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
- 2 cloves garlic $0.16
- 1 medium onion $0.41
- 2 stalks celery $0.33
- 2 medium carrots $0.28
- 1 lb. dry, 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
**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.
Step by Step Photos
Rinse the dry beans under cool water to remove any dust and dirt. If there are any pebbles or other debris, pick them out.
Add 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).
After 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).
I 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.
And then go crazy with toppings! Woot!