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

4.6 from 29 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! 

106 Comments

  1. I am planning on making this tomorrow while I’m at work. Is it a big deal if I leave the slow cooker on high for 10-13 hours, or should I lower it to low for that time? Could it potentially “burn” the broth?

  2. Patrick says:

    This recipe is excellent. I put in completely dry, packaged beans, no soaking. 8 hours later, the black bean soup was delicious. One of the best dishes I have made.

  3. Keyur says:

    Just made it today, on difference was adding leeks and some cheddar on top (didn’t realize we had sour cream… but we did so I added both haha). Tastes awesome.

  4. Ashley says:

    I have a large amount of canned black beans (thanks Costco!), any suggestions on how to modify it for them? Probably can just throw everything in a pot and cook it for half an hour, since the beans are already cooked and just need to be made uber-soft. Then maybe just add one cup of chicken broth since the beans wont be taking up liquid. What do you think?

  5. Kathy says:

    Can I double this in my 5qt crock so I have enough for a larger group?

    • I’m not sure if it would fit in a 5qt if doubled. Mine is somewhere between 5-7 qts (not sure what size) at it was about half full. So, even if it was a 5qt, doubling it would bring it dangerously close to the top.

  6. Brenna says:

    I made this and added like a half cup of tomato plus the salsa. It’s been cooking on high for more than 10 hours and the beans are still too hard for my liking. I quick soaked them on the stove before putting them in the crock pot. Are they hard because of the acid in the small amount of tomato? But isn’t the salsa acidic anyways? I was very excited about this recipe, but now I’m sad :( I guess pureeing it will help, but just want to know where I went wrong. I’ve heard it could be old beans, but I don’t think these are old….

    • Sometimes if you live in an area with hard water, that can prevent the beans from softening, too. I’ve heard that a little baking soda helps. Sorry to hear it didn’t turn out for you. :(

  7. Theresa says:

    Making this today… Our oldest daughter just got get braces on Friday and her poor mouth is sore… very excited to try this… Added half each of a red, yellow, and orange pepper. Also added about four large handfuls of chard, kale, and spinach… Which I chopped pretty fine. And added a bag of frozen butternut squash.

    • Theresa says:

      This made just over 10 cups…plenty to freeze… we are having it for dinner tonight with sour cream, avocado and a squeeze of fresh lime. Thank you for a great recipe!

  8. olivia says:

    I love your website! I use it all the time! It helps me to stay in budget while having enough to feed my husband and 5 kids. :) I am making this soup for the first time today. :) Thank you so much for all the time you put into doing this.

  9. barbarahk says:

    I made this soup yesterday in my slow cooker and had some for lunch today. It was so easy to make, took me only 6 1/2 hours on high, and the taste is incredibly rich and satisfying. Thank you, Beth, for this delicious recipe, I know I will be making many more from your site! When I recommended this recipe to my daughter who loves black bean soup, she told me she loves your site.

  10. Sarah says:

    Another wonderful recipe. I was gifted with almost 15 pounds of black beans for Christmas (who has the best parents? Me!) and this was the first attempt to use them up. Even better is that after we were both very full, we happily put 6 portions in the freezer!

  11. jasmine says:

    This was delicious!!! I recently learned that I like Black Beans. So glad I found you site as there are many yummy, cheap recipes. The first recipe I tried was the Apple Dijon Kale Salad. That was yummy too!

  12. Sharon says:

    I’m trying to add some vegetarian meals to our rotation and trying to add more beans, after learning about their health benefits. This recipe does both and is really, really good! Thank you!

  13. Kelli says:

    This looks delicious, but I don’t have a slow cooker. Could this be made on the stove?

  14. Trisha says:

    I don’t have an immersion blender. Can I use the old electric hand held mixer and blend it right in the crock pot? My only other choice would be pouring it into my stand mixer and doing it that way. I really don’t want to have to cool it down to mix it in a blender then warm it back up. Thanks for any info!!

  15. Sharon says:

    I tried making this tonight but after following the instructions minus the chili powder and letting it cook for 9 hours, the beans are still not soft. What am I doing wrong? The recipe didn’t indicate the beans should be pre-soaked, but I am thinking that is what I should have done.

    • Sometimes the mineral content in the water can prevent the beans from softening. If you find the water in your area has that issue, I’ve heard that adding a little baking soda helps. I’ve also read that really old beans won’t soften, but I doubt that any beans bought in the store will be “too old”.

    • Linda Holley says:

      The beans should be soaked overnight before preparing the soup. That is the rule with all dried beans but it slipped my mind before trying this recipe and ours also ended up hard.

  16. kris says:

    Black beans, like all dry beand contain a toxin which must be boiled for 10 minutes to render safe. Slow cookers generally do not produce enough heat to do this. I would advise adjusting the recipe before people start getting sick

    • From what I’ve read, that’s only kidney beans.

    • Paloma says:

      I’ve had black bean soup all my life and I’ve never boiled my black beans- nor my kidney beans when mom made chile con carne, and gotten sick.

  17. Rach says:

    This rocked! I doubled it (filled my 7.5 cooker to the brim) for a work pot luck and it was really popular, thanks!

  18. Tried this recipe and the whole family really enjoyed this simple, yet wholesome soup! I shared this recipe on my blog via the link to this page.
    Thanks for sharing!

  19. laura says:

    I’ve made this before and loved it, but this time I had a little more than a pound of beans. I put them all in, but didn’t increase the liquid. They are done, and there is very little liquid left, not soupy at all. I think I’ll make a batch of corn bread, and spoon the beans over. Then I’ll add all the toppings. The flavor is very yummy!

  20. Tom S. says:

    I made this recipe for my wife last night along with the spinach tomato quesadillas. Everything turned out GREAT. Thank you for the wonderful recipes! Tonight I made two more of your recipes for dinner, the vegetable polenta casserole and chili potatoes. I’ll post tomorrow after we eat dinner tonight. Thanks,

  21. Nicolette says:

    Made this and followed the recipe to a T. Came our fantastic! Thanks :)

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