Cuban Black Bean Soup


Rich in flavor and soft in texture, black beans are perfect for soup. Black bean soup takes well to the classic Latin-American flavors of cumin, chili, cilantro, and lime — add more or less of any of these, depending on what you like.

kitchen gear

  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife (adult needed)
  • Large heavy-bottomed pot
  • Measuring spoons
  • Colander
  • Measuring cup
  • Wooden spoon or heatproof spatula
  • Pot holders



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed or peeled, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 5 cups (three 15-ounce cans) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • 4 tablespoons plain yogurt, for garnish



  • Put the pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium. When it is hot, carefully add the oil. 
  • Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and spices and cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. 
  • Add the beans and broth, raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook, partially covered, for 2 hours, stirring frequently. (If at any point the soup seems too thick and is starting to look like mud, add 1 to 2 cups more broth.)
  • Stir in the lime juice and taste the soup. Does it need anything to boost the flavor? More spices? Another squeeze of lime juice? A grinding of black pepper? A pinch of salt? Add whatever you think it needs. Serve right away, garnished with cilantro and yogurt, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.

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