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 was SO GOOD! I added a jalepeno and it is nice and hot! Perfect soup to help warm up in the chilly season. Thank you for sharing!
How much canned tomatoes can be used in place of fresh and what type (crushed, whole or diced)? Would you put jalapeños with the onion? When would sweet potato go in – with onion or quinoa or beans? Thanks a bunch! Just bought ‘Isa Does It’:)
This soup is transcendent! i want to make it once a week now! healthy, easy and DELICIOUS- the holy grail of recipes!
Why oh why can’t I reach through this screen and grab a bowl of this yummy stuff! I’m so sure 5 min. from now with tech. being where it’s going…well ya know?
I was looking for a recipe to make for a friend who’s laid up with a broken ankle. He’s diabetic, so as I was doing some research I learned that quinoa is a good option for diabetics. I came across this recipe and deemed it perfect for him as he likes southwest flavors. I just made a big pot and will be putting it in single serving containers for him.
Great delicious flavorful soup! Good for a cold winter night yumm!
Just had this for dinner. The whole family loved it… little kiddos included! Couple notes for anyone who cares – I added some extra broth, with organic frozen chopped kale and a sprinkle of chili powder during the last step. Also used salsa instead of fresh tomatoes which I think added some nice flavors. Unfortunately, I didn’t have avocado, but we really love to add Greek yogurt on top of chili (instead of sour cream) so we all did that. l’m definitely adding this into regular rotation!
Made this over the weekend and it was amazing!! thanks dude for the recipe
With the polar vortex threatening to descend with more snow and chaos, I was looking for something warm yet meat-free and wheat-free. This won huge props from the whole family. It took everything I had not to rinse the beans and use the liquid, but I trusted you, and am glad I did. Thanks!
Wow! I just made this soup and it is wonderful! I already had all of the ingredients except the cilantro. And I added some barley just because I like it in my soups.
YUM, that all 🙂
Made this past week and everyone loved it. I really enjoy your recipes. Thank you, Maria
PS I used crock pot with dry black beans. It worked perfectly, Maria
I keep making this – it’s ridiculously good!
Yum. I accidentally added too much cumin and chili pepper. Since I had two 15 oz. cans of beans and extra broth already made I decided to make up for it by adding extra everything except seasonings. Though honestly, in the end, I probably didn’t need to add the extra quinoa and probably could have handled the zing. Now it’s a bit more stewy than soupy but still yum. Had it for breakfast this morning!
Wow, this is great tasting and easy to put together! I really like the combination of simple ingredients. Thanks for the recipe! It will definitely go into my favorites.
Made this a few nights ago and it was AMAZING! So sad I gave all the leftovers to my in-laws. Would I be able to use different beans i.e. white/pinto/lentils or would the flavor not be the same? Thanks!
Isa, my 25 year old daughter repeatedly insisted that I make this. I trust her completely and doubled the recipe. It is just as terrific as she promised. I dumped in corn and some tiny yellow, buttery potatoes and topped everything off, as you suggested with tortilla chips, cilantro and diced avocado. This is fantastic. Soooo glad we have leftovers. You rock!
Do you think I could make this in a slow cooker? Would I need to modify anything? (sorry, I’m a bit new to the whole cooking thing. Trying to be healthier, now that I’ve graduated college). Thanks!
I just made this and it was really yummy! I didn’t have cilantro but made it anyway. It is good and I can’t wait to try it again with the cilantro. Thank you.
I just tried this today, it was absolutely fabulous, easy and quick to make. Thank you!
So delicious!! We added chicken and chicken broth and it was beyond wonderful! Thanks for the great recipe.
Awesome! I did make a few changes based on my family’s preferences and what I had on hand. I didn’t have canned beans so I used dry black beans. The extra cooking time was worth it IMO. I ended up using the whole pound of beans and increased the broth to 6 cups. I omitted the red pepper flakes because my hubby doesn’t like spicy food and omitted the bay leaves because I’ve never been a fan. I used chicken broth instead of vegetable broth and added some browned kielbasa in the last few minutes of cooking. I also made some rice for my skinny big eater of a hubby to eat with his soup. Will be making this again 🙂
My mother in law made this and it’s wonderful! I’m goin to have to try to make it myself.
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WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for vegan cooking
This was excellent. I changed some of the ingredients only because I didn’t have them all but it was really, really great. Hubby had 2 bowls and that is the true test. Thank you.
My co-worker and friend shared this recipe. I made it with my sons help this week-end and it is just awesome!!
I tried this soup about two weeks ago, and my family loved it! Going to make it again tonight! Thank you!
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Great recipe! I love it! It´s the best in the cold autumn in Berlin!
Made it just now. Delicious! After reading the ingredients, I thought it’d be too southwestern for my taste tonight, but the herbs/spice is not too strong at all, just right! Nutritious and delicious. My husband tasted it from the pot and demanded a bowl!
I love black beans my fav. and Quinoa is delish. SO that means I cant wait to try it…
FOR A NEW VEGITARIAN THIS IS SO AWESOME! I AM LEARNING AND MY FAMILY IS ADAPTING BUT WE WILL NEVER GO BACK! YOU ARE NOW ON MY FAVORITES!
Just made it. Kids love it! Thanks!!