Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

$4.81 recipe / $0.79 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.69 from 130 votes
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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 slow cooker black bean soup practically makes itself, which is perfect for 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.

Top view of a bowl of black bean soup garnished with green onions and sour cream

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!

Side view of a bowl of black bean soup garnished with green onion and sour cream
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Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

4.69 from 130 votes
Packed with vegetables, flavor, protein, and fiber, this ultra-flavorful and low-calorie Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup is an all around winner!
Packed with vegetables, flavor, protein, and fiber, this ultra-flavorful and low-calorie Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup is an all around winner! BudgetBytes.com
Servings 6 1.5 cups each
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 6 hours
Total 6 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.41)
  • 2 ribs celery ($0.33)
  • 2 carrots ($0.28)
  • 1 lb. black beans (uncooked) ($1.75)
  • 1 cup salsa ($0.85)
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder* ($0.30)
  • 1/2 Tbsp ground cumin ($0.15)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano ($0.05)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth ($0.53)
  • 2 cups water ($0.00)

Instructions 

  • 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).

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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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5CupsCalories: 293.73kcalCarbohydrates: 54.75gProtein: 17.4gFat: 1.43gSodium: 1305.7mgFiber: 19.5g
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top view of a bowl of black bean soup garnished with green onion and sour cream

How to Make Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup – Step by Step Photos

Black beans in colander to rinse

Rinse 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 Ingredients in slow cooker

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). 

Cooked Black Bean Soup in slow cooker

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).

Blended Black Bean Soup in slow cooker

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.

Top view of a bowl of black bean soup garnished with green onion and sour cream

And then go crazy with toppings! Woot! 

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  1. Wonderful base recipe. I used better than bouillon mushroom because that’s what I had, added a cup of frozen corn at the end, sauteed red/yellow/orange bell peppers, some salt and lime juice.

  2. So yummy!

    I ended up not blending these as they were consumed before I could get the chance to blend them up and I also didn’t have celery so just increased the quantity of carrots.

    I used the entire 16oz jar of salsa because I don’t want to toss out the rest, it was a great call!

  3. This is a very easy recipe and after 8 hours on high in my slow cooker I’ve never had a problem with the beans still being hard (without a pre-soak). The original recipe is quite salty so instead of jarred salsa, I now sub a couple of chopped up tomatoes, a jalapeno (with seeds) and 1/2 an onion, and I also use low-sodium vegetable broth. I taste for salt at the end and add more then, if necessary.

  4. Made this last night with my instant pot. 35 minutes on high pressure and a 20 minute wait to release. Immersion blended it in the pot and served with sour cream and shredded cheese. Delicious and so easy!

  5. Another winner! I cooked it the full 8 hours and ended up with a thick, velvety soup. One thing I love about your recipes is that almost all of them call for things I always have on hand. In this case, I’ve been sick for the past week, so I haven’t been able to make it to the grocery store. But I had a pound of beans! And exactly two carrots! And a package of frozen seasoning vegetables (onion, celery, peppers, parsley)! And even though I was out of chili powder, I had everything I needed to make the Betty Crocker chili powder recipe. And when I ran short on salsa, I found a jar of pineapple salsa, so why not? So I am well fed for a few more meals, at least.

  6. The highest compliment I can give a recipe is that I will make it again. I am in love with this recipe. I like using crock pots as I still work. I am single so I had to cut the recipe in half. I also used less water and may skip the water next time. My topping of choice for this recipe is sour cream. The recipe was easy to make.

    1. This is great to freeze as well. You can get takeout soup containers on Amazon and freeze.

  7. Such a remarkably healthy and cheap way to stock the freezer!

    Beth and team, I NEED to know your opinion on adding MSG to dishes while cooking or after please.

    Thank you!

    1. Supposedly it makes food taste great, so I say go for it! I didn’t grow up using MSG and haven’t experimented with it as an adult, so unfortunately I don’t have any experience to share as to when or how to use it. :)

  8. I know you said that soaking the black beans isn’t strictly necessary (and thus rinsing after soaking), but it will help get rid of some of the starches that cause gas and make them hard to digest, won’t it? Thoughts?

    1. Hi Maria,

      In order to eliminate those starches, they’ll need to soak for eight to 12 hours, and be drained and rinsed every three hours. The cooking time will also change, and as we haven’t tested it with soaked beans, we can’t give you much guidance. Good luck! xoxo -Monti

  9. Let this cook for 10 hours in my instapot dutch oven…beans barely got soft…they needed to be soaked overnight…had to throw everything in the trash😢Learned a lesson!