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Cuban Black Bean Soup

Cuban Black Bean Soup – Rich in protein and loaded with veggies and flavorful spices, this black bean soup is thick, hearty, and absolutely delicious! Oil-free, vegan, and 100% healthy recipe!

side angle view of a bowl full of healthy cuban black bean soup with items surrounding.

I had the weekend off and decided to make this vegan black bean soup. I’ve wanted to make this soup for some time and am so happy to finally add it to the recipe collection.

Black beans are a ‘superfood’ containing good amounts of fiber, protein, and other trace minerals important to good health. I want to incorporate more of them into my diet, and this Cuban black bean soup is a great recipe for that.

For this recipe, you will need to begin a day ahead by soaking the dried black beans. I have also included a shorter version, using canned black beans, for those who would rather have it ready within 1 hour.

Although using dried beans takes longer to put together, it’s pretty simple and delicious. My goal was to make this a black bean soup anyone can make, whether from scratch or not.

top down view of ingredients used to make cuban black bean soup.

Ingredient NOTES

In this recipe, black beans are simmered with veggies and flavorful spices for a wonderfully hearty vegan soup that will surely be a new favorite!

Here is everything you will need:

  • Black beans – Use dried or canned for ease (see notes in recipe card).
  • Mirepoix – The usual mix of white onion, celery, and carrots creates a wonderful base flavor.
  • Red bell pepper – Adds a nice sweetness and color.
  • Garlic – Fresh is best, but you can substitute with garlic powder if needed.
  • Bay leaves – Use fresh or dried.
  • Spices – Both cumin and paprika add wonderful flavor to the soup.
  • Vegetable broth – I like to use vegetable concentrate with water. My favorite is this Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base (affiliate link). For this recipe, I used 1/4 teaspoon.
  • Orange – This is our secret ingredient. Bitter oranges, such as Seville, are preferred, but any regular orange will pack a punch of flavor.
  • Salt + pepper – As always, to taste.
top down view of cuban black bean soup before bringing to a boil on the stovetop.

How To Make Cuban Black Bean Soup

This is a quick overview of the process with photos. The full printable recipe card is below.

  • Prepare the black beans. If using dried beans, pre-cook them or cook in the instant pot. Canned beans can simply be drained and rinsed before using. Set aside until ready to use.
  • Squeeze the orange. Squeeze the orange juice and set the juice aside. Keep the orange halves for the soup.
  • Add ingredients to the pot. Add the beans, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, red bell pepper, cumin, smoked paprika, salt & pepper, orange halves, and water, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for at least 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Puree the soup. Remove the orange halves and bay leaves. Using a stick blender or cup blender, puree the soup until desired consistency.

And now your black bean soup is ready to enjoy!

top down view of freshly made pot of cuban black bean soup in a black pot before pureeing.

How To Store Leftovers

  • Refrigerator: Leftovers can be stored for 5 – 6 days in the refrigerator in a covered container.
  • Freezer: This Cuban black bean soup is freezer-friendly and freezes well for up to 2 – 3 months. To freeze, let cool completely and store in freezer-safe containers (affiliate link), leaving 1/2 inch head space for expansion. Let thaw before reheating. You can also freeze larger portions in large ziplock bags.
  • Reheat: Simply re-warm on the stovetop over low heat until warmed through. Alternatively, reheat in the microwave using 30 – 60 second intervals, stirring after each, until warm

Serving Suggestions

This hearty black bean soup is great on its own, but can be served with various toppings and sides to make it even better! Here are a few of my favorite options:

top down view of a bowl full of healthy cuban black bean soup with items surrounding.

More Black Bean Recipes!

I hope you loved this easy black bean soup recipe! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

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Cuban Black Bean Soup

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 21 reviews

A healthy, hearty, veggie filled cuban black bean soup that’s absolutely delicious!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 40 min
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 – 6 1x
  • Category: Entree, Soup
  • Method: stovetop, simmer
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Cuban

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 lb. dried black beans (or 4 cans – 15 oz.), rinsed and drained (see notes)
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 12 teaspoons cumin
  • 12 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 3 cups water or vegetable broth
  • juice of one orange + orange halves
  • himalayan salt and pepper to taste

Garnish

Instructions

Soak beans: The night before, rinse beans in colander with cold running water. Pick through and remove any broken or shriveled beans. Place beans in large pot with 5 or 6 cups water and cover to soak overnight.

Pre-Cook Beans: Next day, drain beans and rinse again. Place beans back in pot, add water, bring to a boil and simmer covered for 1 hour, drain and rinse.

Orange: Juice the orange and set the juice aside. Reserve the orange halves for the soup.

Cook Soup: To the pot of freshly cooked beans, add the bay leaves, garlic, cumin, paprika, onion, celery, carrots, bell pepper, water/broth, orange halves, salt and pepper, reserving the orange juice for later. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes to one hour, or until beans and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add extra water as necessary (I used another 1 cup of water).

Puree: Once beans are tender, remove the orange halves and bay leaves. Use an immersion blender to blend soup to desired consistency. I blended about 3/4, leaving some chunkiness. You could also use a food processor/blender (this method may take two batches to complete). Blending is optional, you may like it chunky as is. Add the orange juice to the pureed soup and cook another 5-10 minutes.

To Serve: Serve alone or over a bed of cooked buckwheat, farro or brown rice. Top soup with a dollop of Sour Cream, Lime Cilantro Cashew ‘Sour Cream’ or Paprika Cashew Crema. You may also like to top it with diced onion, tomatoes, bell peppers, avocado, jalapenos, a squeeze of lime and/or cilantro.

Serves 4 generously, or 6 smaller portions.

Notes

Canned beans: If using canned beans, be sure to drain and rinse them well. Put ingredients in pot as in the instructions for ‘Cook’ but only use 2 cups water to start, bring to boil and simmer for 40 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add more water as needed. Continue with step 3. You may also decide to saute your onions, celery, carrots & bell pepper first on medium high heat using oil of choice for about 5 min before you start with your canned beans.

Instant pot: If you have an Instant Pot, you can cook dried black beans for 25 minutes with 4 cups of water. For reference, use this Instant Pot Black Beans recipe, see notes for making plain black beans.

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41 Comments

  1. Delicious. Wanted to use up the veggies in fridge, so used red and green bell peppers, a poblano, 2 old jalapeños, and half bag of baby carrots. Two other changes were that I cooked 2 cups dried beans and used the broth as the liquid and added a can of diced tomatoes. Blended to about chunky dip consistency. Served over red rice and mashed potatoes (because that’s what I had). Everyone loved it.






  2. Made this this evening using the canned beans and a blender and it was delicious. Sautéed the veggies a little in some olive oil first. I paired it with quinoa and a side of baked plantains. I will definitely make this again






  3. I did the quick version suggested using canned black beans. I sautéed the vegetables first. It was a bit thinner than I’m used to but still delicious. Blended it about 50%. Topped it with avocado, cilantro and a touch of sour cream. Will make again.






  4. Judy Schaefer says:

    I absolutely love this soup! I am making this for the second time in 10 days. What a perfect soup for fall. Thank you!






  5. Margarita says:

    I love it!! My family loves it!! Tysm for the recipe. Super easy and no meat. Thank you 😊






  6. Wonderful.. I’m a retired restaurantauer..only tweak was higher heat for one hour..then low cook for another(dutch oven ) stovetop..side of jasmine rice and scratch cornbread..kudos!😊






  7. I haven’t made this yet. I am not Vegan but I am trying to reduce the amount of meat in my diet, especially processed meat. this recipe is similar to the one I have been making for years less the ham of course. If you prefer dried beans, and I do, you don’t have to soak them overnight. Just bring a couple of quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Dump the beans in, cover, remove from burner and let sit for 1 hour. Drain and they are ready to use. I like to puree this soup, but it is much easier to do right in the pot with an Immersion blender. A very handy tool for the kitchen, and it doesn’t have to be a fancy expensive one either. BTW, given my experience that is way too much cumin, I would start with a Tsp or less.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thank you much for all the great tips, Jeff! I agree that 1 teaspoon is enough since Cuban food doesn’t use excessive spices, just enough to taste. Someone commented that the soup was too bland and I bumped up the amount of cumin, but I just changed it back – so thank you! Maybe they needed more salt. ;) Enjoy the soup!

      1. Made this last night- so delicious! Thanks for the recipe.😊






  8. I made this tonight, with a couple of modifications.
    I doubled the paprika and added some ground coriander, which I fried off with the veg before adding my tins of beans (with their liquid), After blitzing it, I added a handful of penne, and some diced eggplant, and adjusted the amount of liquid accordingly. I also juiced both oranges, and used their zest. I served it with vegan yoghourt.
    It was incredibly tasty, and wonderfully easy. I’ll definitely be making it again.






  9. Ruth M Moldrik says:

    Made the soup today and my husband loved it. Thanks for the recipe. Layers of flavors!






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