Spicy Black Bean Soup

spicy black bean soup / loveandlemons.com spicy black bean soup / loveandlemons.com

What I love about Superbowl week (and it’s not the game, of course – who’s even playing? and that’s football right?)… What I love is the amount of Mexican-ish comfort food that’s all over the internet. I haven’t been into a game since the superbowl shuffle, but suddenly I find myself craving spicy, chile-flavored foods with tons of avocado.

The soup part of this recipe is quick and easy… another good one for a cold weeknight. You’ll notice that I’ve complicated things a bit with the toppings, but definitely feel free to simplify to your liking… add a little avocado, some good store-bought salsa and call it a night.

If you want to get fancier make your own dried chile sauce – this is my go to “salsa” right now while tomatoes aren’t in season. And instead of sour cream, try blending sunflower seeds into a creamy sauce. It’s very similar to cashew cream (maybe even better).

The chile sauce and sun cheese recipes make more than you’ll need for this soup – both can be made well in advance.

spicy black bean soup
Serves: serves 4
  • splash of olive or grapeseed oil
  • 2 small shallots, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • ½-1 jalapeño, de-seeded and chopped
  • 4 teaspoons chile powder
  • 3 cups black beans, cooked, drained (reserve a few for garnish)
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • up to ½ cup water, if necessary for blending consistency
  • salt, pepper
  • squeeze of lime
  • optional: a few pinches of cayenne and/or smoked paprika
  • serve with (all optional): diced red onion, jalapeño slices, avocado, cilantro, tortillas, sun cheese, salsa, or dried chile salsa
sun cheese topping: (optional)
  • 1¼ cup hulled sunflower seeds, soaked at least 4 hours
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons umeboshi vinegar*
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup water (more as needed)
  1. Heat oil in a medium-large pot over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic, jalapeño, a few pinches of salt, and cook until softened.
  2. Add the chile powder, stir, then add the black beans and stock. Simmer on low heat for 20 or so minutes.
  3. Blend the soup, adding water or more stock if it's too thick.
  4. Add a good squeeze of lime, blend again, then taste. Add more salt & spices to your liking. Keep it smooth, or add a few more black beans for texture. Serve with the suggested fixings, or whatever you like!
  5. For the sun cheese: Blend all ingredients together. Add more water if necessary to thin. Taste and adjust. Serve on the side, and store the remainder in the fridge.
*You can sub white wine vinegar (+ a few good pinches of salt), for the umeboshi vinegar - however the ume vinegar brings a nice “umami” flavor that other vinegars don’t. (Find it at whole foods in the asian section or buy it online).

Look for sunflower seeds in the bulk bins that are already hulled. If you can only find skin-on seeds, don't worry about peeling them (it's tedious). It’s creamier with hulled seeds, but will taste fine nonetheless.

Sun cheese recipe adapted from the Casa De Luz Cookbook.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

    • jeanine

      Thanks Katrina 🙂

  1. I’ve actually never tried black bean soup but I loooove black beans! This looks delicious. I’ll definitely give it a try 🙂

    • jeanine

      Let me know if you give it a try – hope you like!

  2. Abby from thehappyfooddance.wordpress.com

    I love how you set up your food photos! Makes even something so simple look unmissable.

    • jeanine

      thanks Abby! It was a trick to get black bean soup to not look ugly (it is grey soup afterall!)

  3. gourmet goddess

    HI, can you please give me an alternative to the umeboshi vinegar ? rice wine vinegar maybe ?.


    • jeanine

      I don’t have a perfect substitution (next time I make it I will test one!) – the umeboshi vinegar is tangy but also very salty – so I would try rice vinegar + more salt, to taste.

      • gourmet goddess

        thanks, will give it a try …

  4. Oh wow! I never heard of sun cheese before! I am soooooo going to use that to thicken soups from now on instead of flour or potatoes! And that dried chile salsa looks phenomenal and suuuper easy!

    • jeanine

      thanks Stefanie! Sun cheese is one of my favorite sauces to put in (just about) anything… let me know if you give it a try!

  5. Oooh, I definitely want to give this a go — I love your use of the sun cheese and dried chile salsa too!

    • jeanine

      thanks Aida! xo

  6. cheri from mysavoryspoon.blogspot.com

    This is perfect for super bowl Sunday!

  7. Ale from piloncilloyvainilla.com

    Love your version of black bean soup! I´m Mexican and would definitely give it a try!

    • jeanine

      thanks! so glad to hear!

  8. I love your twist on the homemade vegan cream. Cashew cream is my usual go-to but using sunflowers sounds like a wonderful alternative!

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    Hmmm! This looks delicious. Thanks 🙂

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A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.