Black Bean and Tomato Soup

by zoeibarker

This recipe is easy and delicious. Most of what you do is dump a few cans of beans and tomatoes into some sautéed veggies. Soup is seriously the perfect cool-weather meal. This one is hearty, and as a base it is vegetarian and diary-free, but can be altered easily for anyone. It’s great with ground beef (or so I’ve been told), cheese, and/or sour cream. It’s also amazing with barley in it! We did that once and it was fantastic. The yield is… a lot. Be prepared for leftovers.

This is my favorite soup recipe.

As Lorelai says in season 1 episode 17 of Gilmore Girls: soup is good food.

MAX: Whoa, whoa, whoa wait a second. So this is it? You leave and we forget that this ever happened?


MAX: Then what?

LORELAI: I leave and we go on with our lives and then at some point we buy some soup.

MAX: Lorelai…

LORELAI: What? Soup is good food.



2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 shallot

2-3 celery stalks, diced

2-3 large carrots, diced

1 very large garlic clove or 1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp red pepper flakes

3 (14 or 15 oz) cans of black beans (with their liquid)

1 (14 or 15 oz) can white beans or chickpeas (optional – can sub another can of black beans)

1 (14ish oz) can of fire roasted tomatoes (have also added a second can of regular diced tomatoes for extra tomato-y goodness)

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

a dash or two of hot sauce

salt and pepper to taste



In your largest soup pot (one that has a lid to it), heat the oil on medium heat and add the diced carrot and celery. As it sautes, stir, and add the shallot before the veggies get soft- but not at the very beginning. This usually takes about 7-9 minutes but I think that’s because my soup pot is super thick. Yours might soften faster. Just keep an eye on it.

Add the garlic, cumin, pepper flakes and some salt and pepper and saute for 1-2 minutes.

Once everything is all fragrant and happy, add the beans (remember not to drain them! We want the juice in there!), tomatoes (again, with their liquid! and if you think it’s too bean-heavy add another can of plain crushed or diced tomatoes), and the veggie broth. Bring it to a nice simmer (almost boiling) over medium heat, stirring so the beans don’t stick, then cover and turn the heat down to low. Stir it frequently, but let it hang out, simmering for 30 minutes.

At the end I like to taste it and add salt and pepper (if it needs it) and a dash or two of hot sauce.

Then it’s time for toppings! It’s incredible with cheddar or parm. If it’s too spicy I’ve added sour cream and cubes of avocado (!!!) and sometimes if I bring some to my family they’ll add ground beef.

This winter Joe and I have been eating a lot of soup because it’s easy to make dairy-free and vegetarian. This has been one of our stand-by meals for months and the leftovers are awesome.


This recipe is a modified version of the Black Bean Soup recipe in The American Craft Beer Cook Book by John Holl.