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This vegan black bean soup recipe is like stone soup. You’ll wonder how just a few simple ingredients could possibly make it so good. Includes stovetop and Instant Pot instructions.

vegan black bean soup in a bowl with a spoon and napkin
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Why we love this recipe

Years ago we spent a week in Nicaragua. Our Airbnb was managed by a wonderful woman named Rosa, and we were lucky enough to have her cooking for us all week. The rich, thickly sauced black beans she made us daily were so flavorful that for a while I wondered whether our truly crappy Spanish had obscured the fact that we didn’t eat meat at the time, or that maybe she thought a little bacon fat slipped in with the onions was vegetarian enough.

Back home, I realized that black beans boiled from dry with just an onion, a few garlic cloves and some sea salt — and maybe a green pepper if you’re feeling crazy — simply make their own magic.

For this soup, I’ve resisted adding any other seasonings save a little pinch of chili flakes for the tiniest touch of heat. The beans really speak for themselves. I hope you’ll have a listen.

I first published this recipe here in 2016. I’ve since updated the post for clarity and added the Instant Pot method, but the recipe otherwise remains the same.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe.

ingredients in bowls
  • Dried black turtle beans are often just called black beans. They have an astoundingly complex flavor for such a simple, common ingredient. I used canned beans a lot, but in this recipe, starting from dried makes all the difference in the world. Don’t skip it.
  • My favorite boxed vegetable broth by far is Imagine No Chicken lower-sodium broth. It has a great flavor profile and none of the rust-colored nonsense that plagues many other brands. Note that the quantities are different for stovetop and Instant Pot.

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a great batch of vegan black bean soup in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. Rinse and drain the beans. Add to the pot or Instant Pot.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients.
  3. On the stovetop, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until beans are tender, about 90 minutes. In the IP, set vent to sealing and cook on high pressure for 60 minutes, followed by manual pressure release.
  4. Let cool slightly and puree half or more of the beans. The soup will thicken up as it cools.

Expert tips and FAQs

What should I serve it with?

The soup is shown here garnished with two of my all-time favorite condiments: cilantro sauce and pickled red onions, along with some sour cream.

It makes a great companion to tacos and other Mexican-inspired meals. You can search this site to find several vegan taco recipes, and if you’re not vegan, I especially love serving black bean soup with tacos de papa.

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

Absolutely. Vegan black bean soup only gets better as the flavors have a chance to commune. It keeps well in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for a year. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.

More favorite vegan soup recipes

vegan black bean soup in a bowl with a spoon and napkin

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vegan black bean soup in a bowl with a spoon and napkin
4.60 from 27 votes

Vegan Black Bean Soup (Instant Pot or Stovetop)

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
This recipe is practically Stone Soup. With just a few ingredients and the barest of attention, a hearty, nourishing meal comes together almost like magic. Don’t be tempted to soak the beans first or to add any embellishments before trying this soup in its purest form. It may take a little trust, but I assure you it’s worth it.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 40 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • 1 pound (454 grams) dried black turtle beans
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced small
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 8 cups 1(900 ml) for stovetop OR 6 cups (1420 ml) for Instant Pot vegetable broth or water
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes

To garnish, optional

Instructions 

  • Pick over the beans and remove any small stones or other stray matter. Give the beans a quick rinse in a sieve.
  • Place all ingredients into a large pot or a 6- or 8-quart Instant Pot.
  • Stovetop: Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer until beans are tender, about 90 minutes.
  • Instant Pot: Position the lid and set vent to sealing. Cook on manual, high pressure, for 60 minutes. The pot will take a while to come up to pressure before the countdown begins. Carefully perform a manual pressure release, and then open the lid.
  • Let the soup cool off for a few minutes.
  • Puree the soup halfway or more with an immersion blender, or transfer half the soup to a regular blender and carefully puree it. Stir together the whole and pureed portions.
  • Ladle into bowls to serve.

Notes

  1. Dried black turtle beans are often just called black beans. They have an astoundingly complex flavor for such a simple, common ingredient. I used canned beans a lot, but in this recipe, starting from dried makes all the difference in the world. Don't skip it.
  2. My favorite boxed vegetable broth by far is Imagine No Chicken lower-sodium broth. It has a great flavor profile and none of the rust-colored nonsense that plagues many other brands. Note that the quantities are different for stovetop and Instant Pot.
  3. The soup is shown here garnished with two of my all-time favorite condiments: cilantro sauce and pickled red onions, along with some sour cream. 
  4. This recipe makes a great companion to tacos and other Mexican-inspired meals. You can search this site to find several vegan taco recipes, and if you're not vegan, I especially love serving black bean soup with tacos de papa.
  5. You can make this recipe in advance. As with most soups, it only gets better as the flavors have a chance to commune. It keeps well in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for a year. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Nutrition

Calories: 292kcal, Carbohydrates: 56.3g, Protein: 16.7g, Fat: 0.8g, Fiber: 12.7g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Soups
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

Hungry for more?

Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

Hungry for More?
Subscribe to Umami Girl's email updates, and follow along on Instagram.
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

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About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

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