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The Perfect Creamy Black Bean Soup For Winter Nights, From An RD

Creamy Black Bean Soup
Image by Brynn McDowell / Contributor
December 5, 2020
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Looking for a warming, protein-packed dinner for the coming weeks? This simple black bean soup might be just the thing you've been looking for. From The Mediterranean Diet Made Easy by Brynn McDowell, R.D., it's the sort of recipe you can totally picture enjoying on colder nights—and it's not going to take ages to make, either.

"Thick, creamy, and packed with vegetables, this soup tastes like it's been simmering on the stove for hours, but it actually comes together fairly quickly," she writes. "It's perfect served alongside roasted chicken or as an accompaniment to a big salad for a lighter lunch or dinner."

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Black beans are a great option for a vegan protein source. In 1 cup of this pantry staple, there's just over 15 grams of protein, along with 15 grams of fiber, too. McDowell keeps things simple with only nine ingredients, but they're picked carefully to pack in flavor and to adhere to the Mediterranean diet. She says she fell in love with the diet when traveling around France, Italy, and Greece and since then has focused her work as a registered dietitian on helping people fit this style of eating into everyday life.

Though black beans might not be the first ingredient that comes to mind when thinking of the food of the Mediterranean region, this simple recipe fits into that menu plan, as well as into a plant-based diet.

Hearty Black Bean Soup

Makes 8 servings


  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 4 15.5-oz. cans black beans, drained
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
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Garnishes (optional)

  • ½ avocado, diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro


  1. In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots. Allow the ingredients to sauté until soft, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 to 45 seconds.
  2. Add the bell pepper, black beans, vegetable broth, and cumin to the pot. Stir to combine and allow the mixture to come to a boil before reducing the heat to low, covering the pot and allowing the soup to simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Carefully ladle half of the soup into a blender and puree until smooth. Return the pureed soup back to the pot with the remaining soup and stir to combine. If you have a handheld immersion blender, puree the soup directly in the pot. Be sure to leave it a little on the chunky side instead of completely pureed.
  4. Ladle the soup into serving bowls and top with your desired garnishes—avocado, fresh squeezed lime, feta, chives, and/or cilantro.
Reprinted with permission from The Mediterranean Diet Made Easy by Brynn McDowell, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020. Photo credit: Brynn McDowell.
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