Monday, February 1, 2021

Updated Quick Black Bean Soup

This is an updated version of the recipe I posted 6 years ago. I’ve made enough changes to it that I wanted to share it again, as I like this version better. This is such a wonderful weeknight soup—it really does come together quickly. And it’s very satisfying.

The most noticeable change is that I now puree some of the soup. This makes it thicker, and I really like the texture. Since I don’t want the meat pureed, I now heat the kielbasa separately, tossing it in toward the end after some of the soup has been pureed. I’ve also added red bell pepper, which makes it a little sweeter. Most recently, I diced the kielbasa, instead of just slicing it into coins like I normally do. Another win! I thought the coins were always too large in comparison to the other ingredients.

I like this spicy, but not too spicy. I once tried making this with a full teaspoon of chipotle chili powder, and I thought it was too hot. Most recently, I used a half teaspoon—and then added just a little bit more (maybe 1/8 tsp more), and it was perfect.

Updated Quick Black Bean Soup

4 servings


  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced (recommend using a large one)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Seasoned salt, to taste
  • 13 oz. turkey kielbasa (may use pork, ham or omit altogether), diced
  • 2 14-oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed (may use 1 28-oz. can)
  • ½ tsp. chipotle chili powder (I use a heaping ½ tsp.—use more or less depending on desired heat level)
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 quart (4 cups) low-sodium chicken broth (may use vegetable broth)
  • 1 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. dry sherry
  • Sour cream or shredded cheese (optional)


1. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, bell pepper and garlic. Season with salt and sauté until the onions have softened and are starting to brown, about 8-10 minutes.

2. Heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the diced kielbasa and cook, stirring occasionally until it starts to lightly brown (last time I did this, it was too juicy to brown, but that was fine, as it’s already cooked, so it just needs to be heated).

3. To the soup pot, add the black beans, chili powder, oregano, cumin, smoked paprika, bay leaf, chicken broth, brown sugar and sherry. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-12 minutes.

4. Partially puree the soup: Remove about half the soup (about 3 cups) and either 1) transfer to a blender or food processor and puree, or 2) transfer to an appropriate container and puree with an immersion blender. 

5. Add the kielbasa and pureed portion of the soup to the soup pot and stir to combine. Taste, adjust seasoning and serve (if desired topped with a dollop of sour cream or a sprinkle of shredded cheese).