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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. senorena peepers says:

    Julie, You omitted in the instructions following the first image, the onion and garlic .So, I made it without too. It was not bad, but lacked flavor which would have been imparted by onion and garlic. Otherwise a nice recipe. I also like rustic black bean bisque. Thank you for your recipes.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thanks for sharing! So sorry about that and I’ve updated the post with the ingredients. Not sure how I missed that, but I hope you will make it again with even better results!

  2. Susan Ball says:

    I love the ability to increase the yield of the recipe however when I increase it every thing increases except the beans?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thanks so much for pointing that out! I’ve fixed the issue and the amounts change correctly. Enjoy the soup!

  3. This is AMAZING. Putting this recipe into regular rotation. Just the right amount of spice and sweetness. The only tweak I made was to use No-Chik’n stock, rather than veggie stock. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly. Perfection. Thank you!
    I’m now off to trawl through your chili recipes 😊






  4. I really liked this soup. The only real work was chopping the carrots. Since I used canned beans for simplicity. It turned out great, I love the garnish of raw tomatoes and I also added some crushed up tortilla chips. I would definitely make this again!






  5. Today is the second time I made this soup. It was absolutely delicious the first time around! Very healthy and tastes just divine. I added more veggies than it called for, and being of Southeast Asian heritage, I upped the spices a little. But this basic recipe is really excellent!






  6. Love this recipe! It looked a little dubious whilst cooking and we were all like “that looks way TOO healthy!” Haha! But it was so delicious and even tastier the next morning! Thank you. And the amount of cumin is PERFECT. I topped mine with home made chilli relish as well and it was divine!






  7. I love this recipe, it’s so easy. I left out some of the added veggies. I didn’t have them. And I used chicken broth and canned beans. It still tastes great! Much thanks to you and also all those who weren’t afraid to experiment.






  8. Super delicious and easy to make!






  9. wow. Made as written excepting only 1 tsp of cumin. Absolutely fabulous soup






  10. This was a BIG HIT in our house! YUM! Easy! I never took the orange halves out – just blended them right in.






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