Black Bean Soup with Caramelized Onions

I love black bean soup.  It’s pretty easy to prepare, it’s great as leftovers, it’s a blank slate for toppings and, as a bonus, it’s  quite healthy.  Black beans are a good source of fiber and protein (like most beans), but they are also the antioxidant superstar in the bean family.  What’s not to love?

I like to cook a big batch of black beans every couple of weeks.  I soak overnight, rinse and drain and then put in the crockpot with filtered water and kombu to cook.  The kombu does wonders for making the beans, well, less musical?  Who am I kidding?  I have a three year old little boy who loves to giggle about toots and f*rts.  Thankfully when cooking beans with kombu, there is much less to giggle about.

After the beans are cooked, I usually freeze half in mason jars.  The texture of the thawed beans is a little off for dishes that feature beans eaten straight out of the can, but is perfectly fine in soups and casseroles where the beans will be cooked again.  Like this one.

Black Bean Soup with Caramelized Onions


  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup plain tomato sauce or puree
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (or water)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried chipotle chili powder

  1. Heat grapeseed oil in a pan over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium low. Add onions and cook slowly until browned, stirring occasionally.  This should take about 20 minutes.  (My pan is really small)
  2. Remove onions from pan and increase heat to medium-high. Add peppers and garlic and saute for 4-5 minutes, or until soft.
  3. Add onions, peppers, garlic and all remaining ingredients to a large pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  At this point you can serve as is or puree.  I like using my hand-held immersion blender and blending the majority of the soup.
  4. Remove from heat and serve.  Great topped with chopped cilantro and avocado.

13 thoughts on “Black Bean Soup with Caramelized Onions

    • I’m working on a post about kombu. I don’t have quantitative research proving it works (although I’m not above counting toots), but I notice the effect when I eat beans at a restaurant vs home. Which is good, because we eat a lot of beans and I don’t want a smelly house. :)

  1. I’m planning to make this soup this week. I am making grilled cheese for dinner one night this week and I really needed a little something healthy to go along with it and this fits the bill perfectly. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. This looks amazing. I made a salsa blackbean soup (I threw in shredded chicken in the husbands bowl because he thinks he needs the added protein) last week (I think you would love it), and I think I’ll make this soup this week! I also made a HUGE pot of lentil soup (completely vegetarian and has 42g of protien per serving, take that hubs!) in the slow cooker the other day. Aren’t beans GREAT!!!?

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