Smoky Black Bean Soup

$4.24 recipe / $1.06 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.94 from 32 votes
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I hope you guys don’t get sick of all my soup recipes, because I pretty much live off of soup this time of year! This Smoky Black Bean Soup is definitely going to be one of my new fav’s because it’s so fast, super thick and hearty, and leaves the door open for tons of fun toppings. Kind of like tacos, in soup form! I think you’re going to love this smoky, rich, just-happens-to-be-vegan soup!

Two bowls of Smoky Black Bean Soup with different toppings, like cornbread, jalapeño, cheddar, and green onion

Load it Up with Toppings!

I’ve only provided the price breakdown for the soup itself below because there are just so many options for fun toppings. Not only is adding toppings to soup like this fun, but it’s a great way to use up leftovers in your refrigerator. Here are some toppings that I’ve added to my Smoky Black Bean Soup this week:

Smoky Black Bean Soup is a Great Flexitarian Dinner

If you have a family with different dietary needs, this easy soup is a great place to start. This black bean soup in its base form is vegan and gluten-free, but you can add several things to accommodate other dietary preferences. You can add shredded rotisserie chicken or quickly sautéed shrimp to feed those who want a little meat, stir in a dollop of sour cream or cheddar cheese for those who like dairy, or add any of the toppings listed above.

Want more flexitarian dishes? Check out my round up of 30+ Flexible Recipes for Vegetarians and Omnivores.

Is This Soup Spicy?

This soup can be as spicy or as mild as you like. The spicy ingredients in this soup are the jalapeño and chipotle powder. If you prefer a mild soup, skip the jalapeño and use smoked paprika in place of chipotle powder. Or you can do any combination of those ingredients to adjust the heat to your liking. :)

Can you Freeze Smoky Black Bean Soup?

Yes! While this is a fairly small batch recipe, you absolutely can freeze the leftovers. As with freezing all other food, I suggest dividing the soup into single servings just after cooking, then refrigerating until completely cooled before transferring to the freezer for long term storage. The soup can be kept in the the freezer for about three months.

To reheat, either use the defrost function on your microwave, transfer to the refrigerator the day before you plan to reheat, or reheat straight from the freezer in a sauce pot, with a lid, over low heat, stirring often.

Side view of Smoky Black Bean Soup in the pot with a ladle lifting some, showing the thickness of the soup
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30-Minute Smoky Black Bean Soup

4.94 from 32 votes
This super fast and easy Smoky Black Bean Soup is rich, filling, flavorful, and waiting to be piled high with fun toppings! An easy vegan weeknight dinner.
Two bowls of Smoky Black Bean Soup with various toppings, next to a bowl of sliced green onion and a crumbled corn muffin.
Servings 4 about 1.5 cups each
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 25 minutes


  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 jalapeño (optional) ($0.15)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 3 15oz. cans black beans ($2.07)
  • 1 15oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes ($1.00)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin ($0.10)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika or chipotle powder* ($0.05)
  • salt to taste ($0.02)


  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Remove the stem and seeds from the jalapeño, then dice the remaining jalapeño flesh. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, and olive oil to a soup pot and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent.
  • While the onion, garlic, and jalapeño are sautèing, use a blender to purée two of the three cans of black beans (with liquid from the can). If the beans are too thick to purée, add just enough water to make them blend.
  • Add all three cans of black beans to the soup pot (one can of whole beans with liquid, two puréed), along with the can of fire roasted diced tomatoes (with juices), the cumin, oregano, and smoked paprika. Stir to combine.
  • Place a lid on the pot and allow the soup to come up to a simmer. Allow the soup to simmer, stirring often, for about 15 minutes. After simmering for 15 minutes, taste and add salt to taste (I added 1/2 tsp). Serve hot with your choice of toppings.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


*For a mild soup, skip the jalapeño and use smoked paprika. For a spicy soup, add the jalapeño and use chipotle powder in place of, or in addition to, smoked paprika.


Serving: 1.5cupsCalories: 351kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 18gFat: 8gSodium: 173mgFiber: 18g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Scroll down for the step by step photos!

A bowl of Smoky Black Bean Soup with sour cream swirled in and a crumbled corn muffin on top

How to Make Smoky Black Bean Soup – Step by Step Photos

Diced onion, jalapeño, and minced garlic in the soup pot

Dice one yellow onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Remove the stem and seeds from a jalapeño, then finely dice the pepper. Add the diced onion, jalapeño, minced garlic, and 2 Tbsp olive oil to a soup pot. Sauté over medium heat for about five minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent.

Puréed black beans in blender

While the onion, garlic, and jalapeño are sautéing, purée two 15 oz. cans of black beans (with liquid) in a blender. If the beans are too thick to blend, add a small amount of water (about 1/4 cup). Leave the third can of black beans whole.

Add whole and puréed black beans to soup pot

Add one 15 oz. can of whole black beans (undrained) and the two cans of puréed black beans to the soup pot.

Add fire roasted diced tomatoes to soup pot

Add one 15 oz. can of fire-roasted tomatoes (with juices) to the soup pot.

Spices being stirred into black bean soup

Finally, add 1 tsp cumin, ½ tsp dried oregano, and ½ tsp of either smoked paprika or chipotle powder to the soup. Stir to combine.

Simmered black bean soup in the soup pot

Place a lid on the soup pot and let it come up to a simmer. Simmer the soup, stirring often, for about 15 minutes.

Pot of Smoky Black Bean Soup surrounded by toppings like cheddar, sour cream, green onion, and jalapeño

After simmering for 15 minutes, taste the soup and add salt as needed (I added ½ tsp). Serve hot with your choice of toppings!

Two bowls of Smoky Black Bean Soup with various toppings, next to a bowl of sliced green onion and a crumbled corn muffin.


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  1. Hi! I love this recipe! To make it even more budget friendly, do you have any recommendations on how I could make it using home cooked black beans? I’m concerned about the lack of liquid from the cans. Thanks!

  2. Beautifully adaptable and easy. Had two cans of black beans and one pinto, worked out great. Ended up just pureeing them all together at the start, leaving some whole, with an immersion blender. Added a touch of broth to thin it out. Spices really bring it all together. Thanks for sharing!

  3. This is really good but I don’t think the calorie count is correct. It seems too low. 3 15-oz cans of black beans has over 1000 calories, so it’s not really possible that this makes 4 portions under 200 calories. It would be good to correct that.

    1. Thanks for catching that, Katie. I recalculated the nutrition using our current nutrition calculator and it looks a lot more accurate. :)

  4. Wow! What a wonderful, quick recipe that full of flavor and easy to make! I did, however, substitute the jalapeño for poblano, and added about a teaspoon of chili powder and chipotle powder to the onions as they cooked down, but followed everything else to the letter. This soup is definitely going into dinner rotation! Tasted great even on a hot, summer night!

  5. I just tried this recipe when I had a lot of cooked black beans left over after making chili. It’s a terrific recipe! I was feeling lazy and didn’t want to bother chopping onions and garlic, so I just eyeballed the right amount of dried onions and dried minced garlic. I prefer recipes only mildly spicy, so I used 1/4 tsp cayenne for just a touch of heat. This is a real keeper that will be in my regular rotation.

  6. I also added diced sweet potatoes and celery right after the onions. The first time, I served it with garlic rolls, and the second time, I served it over leftover rice. It’s a new family favorite.

  7. Even my fussy 13 year old son loved this, and took the time later in the night to say, “Mom, that soup tonight was so good! Would you make that again?” I honestly can’t think of a better endorsement.
    I make homemade black beans from scratch in a massive pot and then freeze them in portions so that I can easily add them to any meal. Super cheap and healthy! Also, I took the smoked paprika option and have no regrets.

  8. Absolutely delicious. I left out the jalapeño due to my weak spice tolerance, but added some more paprika & cumin. I topped it off with crumbled honey cornbread, sour cream, & cheddar cheese. My partner loved it. This will definitely be a repeat recipe!

    1. You can sub the tomatoes for an equal amount of broth (chicken or veggie), but it will change the mouth feel and consistency of the soup. XOXO -Monti

    2. I don’t like them either (it’s a texture thing, not a flavor thing) so I just threw the can of tomatoes into the blender with the beans. Got the flavor without the icky (to me) tomato texture.

  9. Delicious! I mixed in a cornbread muffin and some shredded cheese to serve and it was awesome!

  10. I’m gonna make this as I’m sure it’s great. But it just seems like it might need a little broth

  11. How much water should I add if I used beans that I had previously cooked from dry?

    1. Hi Danielle! Once a 15 ounce can of beans is drained, it contains about 1.5 cups of beans. So use 3 cups of your drained pre-cooked beans for the puree and add a cup of water to the mix, before pureeing. Add more water, quarter cup by quarter cup, to thin out the puree if it is too thick. When you add the 1.5 cups of whole beans to the soup, add a full cup of water, and stir, If you want the soup a little thinner, add more water, quarter cup by quarter cup, until it reaches your preferred consistency. XOXO -Monti

  12. Made this for dinner yesterday. I doubled the spices and it was PERFECT. A boxed cornbread mix and jalapeños were both on sale so I added the jalapeños to the batter as well.  Such a cheap and delicious meal. Thank you!

  13. Made this today for dinner. So quick & easy, I made it during my lunch break! I did feel it was a tad black as written, so I doubled the cumin and added seasoned salt and Tony Chachere’s. Made homemade to tortilla chips and served it with fried smoked sausage and salad. Will definitely make it again.

  14. Very good and filling.  Pleased 2 teenagers.  Made it with 3 slices bacon chopped fine and browned with onions.  next time might up the smoked paprika