Bursting with rich Cuban flavors, this Spicy Black Bean Soup is a simple yet delicious meal that is vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free! Perfect served with a side of Milton’s Baked Crackers.
Most underrated soup ever: spicy black bean soup.
Why? I’ll never have any idea. While it may not be the most traditional of soup choices, it’s one of the most flavorful, hearty, and satisfying. It’s one of those soups that fills your soul as much as it fills your belly.
One of the things I love the most about spicy black bean soup is its simplicity. It’s not high maintenance. It’s not fussy. It’s just pure comfort and love in a bowl. But it’s far from simple in the ho-hum sense of the word.
A melody of rich, cuban spices – cumin, coriander, and chili powder – mixed with a few simple aromatic vegetables – onion, celery, garlic, and jalapeno – makes a powerhouse of a soup base. I love when a small handful of fresh and simple ingredients really makes a recipe shine, don’t you?
Especially ingredients that you likely have on hand at all times. I love knowing that I always have an insanely delicious and easy meal option in my back pocket, with no trip to the store needed. All of the above ingredients are constantly stocked in my spice cabinet/fridge, and I bet they’re in yours, too. The only other items that are needed are black beans and vegetable or chicken stock, of which I always have an abundance because you never know when a soup or taco night craving is going to strike, am I right?
To make this recipe I decided to go the canned bean route for ease and time, but you can absolutely use black beans that you have soaked and cooked – just make sure to reserve some of the cooking liquid – not much, just about half of a cup – to use in the soup!
As you might recall, I’m a bit of a soup fanatic. And while I make soup for probably 50% of my meals in the fall and winter, I do have one little soup qualm – no crunch. I’m one of those people who cannot call a meal a meal without a crunchy element. Smoothie cleanses? Never going to happen for this girl.
So no surprise, I always, always have to enjoy my soups with a cracker or a chip. No matter whether they’re dipped, crumbled, or eaten on the side – they’re always there.
My absolute favorites alongside soup? Milton’s Craft Bakers Gluten-Free Crispy Sea Salt Baked Crackers. Hands down. My mom discovered these at Costco about 2 years ago, and I have been absolutely hooked ever since (and we won’t even talk about how long those huuuuuge bags last in my house… coughcough 3 days max coughcough).
Their flavor and texture is unrivaled – ZERO cardboard here, and they totally taste gluten-FULL. While they are firmly in the cracker category, they live in this beautiful little space which they can almost double as a chip too. That’s a well-rounded crunch win right there. And if the amazing taste, flavor, and crunch weren’t enough, they get bonus points for being made from simple, high quality ingredients, just like the ingredients in this soup. They’re Non-GMO, certified organic, free of HFCS and trans fat, and baked, not fried. Great for vegetarian diets, too!
So eating half of the bag with the soup is totally justified, yeah? 😉
I know I’ve waxed poetic about the simplicity of this soup, but I think I’ve failed to mention the best “simple” element: the time commitment. Which is basically zilch.
A lot of soups require long simmer and stewing time, but not this soup. After the veggies are softened and the spices are toasted and incorporated, which takes almost no time at all, this soup needs just a quick crank to a boil, and then a 10-15 minute simmer, at absolute most. I’ve made this soup from start to finish countless times during our toddler’s notoriously quick early evening nap. Which basically makes this a miracle recipe. Just shy of water to wine – truly.
The one knock on it is that it does require the use of a blender or a blender stick to achieve the quintessential black bean soup smoothness, thickness, and almost buttery mouthfeel. I made the investment in a blender stick a few years back (here’s the one I have and love) and it really is worth every penny. If you don’t have one or don’t want to make the investment, you can absolutely use your blender to puree a portion of the soup. Just make sure you hold on to that lid tightly! Hot soup in a blender can sometimes end with soup on the ceiling. Not that I know anything about that….
Don’t you just love soup season? I’m relishing the cool, crisp days (finally!) and the excuse for bowl after bowl of this soul and body warming spicy black bean soup (topped with endless Milton’s Baked Crackers, of course 😉 ).
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 celery stock, finely chopped
- 1 medium jalapeno, de-deeded and minced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 Tablespoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon of salt, or to taste
- Pinch of ground cayenne pepper
- 2 15 oz. cans black beans, one drained and rinsed, one undrained
- 2 cups low-sodium gluten-free vegetable or chicken stock
- Milton's Craft Bakers Gluten-Free Crispy Sea Salt Baked Crackers
- Lime wedges
- Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot on medium-high heat.
- Once the oil is shimmering, add onion, celery, jalapeno, and garlic, and saute, stirring consistently, until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes or until the onion is mostly translucent.
- Add the cumin, coriander, chili powder, and cayenne pepper and continue to saute the vegetables and spice for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- Stir in the stock and the beans and allow the soup to come up to a light rolling boil. Reduce the heat to low, and allow the soup to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Remove and reserve 2 cups of the soup, adding the remaining soup to a blender to blend until smooth, or use a immersion blender stick to puree the remaining soup until smooth. Add the reserved soup back to the puree soup, stirring to combine.
- Serve with Avocado, Cilantro, Milton's Baked Crackers, and lime wedges, if desired
This recipe was developed in partnership with Milton’s Craft Bakers. All opinions are 100% my own!
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