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

4.7 from 42 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! 

139 Comments

  1. Michelle says:

    This looks amazing and simple, I would love to make it, but I am allergic to tomatoes… any thoughts on what I could use in place of the salsa?

  2. Leigh says:

    Amazing! Thanks for another keeper. It was easy, cheap and fast, and my three year-old loved helping me throw it together. I don’t have an immersion blender, so I used a potato masher.

  3. citygirlsf says:

    After many years of cooking and baking, this is the very first time I have successfully cooked dried beans. Thank you!

  4. I made this dish in a 4 quart crock pot – i think it fit and worked out fairly well. I did make a major boo boo- i didn’t stir well before plugging the dang thing in >.< !

    Also – i don't have an immersion blender so i just at the beans as is with a bolillo (a nice personal loaf of bread).

    It worked out okay – I shall try again – and make it correctly.

  5. Made this today to help me cope with the cold rainy June weather.

    As I was feeling rather lazy, I didn’t bother mincing the garlic or chopping any of the vegetables–except for cutting the onion into eight pieces. The immersion blender took care of all of everything once it was done.

    So this took about six minutes of active time at the start and two minutes at the end to blend! Amazing! This will be a lifesaver.

  6. Natalie says:

    This recipe is so good! But I’m trying to make this for a big group and was wondering if I could double this recipe in a 6qt crockpot. Will this overload the slow cooker?

    • I think my slow cooker is about 6 quarts and it filled mine about half way, so if it does fit, it would be a very, very tight fit. I’m not sure I’d recommend it.

  7. Anitra says:

    Made this yesterday for dinner and my family loved it, even the picky 4-year-old. We served it with sour cream, cheese, green onions, and tortilla chips. (I added guacamole to mine instead of sour cream – delicious!)

  8. Rita says:

    Late start but I have this in the crockpot now! I cannot wait for this deliciousness! I threw in a hambone I had hanging around for good measure.

  9. This soup was fantastic! I added some fresh ground black pepper, a bit of salt and about 1/4 tsp cayenne at the end. Served with a dollop of homemade Creme Fraiche and a nice warm flour tortilla for dipping. Yummy!!

  10. WOW! Didn’t have any salsa, added half amount cayenne pepper and some leftover ham. GREAT! No problem in the blender. Made it super smooth (liquified). Salt & pepper to taste. Fantastic and easy recipe

  11. lovecheapchic says:

    Has anyone tried adding bacon or pork to this recipe? Mmm love me some bacon.

  12. I Ain't says:

    This got rave reviews all around; will definitely make it again. For stovetop cooking with precooked beans (three cups), I got good results letting it simmer with the other ingredients for an hour before adding the beans to let them get super-soft. Adding extra of the vegetables covers not having premade or powdered stock.

  13. DaniM says:

    I won’t rate this one right now until I try it one more time but this didn’t come out for me. Which may be my fault because I didn’t do it in a crockpot and I may have used too many beans. I did the traditional soaking, rinse, cooking dried beans and then adjusted the water/broth content in the recipe. I thought it came out bland and I eneded up adding my own seasonings. I am very interested in trying this again though and doing it exactly as written. It made lots of cheap leftovers that I froze. Thank you!

  14. I’ll start with .. I don’t crockpot well…
    Everything I’ve made so far tastes the same, but I’m just starting out. I’ve also never cooked beans from dry.
    This recipe sounded very interesting and so did the reviews.
    I made it the other night and OMG it was good!!!!! I added cilantro and more salsa, and soaked the beans for an afternoon. We picked from toppings – had sour cream, avocado, cheese, crushed taco chips and green onions ready to go.
    I have some left over so I’m going to put it over some enchiladas and bake for dinner tonight.

    I will make it again this week and freeze some for lunches. It was SO easy, filling and so good!
    thank you!

  15. Paul says:

    This recipe is the bomb.. although I throw in some diced Louisiana smoked sausage and a jalapeno… for a `lil more kick.. It’s the Cajun in me..

  16. Jen D says:

    Beth, this was so awesome! I subbed a can of Rotel for the Salsa and added some Smoked Paprika and dried Chipotle Chili powder and it was on point. Thanks again for another keeper from a long time budget bytes fan.

    As an FYI for other readers, I have a Hamilton Beach 5qt programmable slow cooker and the beans cooked down very soft in just 6 hours on High. I used beans that were totally dry and hadn’t presoaked them. Hope that helps!

  17. Have you tried freezing this? I made it this week and it’s great, it just made a lot for one person and few others seem to appreciate black beans the way I do :) I just worry about the texture being ‘off’ once it’s thawed, any thoughts?

    long-time fan of your site, by the way!!

  18. Dana Mears says:

    I was skeptical about this tasting good…but it’s delicious!!! Another great recipe. Thank you so much for all you do for us!

    • I thought the black bean soup was awesome! I put it over brown rice and put chopped onion and sour cream on top yum o thanks keep the recipes coming.

  19. Jim Cronin says:

    I made a batch of this, but wasn’t happy with it. I ended up throwing the entire batch out. I think that soaking the uncooked beans overnight in cold water first would have been a better way to go. Also, you might want to include a physical measurement of how much a pound of black beans is. I used four cups. It was a bit much.

    • Nathan says:

      Or, you could weigh the beans, with like, a scale or something. Maybe just buy a bag that’s 1lb….

      • Four cups of dried beans is about two pounds, which is why it didn’t turn out well for you. Try again with half the beans, it’s delicious. If you aren’t sure on a measurement conversion, Google is a great tool.

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