Brazilian Black Bean Soup


I’ve spent years trying to figure out how to make a really good Black Bean Soup.   Sure, you can go on the big, fat, liar known as the Internet and find thousands of recipes for Black Bean Soup.

But I was looking for good soup and sometimes Internet recipes aren’t what you’d call … good.

I discovered this fact one day while looking for a new macaroni and cheese recipe.  I found several that called for chicken and Kraft cheese slices.  That right there scared me away from using the Internet as a recipe source.  Well, that and the plethora of *5 star* squirrel recipes that can be found.

So one day on a whim I put a call out on Facebook proclaiming my need for the perfect Black Bean Soup recipe.  2 conditions.  It must not contain tomatoes (because in my mind Black Bean Soup with tomatoes in it, is tomato soup) and … it must be good.

A reader steered me towards a recipe for Brazilian Black Bean Soup on    It was indeed an Internet recipe, but Epicurious can be trusted for the most part, (they don’t feature a single recipe featuring squirrel) plus there wasn’t a tomato to be seen.  It was almost perfect.  I fiddled with it a bit, changed a few ingredients and screwed around with the spices.  Several batches later I think I finally have the perfect Black Bean Soup.

I didn’t steer you wrong with the Antojitos did I?  No.  No, I did not.  So I suggest if you’re looking for the perfect Black Bean Soup recipe, you try this one.

It’s good.  Even though it is on the Internet.  But the difference between the regular Internet and MY Internet, is MY Internet doesn’t lie.


Black Bean Soup

2 cans black beans
3 cups chicken stock  ( vegetable stock for vegetarians/vegans )
2 tablespoons oil (approximately)
1 cup onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large carrot, chopped small
1 stalk celery, chopped small
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander  (more if you love coriander)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin  (more if you love cumin)
2 oranges, peeled, sectioned and seeded  (Sumo oranges if you can find them)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Squeeze of  fresh lime juice

1.  Drain beans, but don’t rinse.  Heat in a pot with 3 – 3 ½ cups of chicken stock.

2.  Meanwhile, saute onions and garlic in oil until translucent.

3.  Add carrot, celery, coriander and cumin.  Saute until carrots and celery are tender.  (you can add a few tablespoons of water to speed things up)

4.  Add contents of saute pan to beans and stock.   Simmer ½ an hour or so to allow flavours to meld.

5.  Add orange, pepper and lime juice (just a small squeeze … you can add more later).  Simmer 15 minutes.

6.  Remove pot from heat.  Ladle out 1 cup or so of liquid and reserve.

7.  Pour soup into blender and blend on low-medium until smooth.  Add in reserved liquid until soup is desired consistency.  (You may have to add all of the liquid back … I always reserve around half the liquid from a soup I’m going to blend because that way you never run the risk of the soup being too … well … soupy.  You have better control of it’s final consistency)

8.  Serve with a dollop or swirl of sour cream on top and fresh a fresh squeeze of lime juice if that sort of thing appeals to you.  Delicious with a whole grain Ciabatta to sop up the soup.

And just so you aren’t in for any surprises … about an hour after eating this soup, you WILL toot.  A lot.  You will toot a great deal.

The good news is … it won’t be as bad as a squirrel toot.  They’re the worst.



  1. Susan says:

    Hi Karen and thank you for posting the recipes. I am making the black bean soup right now. I may have missed it but please add quantities such as size of cans or amount of dry beans if using! I guessed but may end up with too little or too many beans. I am a Canadian living in Europe where beans are available in different size tins so it would be helpful. Enjoying the blog!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Susan! Shoot! I can’t believe I don’t have that in the recipe. It’s 2, 14 ounce cans. But if the cans are a big bigger it doesn’t really make a big difference, you can just add more chicken stock if you feel the soup is too thick. For dried beans you would use 1 1/4 cups of dried beans. Once soaked those beans become around 3.5 cups of beans. If you cook the beans in the soup like I do, then use 1.25 cups of dried beans but twice as much liquid in the soup. Plus keep checking it to see if you need to add more liquid. ~ karen!

  2. Gloria says:

    Excellent. I blended some and ate some unblended. Great both ways. I used fresh cilantro in place of the ground coriander,

  3. Karin says:

    my first good deed of 2016 was making your black bean soup. it came out fantastic. i could’ve kicked myself for forgetting to pick up lime but hey, all the more reason to do it again.

    best of all, the husband loved it and did not even hint at the omittance of meat.

    this one will have a place of honor right next to carrot soup.

    onto the next one then.


  4. Lesley says:

    This looks wonderful. Does it freeze well?

    • Karen says:

      Funny you should ask. I was just thinking today I couldn’t remember if I’d ever frozen this or not before. I know I’m going to have leftovers so I’ll be freezing a lot of it this time. I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t freeze great. It’s just black beans and broth really. Wish me luck, lol. ~ karen!

  5. Anya says:


    How many servings will this recipe make (thinking of serving it as a starter, so small portions).

    Thank you!

    • Karen says:

      Excellent question Anya, lol. I’m not entirely sure but I’d say around 4 *large* servings. Maybe a bit more. ~ karen!

  6. Marti says:

    Karen, I made this for my parents today. I bought the stuff last week, but my mother was so vocal about her hatred of black beans in any form. I finally got her to let me make it today and both she and my Dad (who is a retired Food Science & Nutrition professor) loved it. Dad wished it was a little thicker, but that was my fault because it got a little too much chicken stock in it. His second bowl was a bit thicker and he was quite delighted with it.

    • Karen says:

      Really? I’m very surprised your black bean hating mother liked it, lol! Thanks for reminding me about it. I’m gonna get some beans soaking and make it during my week off between Christmas and New Years! ~ karen

  7. Amateur says:

    I did enjoy this post. If I may suggest, add a half tablespoon of pomegranate viniger or a high quality balsamic.

    • Karen says:

      Interesting inclusion Amateur. I just made this soup this week (with soaked beans as opposed to canned). It is still one of my favourite soups. MUST add some lime juice on top at the end with the sour cream. SO good. ~ karen!

  8. Marti says:

    Finally got around to trying this soup tonight. I had some friends over. They LOVED this black bean soup… wanted to know “what that SPECIAL flavor is in the soup.” (How the heck would I know what they’re talking about? The cumin? The coriander? (Couldn’t have been that… I didn’t have any!) The oranges? The lime juice? The BLACK BEANS, maybe?

    Anyway, thanks for another great soup!

  9. DJK says:

    This is a damned tasty recipe. Just made it.

    • Karen says:

      Isn’t it good? I have an even easier soup recipe I make allll the time. 1 large head of broccoli, 4 cups of chicken broth (homemade really does taste best). Cut up broccoli including smaller stems (no the huge main one). Just hack it up. Throw it into the chicken broth, simmer until broccoli is soft. Throw it all in the blender and whiz it until really smooth. Add salt and fresh cracked pepper. Top with a tiny bit of shredded cheese and a few garlic croutons. No need for milk, cream of anything. OMG. Good. Having it tonight as a matter of fact, LOL. ~ karen!

  10. DJK says:

    I thought black beans didn’t create gas…

  11. Haley says:

    Love this recipe…in fact I’ve been making it for years! The oranges and sherry make it awesome!

    Just for clarity, everyone should know that it is Molly Katzen’s original recipe from the Moosewood Cookbook, except with canned vs. dried beans. Pretty sure Epicurious credits her with this, so I knew you would want to too.

  12. Jeff Walker says:

    Wow thank you! Orange?

    • Karen says:

      Yep. Orange. You’ll find this tastes like authentic black bean soup because it isn’t tomato based. I’m not sure why so many lunatics insist on having a tomato base for black bean soups but it’s wrong. Very, very wrong. I also suggest you find some sort of vegan alternative to sour cream because the dollop on top *makes* the soup. I still vote for you becoming a non vegan. ~ k

  13. Carly says:

    I just made this, and Oh. My. God. It is freaking delicious!! I will be making this often, toots or not.

    • Karen says:

      Carly – Yeah, I’m a big fan of soups! The Szechwan (Szechuan) Carrot soup with Ginger is also really good! Glad it worked out for you. Farty pants. ~ karen

  14. CeeJay says:

    This is nearly the same as a recipe found in the Mousewood cookbook page 26, called Brazilian black bean soup. Just add some cooking sherry and O.J to the mix and you are there. I like the extra tang of the O.J. and anything with the coriander and cumin combination is great!

  15. Shauna says:

    Hey Karen,

    Just wanted you to know that your post inspired me to finally write a post on my home-made mac n’ cheese – yes, it took me this long! Anywho, you’re mentioned as is a link to your blog (specifically, this post). So, if you’re still searching for a potential mac n’ cheese recipe to add to your list, I would be happy to offer mine:

    oh, p.s., I just read your response to my original comment above. Yes, I was obviously in OCD moment when I wrote that comment-sometimes I get a little, well soap boxy;)

  16. Heather says:

    This soup sounds totally amaze-balls! and i don’t use amaze-balls lightly. I’m going to make some tomorrow night.

  17. Bess says:

    Thanks for this recipe, Karen! I saw this when you posted it but just got around to making it last night. It’s the best black bean soup I’ve ever made and the kids couldn’t get enough. Next time I’ll double the recipe. Mmmmm.

  18. Jaime says:

    If you use dried beans and soak them and rinse well instead of canned beans, you lose the toot factor. Then again, maybe that’s what you were after all along…

    • Karen says:

      Jaime ~ Yes, um … well no … I am not going for the toot factor. I didn’t know what a gas pain was until I ate black bean soup. Eep. ~ karen

  19. Bobbi says:

    Oatmeal…not oatmmeal……..but you knew that..

    • Karen says:

      Hah! Yes, I did know that. :) I know about Beano. In fact I even have Beano in my medicine cabinet. It expired in 2003. I bought it … then never took a single one of them! Perhaps I’ll try again. Thx.! ~ karen

  20. Bobbi says:


    There is a product called BEANO (as in there will Be No Gas, I guess) comes in tablet and liquid form. Works great to de-toot beans, broccoli, oatmmeal……..seriously………..I have no personal investment in Beano….except my GI system loves it…

  21. blogbytina! says:

    you gotta watch out for dem innernetz folk ;)

  22. traci says:

    Hi. I just discovered your blog and thought I’d weigh in on the beans thing. I just got this book called “The Full Plate Diet” and it says, “The gas is caused by intestinal bacteria breaking down the natural sugars found in beans. This sugar is water soluble and is on the surface of the bean, so if you soak your beans overnight and then drain off the water before cooking them in fresh water, the gas problems will go away.” I think this means you have to cook your own beans, but that does save money and make them more healthy (less sodium).
    Also, to Jessy…I hated beans as a kid and am just discovering I really like them. My parents only served them as baked beans or in chili as well. Lentils are incredible. I suggest picking up some Madras Lentils from the Indian section of your grocery store and try them out. It tastes just like chili, only healthier. They’re good over rice or I like to mix it with cheese for a yummy nacho dip.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Traci! I soak my own beans the odd time but if you want black bean soup and you want it NOW … you’re stuck with the canned ones. And I must say … I love my sodium soaked beans. ;) ~ karen

  23. April Starr says:

    Wow, that soup looks soooo delicious!

  24. Denise says:

    I am going to try this.. and btw….I have THE BEST mac&cheese recipe…from the internet.

  25. Kelly A. says:

    I will indeed be making this, this week! Sounds amazing and I love any black bean soup! Thank u for the recipe!

  26. Jessy says:

    God now I really feel like an idiot, I guess I thought refried was a type of bean, or never really thought about it. Thanks for my learning moment of the day!

    • Shauna says:

      Well, to be specific – refried beans are pinto beans and black beans are, well, black beans.

      As far as nutrition goes, beans are very healthy for you and black beans one of the best.

      While I did get the following from the lie’ing internet, I’ve researched it before outside of the internet: Beans are loaded with healthy nutrients like folate, magnesium, alpha-linolenic acid, calcium, potassium and vitamin B6. They’re rich in protein (one cup of beans provides as much as 16 grams of protein) and are an ideal source of both soluble and insoluble fiber.

      And, yes, beans are loaded with carbs, but they’re the complex, good kind that help provide energy to your muscles and brain.

      • Karen says:

        Shauna – LOL. Wow. Someone has OCD. Beans are healthy … but it’s not like they’re gross and weird like most “health foods”. LOL. AND … I happen to only eat re-fried black beans! I don’t like re-fried pinto beans. Blech. They’re harder to find but wayyyyyyy better! ~ karen

  27. Jessy says:

    I have never had black bean anything, is this something anyone would like, anyone being a person without a six pack? I am starting to think my parents really let me down in the bean consumption category. I’m afraid my bean experience consisted of “Ranch Style” beans and baked beans swimming in bacon and brown sugar. Is this because I live in Texas? Or because my dad routinely blamed the dog for his toots? I’m thinking I need to try lentils too, are those beans? I feel so dumb and inadequate. Atleast my parents did not fail me completely, I have never had squirrel or any other roadkill.

    • Karen says:

      Jessy – Black beans are popular in Mexican food. Have you ever had “refried beans”. If you’ve had those (and like them) you’d like black bean soup. They’re definitely not health nut food, although they are good for you. Eh … give it a shot. The most you’re going to lose is the cost of 2 cans of beans! :) ~ karen

  28. Shauna says:

    I’ve always wondered about Beano – if it really works. This might be a good tester soup for Beano;)

    • Pam'a says:

      I think it works for some people, but not all. My guy has tried it and says it doesn’t do much for him. But it’s worth a shot!

  29. Sarah P says:

    I’m with you: if there’s tomato in a soup, it’s tomato soup! I can’t wait to try this non-tomato soup–thanks!

    • Sarah P says:

      Update: I made this soup last night, and it was amazing. I’m psyched to have the leftovers for lunch today!

      • Karen says:

        Sarah! Glad you liked it. Soup is weird. It’s like salad dressing. Whenever I make it, it always tastes a *little* bit different. Always good tho! ~ karen

  30. Amy Schmucker says:

    I had thunderstorms all monrning long here in Florida, so I couldn’t turn on the computer until well after lunchtime. What did I happen to make for lunch??

    Tampa Cuban Black bean soup. What a neat thing to see another great recipe for black bean soup.

    I have the fan on trying to cool off.. soup this time of year is pretty warming. Enjoy

    Amy in Florida

  31. Ramona says:

    Karen, what size are the cans of black beans?

  32. Bill Grigg says:

    Lie, you don’t do. But you did put two “the” in the second line! Sorry for being picky, but I thought you would prefer a heads up from a friend, rather than have the Grammar Police bust down your door.

    A good black bean soup is a gastronomic delight, but a gastrointestinal disaster! :D

  33. Brigette says:

    Thanks for the recipe…now I’m looking forward to you sharing the macaroni and cheese recipe that you came up with.

  34. Matthew says:

    Ah-ha, A blender! I usually like the the flavor of my soups and sauces, but the consistency and texture has been what’s lacking. I’ll have to give this tip a shot. Thanks!

    • Karen says:

      Matthew – Sometimes you can get away with an immersion blender, but a *real* blender will always give you a smoother texture. ~ karen

  35. Sara says:

    When do we get to donate again? This recipe is worth at least a donation! Thank you!!

    • Karen says:

      Sara – Hee. The donate button went up on Friday under the post “The post has the word Boobie in it”. You can donate but I was asking people to “Pstt … pass it on”. To tell people about The Art of Doing Stuff, to email posts, Twitter it, Facebook it and StumbleUpon it. :) ~ karen

  36. Donna says:

    Great. It is only breakfast and now all I can think of is black bean soup. And tooting because my kids love to hear tooting! Thanks for the great dinner and family entertainment idea…..

  37. Anne says:

    Sounds good! Now, I’d think we’d all toot less if the beans were rinsed, wouldn’t we? Why do you say not to do that? Just wondering…

    • Karen says:

      Anne – I don’t rinse the beans because I find a lot of flavour is in the gooey, guck around the beans. I drain the majority of it away, but don’t rinse. I’m not sure, but I don’t think rinsing would have any effect on tooting. It’s the actual bean that makes you have the raucous toots. :) ~ karen!

  38. bex pow says:

    …..and write up a list of people who probably shouldnt be drinking the toot soup at your dinner party ;)

  39. Pam'a says:

    God, it looks delicious. And that’s as close as I’ll ever get to it, because we cannot even utter the WORD “bean” in our house without upsetting my husband’s entire gastrointestinal system. So everyone else, eat an extra spoonful and toot one extra toot for me. ~sigh~

  40. Connor says:

    Thank you! This just went on the menu for the week! :)

  41. Jennifer says:

    SO glad you posted this recipe and photo — I’ve been craving this soup ever since you mentioned it on Facebook. Can’t wait to try a black bean soup with oranges (gastrointestinal challenges notwithstanding).

  42. Rea Niece says:

    “Squirrel Toot”? OMG what a TOOT you are1 LOL

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