Rich and hearty black bean soup loaded with veggies and greens and seasoned with right amount of spices to make this a finger licking and healthy vegetarian black bean soup that tastes very similar to Panera bread black bean soup.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup diced onions ( 1 medium onion diced )
- 3/4 cup diced celery ( 2 stalks of celery diced )
- 1 cup diced red bell pepper ( 1 medium red bell pepper diced )
- 2 cups chopped baby greens ( I used mix of baby spinach, baby arugula & baby kale )
- 1 10OZ can of ROTEL Original with diced tomatoes and green chillies ( or two medium tomatoes & 1 green chilli)
- 4 to 5 cups low sodium vegetable or tomato flavored broth or 4 tsp broth powder or 4 bouillon cubes
- 1 teaspoon paprika ( adjust as per your spice level )
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder (adjust as per your spice level )
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- Salt to taste ( add at the end )
- 1 cup dry black beans OR 2 15OZ cans of black beans
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
For Garnish ( Optional )
- Sour cream ( skip it if you are vegan )
- Diced Jalapeno rings
- Chopped green onions
- Diced or Sliced Avocado
- Tortilla Chips
If you are using dry black beans there are 4 steps to make this delicious and hearty black bean soup. If you are using canned black beans skip first two steps and start with 3rd step.
- pressure cook black beans in Instant pot
- Sauté & Simmer the soup
- Garnish with toppings
1. Soak : Rinse the dry beans first to remove any dirt and pick through them to remove any stones. Now put the beans in a big enough container to allow for expansion of beans and cover by at least 4 inches of water above the beans. Let them soak overnight or at least 8 hours.
2. Pressure cook black beans in Instant pot : Before cooking, drain the water from the soaked beans, transfer them to Instant pot steel insert and add 3 cups of low sodium broth. Close the lid of the Instant pot, close the vent and cook on manual mode on high pressure for 25 mins. Let pressure release naturally for at least 10 to 15 mins and then do a quick release.
I usually use PIP i.e. pot in pot cooking to cook soaked beans in Instant pot so I don't have to wash my Instant pot before next use. If you want to use PIP, place the soaked and drained beans in a stainless steel pot which can be used for pot in pot cooking in Instant pot and add 2.5 cups of low sodium broth to the beans. Now put this stainless steel pot in Instant pot on a trivet with at least 1.5 cups of water in the main Instant pot steel insert to help with the steam. Then follow the directions above to cook the beans.
3. Sauté & Simmer the soup :
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a big enough pot on the stove top.
- Once oil is medium hot, add 1 bay leaf, 5 garlic cloves minced and sauté for around 5 to 10 seconds watching very closely to make sure garlic won't burn, then add diced onions . If you can't work that fast, add garlic after the onions are slightly translucent. I like sautéing garlic in the hot oil for few seconds to infuse the garlic taste in the oil before I add onions. Add 1/4 tsp of salt to the onions to help them cook faster.
- Once the onions are translucent, add the spices i.e. paprika, cumin powder and oregano and mix well.
- Now add diced celery, diced red bell pepper and any other veggies that you want to add and mix well.
- After couple mins, add the chopped baby greens(baby spinach, baby kale & baby arugula ) and mix well. ( use any greens you prefer, remember baby kale have less stronger and less bitter taste than kale, so they give much nicer taste here ).
- After couple more mins, add a can of ROTEL tomatoes with green chillies and mix well. (You can absolutely use 2 fresh tomatoes and a green chilli here if you prefer, instead of can)
- Since I am using tomato flavored broth powder for the stock, I am adding 4 tsp broth powder now instead of cooking the beans with the broth(enough for the water in the cooked beans and water that we are going to add in the end ). If you are using liquid vegetable or chicken stock, then you can cook the beans with the broth in the Instant pot and add rest of the broth after adding the beans.
- Now add the cooked black beans along with the liquid and mix well(or canned black beans, draining the can is your preference, I usually drain the liquid in the can and don't rinse the beans for soups).
- If you are using liquid broth, add it now as per the consistency you want. Add half of cilantro now and half at the end.
- Let the soup simmer for about 10 mins on low to medium flame. Add required salt only after checking the taste and adjust the seasonings. Remove and discard the bay leaf now.
- To make the soup little more creamy and thick, use the immersion blender few times right in the pot to puree some of the soup. Don't puree all the beans, make sure you puree only part of the soup so you can still get whole beans while eating.
- Simmer until desired consistency and serve. If you are going to eat it over rice, then little thicker consistency tastes better with rice.
4. Garnish with toppings : Serve in soup bowls with preferred toppings like Sour cream ( skip it if you are vegan ), diced Jalapeno rings, chopped green onions, cilantro, diced or sliced Avocado, tortilla Chips etc. A squeeze of lemon juice adds wonderful flavor to this soup.
- This soup is spiced just right, neither spicy nor bland with loads of flavor. To adjust the spice level, increase or decrease the amount of paprika and cumin powder.
- Cook time mentioned here is given for the black bean soup made with canned beans since both methods are mentioned. If you are making with dry beans then please consider the soaking and cooking time when you plan.
- After pressure cooking the soaked beans in the instant pot, if you prefer, you can remove the cooked beans into another vessel, rinse the instant pot steel insert and use the instant pot 'sauté' mode to cook the soup instead of in a pot on stove top.
- Please read the section above the recipe card " Why are we not cooking this as a one pot soup in the instant pot with the soaked beans" for reference.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Category: Soup
- Method: Instant pot & Stove top
- Cuisine: Mexican
Keywords: Panera Black bean soup recipe, Vegan Black bean soup recipe, vegetarian black bean soup recipe, chicken black bean soup, black bean soup and rice