I’m a big believer in summer soups, because there are always chilly days, even in August, and certainly when summer begins to wane in September. In northern Europe you’re guaranteed at least one day in the low teens in summer. So, use some of the fabulous seasonal produce in a soup.
With a refreshing mix of fresh red pepper, zucchini, and pantry staples like black beans and canned tomatoes, this spicy black bean soup is just right for weeknight dinners. Even if the weather isn’t so warm I still want a summery meal, and that means short cooking times.
Try serving this with some zucchini cornbread for a cozy dinner, sitting outside if you can! We have to take advantage of the longer daylight hours while they last.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Vegetables: use whatever vegetables you have on hand. Corn or even new potatoes or sweet potato would all be good here – just add a little more simmering time if using potatoes.
- Canned tomatoes: diced or whole but not puree. Fresh tomatoes are an excellent substitution for canned. Weigh them if possible, or use 2-3 medium sized tomatoes.
- Water or vegetable broth: you can get away with water here as it’s such a flavourful soup, but make sure to season to taste before serving.
- Black beans: cooked or canned. If using canned, rinse them very well before adding. You can switch out the black beans for kidney beans.
- Toppings: pickled onion, lime, and parsley or cilantro.
Step by Step
Step 1: sauté the onions in oil until softened.
Step 2: add the carrots and cook for a few more minutes.
Step 3: add the remaining vegetables and cook.
Step 4: stir in the garlic and spices.
Step 5: add broth or water and the beans, and stir to combine.
Step 6: simmer for 15 minutes and serve hot.
If you’re very sensitive to spice (but making a spicy black bean soup) the hot pepper can be reduced. Use half a pepper, or scrape the seeds and pith (the white part) out before chopping.
Apart from pickled onions, avocado or a vegan yogurt or sour cream are great additions to top the soup.
How to Store
Storage: keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Freezing: without toppings, the soup freezes well in airtight containers for about three months.
More Summer Dinners
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End of Summer Spicy Black Bean Soup
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 medium carrots halved lengthwise and sliced
- 1 large sweet pepper diced
- 1 medium zucchini diced
- 1 small eggplant diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 hot pepper finely diced (to taste)
- ½ teaspoon cumin ground
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon sea salt to taste
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika optional
- 400 grams canned tomatoes
- 1 litre vegetable broth or water
- 500 grams cooked or canned black beans, rinsed well
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Once hot, add the onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant and translucent.2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 small onion
- Add the carrots and cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.2 medium carrots
- Add the sweet pepper, zucchini, and eggplant, and cook for another couple of minutes.1 large sweet pepper, 1 medium zucchini, 1 small eggplant
- Stir in the garlic, hot pepper, cumin, black pepper, salt, and paprika. Cook another minute or so.3 cloves garlic, 1 hot pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Add the tomatoes, broth or water, and black beans. Stir to combine, then cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, reducing the heat to low if necessary.400 grams canned tomatoes, 1 litre vegetable broth, 500 grams cooked or canned black beans, rinsed well
- Taste and season if needed. Serve topped with pickled onions, a squeeze of lime, and a small handful of parsley or cilantro. Leftovers will keep for up to three days in the refrigerator and freeze for up to three months.Pickled onions, Lime juice, Parsley
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
This post was first published in June 2014. It has been updated with significant improvements to the text and recipe as of September 2021.
If you’re looking for approachable, seasonal vegetarian recipes, you’re in the right place! Occasionally Eggs is all about healthier plant based recipes that follow the seasons.