Black Bean Soup

Christy Wilson, BS, RDN

Servings:  8-10 people

Cooking Time:  30 minutes

Black Bean Soup


4 oz pancetta (Italian bacon), diced

1 small yellow or sweet onion (1½ - 2 cups diced)

1 red or yellow bell pepper, diced

1-2 cups mushrooms, chopped

5 cloves garlic, smashed and minced

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon chili powder

1 (32 oz) box low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1 (14.4 oz) can diced tomatoes (or fire-roasted)

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

4 cans black beans, drained and quickly rinsed

Salt and pepper to taste

About 1 bunch (at least 1 cup) chopped cilantro

Juice from 3 key limes, or more to taste

Garnish: Grated cheddar cheese and sliced avocado


  1. Put bacon in a warm large heavy pot. Heat over medium heat until bacon cooks and starts to give up its fat, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add onions and peppers and cook for about 3 minutes until onions are translucent. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook for a few minutes until you smell the garlic and the mushrooms begin to soften. Stir to combine all vegetables.
  3. Add tomato paste, cumin, paprika, and chili powder. Allow the paste to melt into the vegetables and seasonings to coat them.
  4. Add broth, tomatoes, and Worcestershire, then stir in beans and increase heat setting. Once ingredients come to a boil, lower heat to keep the soup simmering for about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. While ingredients simmer, rinse cilantro and pick leaves off of thick stems. Coarsely chop leaves and stir all but a few tablespoons (which you’ll use for garnish at the end) into the soup after it has been simmering and has thickened. Stir in lime juice.
  6. Using an immersion blender, puree all (or most) of the soup directly in the pot.*
  7. Top soup with grated cheese, sliced avocado, and cilantro.

*If you do not have a hand-held immersion blender, carefully transfer soup to a blender or food processor to puree ingredients. Add blended soup back into the pot and serve as directed.

Nutrition Information per serving:

Calories 230  Protein 14g        Total Fat 4.5g Sodium 420mg Total Carbohydrates 33g