Black bean soup is a filling meal in itself. Combining it with fresh, seasonal vegetables and topped with a refreshing, lime-based salsa, it makes a healthy lunch or dinner and is an easy way to make a satisfying and budget-friendly vegetarian meal. Any leftovers make a convenient lunch the next day.
Buying from Local Markets
When traveling, one of our favorite activities is shopping at local markets. We do this because we have an interest in food culture, you find fresh food, meet the locals in a normal, everyday activity (away from tourist haunts) and we prefer to cook the majority of our food ourselves. So we also tend to stay in an apartment with a good kitchen rather than a hotel.
Soups are convenient both at home and when traveling. Healthy, simple and conveniently made in one pot. Combined with fresh ingredients from a trip to the market, it’s something we regularly make when we are on the road, usually in the style of the country we are in so we can have a bit of fun experimenting with new tastes. The combination of carrots, onions, and celery form the foundation for any number of soups.
Black bean soup is a popular soup in many parts of the world, particularly Central America. The lime salsa gives the soup some real character.
Options for the Black Bean Soup
In this recipe, water is used as the base. It is surprisingly tasty but you can also use vegetable stock or chicken stock. Either is a good alternative for the liquid portion of black bean soup.
This recipe will make a thick soup, almost a stew. If you don’t want the soup to be thick, just add more water or reduce the amount of beans.
We have also used canned black beans in the recipe, but if the truth be known, we prefer to use dried black beans soaked overnight. It is your choice. If you use the dried beans, you need to be a little more organized to soak your beans overnight and then cook the soup for 1 hour, after the black beans are added.
Don’t stress if you don’t have all of the ingredients, or in different quantities, as long as you have the basics, just adjust as necessary and go with what you have.
Note from Diabetes Strong: When we made this super yummy recipe we reduced the amount of beans a little and added chicken breast to get more protein and slightly fewer carbs.
Black bean soup is a filling meal in itself. Combining it with vegetables and topped with a refreshing, lime-based salsa, it makes a healthy lunch or dinner.
- 2 onions
- 2 carrots
- 3 sticks celery
- 2 red bell peppers
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 red chilies, de-seeded
- ½ bunch cilantro (coriander)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano
- 1 tbsp. ground black pepper
- ½ tbsp. sea salt
- 2 15 oz. cans of black beans (850 g) (or 1.5 cups dried black beans soaked overnight)
- 1 quart (9.5 dl) boiling water
- 1 tomato
- ½ small salad (red) onion
- The juice of ½ lime
- Dice the onions, carrots, celery and bell peppers. Finely dice the garlic and de-seeded chilies
- Pick the leaves off the cilantro and reserve for the salsa. Finely chop the cilantro stalks
- Over a medium heat, add 3 tbsps of water to a large saucepan. Add the onions, carrots, celery, bell peppers, garlic, red chilies, coriander stalks, bay leaf, oregano, black pepper and sea salt. Stir to combine, place a lid on the saucepan and sweat the vegetables for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Drain the black beans, rinse well and add to the saucepan with the boiling water. Stir to combine. Check seasoning, replace lid and reduce heat so the soup simmers and cooks for a further 30 minutes (60 minutes if using dried, soaked, black beans)
- With 5 minutes remaining, make the salsa. Finely chop the reserved cilantro leaves, tomato and salad onion. Add the lime juice, stir and lightly season to taste
- Serve the soup in bowls and top with the lime salsa