! Just making sure… I cook on HIGH for 8 hours?! Before finding this recipe I was going to make plain black beans in the slow cooker and I was only supposed to cook them for 3 hours on high. Just making sure!

    • I did cook mine on high for about 8 hours. You might be able to do less, like 6, though. I definitely wanted to cook them longer than when I just cook regular black beans because I wanted them to break down more and be easily mashable.

  11. Scott says:

    Didn’t quite go as planned. It smelled amazing when I got home, but imagine my disappointment when I took the lid off and found the mix completely dried up and charred on the edges :( I only set it to 6 hours too.

    Probably just needs some reworking on my end due to my slow cooker, but it wad not salvageable this time.

    Would recommend that you do this recipe when you can monitor the slow cooker so it doesn’t dry out.

  12. Caitlin says:

    Eating this right now with sour cream, cilantro, and green onions atop… and it’s love! (I also just got an email from my boyfriend who is also at work and just dug into his soup, too… he’s a fan, too).

    Two things:
    – The soup is doubly delicious after sitting in the ‘fridge overnight!
    – At the end/after blending the soup, I added an extra cup of broth and a can of black beans (left them whole) to pump this soup up further. As if it needed more pumping.

    Fantastic! Thank you for this new staple!

  13. Sharon says:

    Family loved this! With the toppings (green onions, sour cream, cheddar, and tortilla crispy strips) it’s like a burrito in a bowl.

    Just be careful, you’ll want to go back for seconds because it’s so good, but about a half hour after eating you’ll be super stuffed!

  14. Made this last night. This is really tasty! A keeper in my book. Both my husband and myself really enjoyed it. Thanks for the recipe!

  15. erinb says:

    We made this last week and it was a huge hit. Had some leftover guac in the freezer, so used guac ice cubes to cool it down. :)

    How long will it keep in the fridge?

    thanks! keep up the good cookin!

    • Probably about 5 days in the fridge, but it also freezes REALLY well (I ate a reheated bowl from the freezer today for lunch!) :)

  16. We made this and I really liked it, but I felt like I needed some chips to go with it. It kind of felt like I was eating a chip dip for dinner!

  17. We buy black beans in bulk, so we’re always looking for good recipes for them. So excited to try this one!

  18. Chase says:

    Jacques Pepin makes a similar black bean soup. What really stood out to me was he added bananas and cilantro as a topping which I thought was really interesting.

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