Total time: 40 minutes || Active time: 20 minutes
My mailman rarely talks to me, but he made sure to tell me that this soup smelled great when I was cooking it. So, there you go, endorsed by the US Postal Service.
The thing about this soup, is that it’s almost the only time in the world where I don’t rinse the canned beans. The whole shebang is poured right in, creating a flavorful full-bodied broth that is so monumentally satisfying with the chewy quinoa. Of course, we have our usual black bean soup suspects — cumin, oregano, bay, cilantro — and all that flavor just gets sealed into the delicious broth. It’s familiar but definitely not ordinary.
You can certainly customize to your desires; add some kale at the end, maybe even potatoes with the carrots, or corn. I would have used jalapenos if I had some on hand, too. But the red pepper flakes provide a nice heat and this soup hits the spot if you’re craving something spicy and filling, that you can throw avocado on.
~If you’re wondering why I add only half of the broth at first, it’s so that it boils faster, thus cooking the quinoa faster. It’s just something I do.
~If you’re wondering why I don’t add the beans with the broth at first, it’s because when soup is thick, it takes longer to cook the quinoa. So I let it cook most of the way, then toss in the remaining liquids.
~Black beans tend to be salty, so I’m not adding a specific quantity of salt here. Definitely salt to taste!
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced medium
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup quinoa
1 large carrot, cut into 1/4 inch pieces or so
2 bay leaves
4 cups vegetable broth, divided
1 24 oz can black beans
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish
Preheat a 4 quart pot over medium heat. Saute onion in olive oil with a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and saute with the onions for a few seconds. Then add tomato, cumin, oregano and red pepper flakes and cook for a minute or so, just to break down the tomatoes a bit.
Add quinoa, carrots and bay leaves, and then pour in 2 cups of the broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes or so, until al dente (that’s mostly tender with a little bite.)
Add the remainder of the broth, the black beans with their cooking liquid, and the cilantro. Cover and bring to a boil, then remove the lid, lower heat to a simmer and cook for 10 more minutes or so, to cook the quinoa the rest of the way.
Taste for salt and seasonings and let sit for 10 minutes or so to allow the flavors to marry. Remove bay leaves and serve topped with crushed tortillas, avocado and cilantro.
This recipe is a keeper! Wow it’s good.
This soup is so delicious I am making a double batch for the freezer. Makes a great lunch for work.
Thanks for all your great recipes!
Huh. I’ve been adding corn to the soup for the two years I’ve been making it, and now that it’s soup season again, I googled the recipe and realized that it never contained it. Crazy! Amazing with corn and extra cilantro.
Great picture, but I hate the taste if canned anything– especially beans. It’s worth the time it takes to cook your own.
Made this soup last night for lunch today and ended up enjoying a steaming bowl without the added toppings. Picked up the toppings and am enjoying this for lunch. WOW! I thought no soup could be better than the potato fennel. Neck and neck favs.
Thanks so much for all your great recipes.
SOOOOO good! Made this tonight and both my son and I loved it. I found no salt added black beans to reduce the sodium to a very low level (only 10 mg sodium per serving instead of 220 mg or 400+ mg). Still salty enough with the tortilla chips. I topped it with a scant tablespoon of vegan sour cream and a sprinkling of taco sauce. This soup is delicious! Love it! You create great recipes!
OMG….the best, best soup ever. I made this using one can of black beans (didn’t have more) and 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro and a pinch of red pepper. Didn’t have avocado or chips. Not a problem, pita bread is a great substitute. Thank you for this terrific soup. So easy and quick to pull together. Can’t wait to try other recipes.
The flavor of this soup is awesome! We don’t have cilantro, avocado, or bay leaves on hand, but I added in a 1/2 cup of frozen corn with the black beans and it turned out delicious and robust! We use better than bouillon’s vegetable base and a can of crushed fired roasted tomatoes in place of the fresh. Super tasty and easy to prepare.
I made this tonight and though I had to make some substitutions (sage for bay leaves) it was tasty and satisfying and the perfect thing for a brisk fall day. I sprinkled a little nooch on top because I put that @!#%%&! on everything!
Dang, this was tasty! I’m making it again.
So I shouldn’t drain the canned beans?
Nope! I use the juice 🙂
Great recipes. The only difference is that I use only fresh beans soaked from the night b4. Never canned food.
I have to say, I’ve been making this recipe for YEARS and absolutely love it. I add double the carrots, 2 large sweet potatoes, and a can of chickpeas as well! Thank you sooo much for about a bajillion times cooking this. 🙂
…I also keep coming back to this – thank you so much for sharing his recipe, it’s wonderful