This easy black bean soup is made with mostly pantry ingredients and is ready to go in less than an hour! It’s a small-batch soup recipe that can easily be doubled if you want more. It’s hearty and cozy – the best black bean soup when you need a warm up.
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I’m never without a can or two of black beans in the pantry because in a pinch there are a plethora of dishes easy dishes you can make with them.
One is this easy black bean soup. It’s a small-batch soup recipe made with mostly pantry ingredients that’s ready in less than an hour – I never get tired of it.
It’s a great recipe if you’re craving a hearty soup but don’t want a bunch of leftovers. It makes two generous cups, but you can easily double it if you like leftovers or want to serve more people.
It’s also versatile and can be adapted a few different ways, so you can switch it up every time you make it. Make it spicy, smoky, not-so-spicy, or change up the garnishes – whatever your heart desires. Make it yours, friends, it’s the best part about cooking.
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- Olive oil
- Chopped red onion
- Minced garlic cloves
- Chili seasoning – not chili powder. Look for a chili seasoning blend or use taco seasoning.
- Dried oregano
- Kosher salt – depending on the kind of broth, chili seasoning, and beans you use you may need to adjust the amount of salt.
- Ground black pepper
- Chicken broth – or you can use vegetable broth.
- Canned black beans
How to Make Black Bean Soup
It starts with some olive oil, red onion and garlic that cook together until the garlic is fragrant.
I like to add the seasonings at this point and cook them just until they’re fragrant. I used a chili seasoning which is a mixture of spices like chili powder, onion powder, and garlic powder. I add some salt, pepper, and dried oregano.
Add some chicken broth and bring it to a simmer.
Drain the black beans and add them to the soup. At this point, the soup will need to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
About halfway through the cooking time, I like to mash some of the beans in the soup. When you mash some of the beans, they release their starch which helps thicken the soup. The soup is ready once it’s thickened.
This black bean soup recipe serves two and makes about two cups of soup, which may not seem like a lot, but black bean soup is quite filling especially if you add garnishes. You can double it if you want more servings.
If you want to something alongside, I recommend a simple green salad, cornbread, or a few pieces of crusty bread.
Black Bean Soup Garnish
- Before serving the soup, I like to add some lime juice. It adds a nice citrus flavor and brightens the flavor of the soup.
- Top each bowl with some chopped fresh cilantro, sliced green onions, and crumbled feta cheese.
- You can add other garnishes like diced avocado, crushed tortilla chips, or crispy tortilla strips. A spoonful of sour cream would also be good.
Bacon: If you want to take an extra step, skip the olive oil and cook some bacon before you start the recipe. Set the bacon aside and use the fat to cook the rest of the ingredients. You can stir the bacon into the soup towards the end.
Heat: If you want some spice, add some hot sauce, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or use spicy chili seasoning. For a smoky spicy taste, add a chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce. Diced jalapeno added to the onions would be great, too.
It’s hearty, cozy, and delicious – I hope you give this easy black bean soup a try soon!
More Soup Recipes for Two
I love making small-batch soup recipes because I’m not a big fan of leftovers and have several others here on the blog for you to check out!
If you want even more small-batch recipes, check out my cookbook, Gourmet Cooking for One (or Two), which is all about cooking for one or two, including a chapter with soup recipes!
- Instant Pot Black Bean Soup | I also love making black bean soup in my Instant Pot because I can cook dried black beans in about an hour. All of the ingredients go in the IP and, when it’s done, you have a hearty black bean soup.
- Pesto Chicken Orzo Soup | This pesto chicken orzo soup is a quick 30-minute small-batch dinner that makes enough for two people with some leftovers. It’s packed with tender chicken and fresh zucchini along with some pasta and a pop of pesto.
- Bacon Cheddar Cauliflower Soup | Roasted cauliflower and smoky bacon meet in a creamy cheddar cheese soup – this bacon cheddar cauliflower soup is a cozy dinner for two.
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This easy black bean soup for two uses mostly pantry ingredients and is ready to go in less than an hour!
For the Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (see note)
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon chili seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (see note)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 1/4 cups chicken broth
- 1 (14-oz) can black beans, drained
For the Garnishes
- Juice of 1/2 a lime
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a 3.5-quart saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and cook them in the oil until the onion starts to soften. Add the chili seasoning, oregano, salt, and pepper and stir to combine.
- Add the chicken broth and adjust the heat to medium-high. Once the soup is simmering add the black beans. Simmer the soup for 15 minutes.
- Using a potato masher, mash some of the beans in the soup. You want to keep some of them whole, so just mash a few times. The mashed beans will help thicken the soup. Simmer the soup for another 10 to 15 minutes. Once it’s thickened up it’s ready to serve.
- Before serving, add the lime juice to the soup and stir. Garnish each serving with the cilantro, green onion, and feta cheese.
- I wanted to use pantry ingredients for this recipe, but if you have some bacon you can substitute two slices for the olive oil. Slice the bacon into small pieces and cook it in the pan until it’s rendered it’s fat. At that point, continue with the recipe. The bacon will give your soup a smokey rich flavor.
- Depending on the kind of beans and broth you use you may want to adjust the salt. I used regular black beans and regular chicken broth. If you use low-sodium you may need to adjust the seasoning.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Soups & Stews
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1/2 of recipe
- Calories: 323
- Sugar: 3.9g
- Fat: 10.4g
- Carbohydrates: 43.4g
- Fiber: 15.8g
- Protein: 16.9g
Keywords: black bean soup
The nutrition is an estimate only. It was calculated using Nutrifox, an online nutrition calculator.
Recipe, photos, and post updated from the archives. First published in September 2015.