Easy Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup
Super easy and incredibly delicious, this easy slow cooker black bean soup leans on pantry ingredients like canned black beans for a simple, craveable, go-to dinner recipe. It’s a family favorite that you’ll wanna make again & again!
About this Recipe
Easy soup recipes are a weekly staple in our house, and this easy crockpot black bean soup is my family’s latest obsession!
Trust me when I say that the flavor payoff in this recipe is INCREDIBLE, especially for something with so few ingredients and such minimal hands-on prep time.
Canned black beans combine with classic ingredients like celery, carrots, onion and garlic, all flavored with pantry staples like cumin, chipotle chili powder, smoked paprika, and a hint of lime juice.
The result is a super satisfying, creamy, and nourishing soup that everyone can enjoy.
It’s one of those soups that absolutely begs for toppings, so feel free to go wild with all your favorites to make it extra special.
Think sliced avocado, sour cream, fresh cilantro, fresh lime juice, green onion, hot sauce, or even some crunchy corn chips piled high on top.
Process & Tips
After testing both the dump-and-go method (with no pre-cooking) and cooking the onions with the spices first, I found the pre-cooking method to be worth the extra effort and dishes.
However, if you’re very short on time, skip step 1 and proceed with the recipe in step 2 of the recipe card for an easy dump and go slow cooker recipe.
Then all you have to do is add all your ingredients to your slow cooker and let it do all the work for you.
Once the vegetables are tender, add a quick squeeze of lime juice to brighten everything up.
The real magic of this soup is the creamy texture that results from a quick blend of the beans and veggies at the end.
Feel free to customize the final texture based on your tastes – for a creamier soup, blend completely, and for a chunkier soup blend for just a few seconds.
Tip: This soup thickens up considerably upon cooling. When reheating, simply add a splash of water or stock to thin it back out to the original consistency.
How to Make Black Bean Soup with Ham or a Ham Hock
For slow cooker black bean soup with ham, add ½ pound thick cut ham along with the beans at the beginning of the cook time.
Remove the ham while blending, dice, and add back to the soup.
Alternatively, add a ham hock to the soup at the beginning of the cook time.
Remove when blending, pull any remaining meat off the bone, add back to the soup, and discard the ham bone.
Ingredients & Modifications
Black beans: I use canned black beans for this recipe for the convenience factor, since they don’t require presoaking. I have not tested it with dry beans, but if you give it a try let us know how it goes in the comments!
Chicken stock: Chicken stock or broth will work. But be sure to use vegetable stock for a vegetarian and vegan version of this soup.
Celery: Fresh celery works best for this recipe.
Carrot: Fresh, whole carrots provide the best flavor for this soup. And while not as flavorful, you could use chopped baby carrots if you prefer.
Yellow onion: The onions are a delicious savory addition to this soup. And while you can certainly skip the sautéing step, I find it adds an extra depth of flavor that’s totally worth the few extra minutes.
Garlic cloves: Since we’re using so few fresh ingredients, I like using fresh garlic cloves in this recipe. But you could also use granulated garlic powder in its place.
Ground cumin: I love the earthy flavor that cumin adds to soups and it pairs particularly well with the hearty black beans.
Smoked paprika: I used both smoked paprika and chipotle chili powder to add a Southwestern inspired flavor and natural smokiness to this soup. If you don’t have smoked paprika, feel free to skip it.
Chipotle chili powder: You can use either chipotle chili powder or canned chipotle in adobo sauce; either will add a very mild heat. If you’re very sensitive to heat I recommend leaving this ingredient out, but if you like things spicy, feel free to double the amount, as well as topping the soup with plenty of hot sauce.
Lime juice: Don’t skip the lime juice, as it adds a much needed acid to “wake up” the flavors at the end of the long cooking time. Sherry vinegar would be a nice option as well, or even red wine vinegar in a pinch.
Olive oil: I like the flavor of olive oil in this recipe but you could also use another cooking oil in its place – like avocado, coconut, canola or vegetable oil.
Kosher salt: Look for kosher salt with the regular iodized salt at the grocery store (it has a subtler flavor). Use less iodized salt if that’s what you have on hand.
Tips for Storing & Freezing Leftovers
This crockpot black bean soup tastes even better the next day, and leftovers make a great lunch!
It keeps well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, in a sealed container.
This soup also freezes beautifully, either in a gallon ziploc bag, or individually in mason jars.
You can store it in a sealed freezer friendly container for up to 2-3 months.
Easy Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder, or minced chipotle in adobo
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped carrot
- 4 (15-oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cups chicken stock, or vegetable stock for vegetarian + vegan
To Add at the End
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Optional Serving Suggestions
- Easy Guacamole
- Sliced avocado, salsa, sour cream, fresh cilantro, fresh lime juice, green onion, hot sauce, corn chips
- Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, and chili powder. Cook for an additional 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Carefully transfer the cooked onion and spices to a 6-quart slow cooker. Add the celery, carrot, beans, salt, and stock, stirring to combine.
- Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or low for 6-7, or until the vegetables are very tender. Do not uncover during this time.
- Uncover and add the lime juice. Using an immersion blender, blend the bean mixture for 10-20 seconds. Alternatively, carefully, remove 3-4 cups of the bean mixture to a blender. Cover, blend on high, then add back to the soup, stirring to combine. Note: You’re looking to blend most of the soup, while leaving some beans and veggies for texture. If you want a very smooth soup blend completely, if you want a very chunky soup, just blend for a few seconds. The more you blend, the thicker the soup will be.
- Taste and add additional lime juice and salt if desired. The soup will thicken a bit as it cools, so if you prefer a thicker consistency, allow to cool for 20-30 minutes before serving.