This is the best homemade, from scratch Black Bean Soup recipe out there! It is even better than anything you’ll have at a restaurant!

For less than one dollar per serving, you can enjoy this soup in the comfort of your own home. It costs about $5.53 to make this recipe. The recipe makes six servings for just $0.92 per serving.

This Black Bean Soup is amazing with my Sour Cream Cornbread recipe!

A close up picture of Black Bean Soup in a white bowl.

Let’s face it, a lot of black bean soup is bland, lackluster, and even mysterious in color. But not this Black Bean Soup recipe from my friends at America’s Test Kitchen! It has bold, robust flavors and deep, dark colors (no purples or greys).

I highly recommend this Black Bean Soup recipe. It takes a while, but making it from scratch is SO worth it. It even tastes better than any restaurant’s black bean soup!

There are lots of veggies in the soup that add to the overall vibrant flavor. The lime juice at the end brings it all together. This hearty, flavorful, and satisfying soup will quickly become one of your favorites to make.

Ingredients and Cost

Per Serving Cost: $0.92

Recipe Cost: $5.53

  • 1 pound dried black beans – $1.14
  • 4 ounces ham steak rind – $0.15
  • 2 bay leaves – $0.06
  • 5 cups + 2 Tablespoons water – $0.00
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking soda – $0.01
  • 1 teaspoon table salt – $0.01
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil – $0.42
  • 2 large onions – $0.75
  • 1 large carrot – $0.20
  • 3 ribs celery – $0.18
  • ½ teaspoon table salt – $0.03
  • 6 medium garlic cloves – $0.25
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons ground cumin – $0.15
  • 2 Tablespoons chipotle sauce – $0.12
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken stock – $1.86
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch – $0.06
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice – $0.14

NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have. 

All of the ingredients needed to make this Black Bean Soup recipe.


  1. First, soak the beans and remove ham steak cubes and bay leaves when finished.
  2. Next, saute the veggies and add in seasonings. Stir in the cooked beans and remaining ingredients and boil. 
  3. Let the soup simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Pour 3 ½ cups of soup into a food processor and blend until smooth. Return the mixture to the soup and slowly add in cornstarch and water. Bring the soup to a boil to thicken. 
  5. Finally, stir in lime juice and reserved ham. Top with garnishes and serve immediately. 

A picture collage of how to make this Black Bean Soup recipe.

Recipe Notes and Variations

  • You can find ham steaks with other meat like bacon.
  • This recipe calls for a small part of canned chipotle sauce. Here’s what to do with the rest of the can!
  • When cooking the beans, the ham steak will darken to the color of the beans. This is normal, so don’t freak out!
  • The baking soda added to the beans helps keep their black color without them turning purple or grey.

Storage Tips

SERVE: Top with garnishes and serve immediately. You can keep the soup out for two hours before you need to cover and store the soup.

STORE: Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

FREEZE: Place the soup in a freeze-safe container and freeze for 2-3 months.

THAW & RE-HEAT: Thaw the soup in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for 6-7 hours. Place the black bean soup in a pot and heat over medium heat until heated through, about 10-15 minutes.

Black Bean Soup made from scratch in a blue serving bowl topped with diced avocado, red onion, and sour cream.

Cook’s Tools

  • Measuring spoons
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Food processor
  • Ladle
  • Large saucepan
  • Large pot

Recipe FAQs

Is black bean soup good for you?

Black Bean Soup is an excellent source of fiber and protein. It is also low in fat, so it is a great choice for a nutritional meal.

What makes soup a soup?

Soup is known as a liquid dish that is typically served warm. However, there are some types of soup served cold. It is generally made of meat and/or veggies with stock, milk, or water. Black Bean soup consists of beans, water, stock, and veggies creating a creamy liquid soup to enjoy year-round, especially during those colder months.

An overhead picture of Black Bean Soup in a white bowl with tortilla chips served with it.

More Soups

A close up picture of Black Bean Soup in a blue bowl that's garnished with avocado, red onion, sour cream, and cilantro.
4.41 from 22 votes

Black Bean Soup

Recipe Cost $ $5.53
Serving Cost $ $0.92
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
6 servings
This is the best homemade, from scratch Black Bean Soup recipe out there! It is even better than anything you’ll have at a restaurant!


  • Measuring spoons
  • liquid measuring cup
  • cutting board
  • chef's knife
  • food processor
  • ladle
  • large saucepan
  • large pot


For the Beans:

For the Soup:

  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large onions minced (about 3 cups)
  • 1 large carrot minced (about ½ cup)
  • 3 ribs celery chopped fine (about 1 cup)
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 5 – 6 medium garlic cloves minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle sauce
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice



For the Beans:

  • In a large saucepan over medium-high heat add the beans, ham, bay leaves, water, and baking soda. Bring to a boil.
  • Stir in salt, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer briskly until beans are tender, 75 to 90 minutes (if necessary, add another 1 cup water and continue to simmer until beans are tender). Do not drain beans.
  • Remove and discard bay leaves. Remove ham steak, cut into 1/4-inch cubes, and set aside.

For the Soup:

  • Over medium-high heat, add oil to a large heavy-bottomed pot until shimmering but not smoking.
  • Add onions, carrot, celery, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and lightly browned, 8-10 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and add garlic and cumin; constantly stir until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Stir in cooked beans, bean cooking liquid, chipotle sauce, and chicken stock. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, to blend flavors, about 30 minutes.

To Finish:

  • Ladle 3 ½ cups of soup into food processor or blender, process until smooth, and return to pot.
  • Stir together cornstarch and water in small bowl until combined. Gradually stir in cornstarch mixture into soup.
  • Bring the soup to boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, to fully thicken.
  • Off heat, stir in lime juice and reserved ham.
  • Top with garnishes and serve immediately.


Serving: 1.5cup | Calories: 447kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 949mg | Potassium: 1546mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2046IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 148mg | Iron: 6mg

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A bowl full of Black Bean Soup with a spoon in the bowl.

4.41 from 22 votes (12 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. Is there a better recipe to make this season? Fantastic soup and looks great, too!