Veggie-packed slow cooker black bean soup

Veggie-packed slow cooker black bean soup

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the slow cooker is great for this time of year (I swear that’s the last time I’ll say that until next October… maybe). One of my favourite things about it, apart from the fact that you can end up with a home-cooked meal after only five minutes of effort, is that if you leave it on for long enough, certain things cook down so much that they become pretty much invisible. Now obviously this isn’t always a good thing, but when you’re trying to hide vegetables – either from picky kids or just from yourself – it’s perfect. Hiding in this black bean soup, there are two big carrots (which when grated seem to almost fill the slow cooker on their own), half a bag of spinach, and a whole red pepper. The carrot especially seems to disappear into thin air. It’s a great way to pack extra nutrients into a soup without compromising its simplicity.

I left mine chunky because that’s how I like it, and seeing little flecks of green and red in my soup doesn’t put me off (considering I put the vegetables in myself, it would be a bit odd if it did). However if you really want to deny their very existence, you could always blend your soup before serving so that nobody suspects a thing.

Veggie-packed slow cooker black bean soup

You can serve this however you like – the soup itself is vegan, but you can add whatever toppings you fancy. I like to break up some tortilla chips into it for a bit of crunch, and obviously some cheese. Or even better, some melted cheese! Yesssss. This recipe makes 4 generous portions, and since it’s already been cooked to oblivion, it’s just as good reheated the next day – pop some cheese on top before you reheat it, and it’ll get nice and melty. It’s definitely the sort of soup that will make you smile every time you remember it’s waiting for you in the fridge.

Veggie-packed slow cooker black bean soup

I actually only tried black beans for the first time a year or two ago. I never really saw them in the shops until then – even now, I have to go to the ‘world foods’ section of the supermarket to find them! But now I can’t get enough, and I seem to stick another couple of tins in my trolley every time I go shopping. If you’re as much of a black bean fanatic as I am, you should also try these other black bean recipes:

veggie burrito bowls
black bean enchiladas with avocado sauce
ricotta and black bean stuffed peppers
quick black bean dip

There are more around here if you search hard enough but I think I’d better stop there, hard as it is.

Veggie-packed slow cooker black bean soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 225g carrots, grated (around 2 medium carrots)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red pepper, finely diced
  • 40g spinach, chopped (do this quite finely if you're trying to hide it!)
  • 2 x 400g tin black beans, drained (240g each when drained)
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 400g tin refried beans
  • 1tsp smoked paprika
  • 2tsp hot chilli powder
  • 200ml water
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Optional toppings: chopped fresh coriander (highly recommended!), grated cheese, crumbled tortilla chips, sour cream
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients apart from your toppings in your slow cooker, and cook for around 8 hours on medium. If desired, blend before serving and add your chosen toppings.

Veggie-packed slow cooker black bean soup

Comments

  1. Sarah says

    I love, love, love black beans! So I am definitely going to try this recipe! I will have to go and figure out what the measurements are in grams compared to cups since I don’t know how to switch this to US measurements. Thanks for all your wonderful recipes!

          • Sarah says

            I made this tonight – I didn’t use the crock pot though. It was delicious! And I even forgot to put the toppings on!

            • Gabi says

              I was happy to see this comment – could you tell me how you adapted the recipe so as to make it without a slow cooker/crock pot, and with just an ordinary (oval-shaped) large stew pot?

              I am essentially new to cooking in general and I’ve never made a soup in my life, so I really appreciate any idiot-proof instructions you or anyone else can offer! (My repertoire of similar recipes includes chili and beef stew, but never soup!) THANK YOU!

              • says

                Hey Gabi :) A slow cooker is basically just a big, slow pot, so you can do exactly the same thing on the hob and just cook it a little quicker. So I’d still just stick everything in your pot together, bring it to a gentle simmer with a lid on, and then simmer it for half an hour or so until the veg are cooked, stirring it every now and then so that it doesn’t stick on the bottom. The only reason I used the slow cooker was because it’s marginally less effort (you don’t need to stir it as much, for example), but it’s basically the same process!
                Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche recently posted…Warm quinoa salad with grilled halloumi and parsley dressingMy Profile

                • Gabi says

                  Phew, okay great! I have the tiniest kitchen and I truly don’t have any room for investing in new appliances that take up space (as tempting as they are, since they make cooking in bulk so easy!)

                  P.S. Your blog is so great! I arrived here this past May after a friend on Facebook happened to share your avocado risotto recipe – I have made that a few times now and I love it! Now I’m finally getting around to scrolling through all your other recipes and I’m very excited to try this one out soon! I’m not vegetarian and in fact it’s a HUGE struggle for me to integrate vegetables into my diet (it’s a texture thing), so I love the fact that a lot of your recipes are on the cheesier/starchier side, haha :) Whatever works as a gateway, right?? Thanks again!!

  2. Sarah says

    I am having a hard time figuring out how much 40g of spinach is in US measurements, so if you have idea I would love it if you would share it! Thanks!

    • says

      Mine’s 3.5l – it’s this one: http://goo.gl/daK0dl
      It’s the perfect size for me – I’m usually just cooking for me and my fiance so that size will do two meals for the two of us (4 portions). Also most slow cooker recipes are soups and stews and things that can be frozen if you’re just cooking for yourself, so I’d recommend that size :) plus it’s red and pretty haha. If you can force yourself to put a few tins of stuff in at like 11pm, it’s a great thing to wake up to :)
      I get my black beans from Asda in the ‘world foods’ section. Not sure where else you can get them, ridiculous isn’t it!
      Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche recently posted…Veggie-packed slow cooker black bean soupMy Profile

  3. says

    Hi Becca, really like that you chose to do a slow cooking recipe. I see that most people think slow cooking is for meat! In also love that you chose black beans, they have such a deep flavour so are clearly perfect for your method of cooking! I recently shared an unusual black bean recipe, I hope that you will take a look x

  4. Amanda says

    This recipe looks delicious! Does anyone know if I use dry black beans if I would need to cook them first or simply pre-soak? It seems like an overnight soak and then 8 hours in the slow cooker would do it, but I’d hate to find out they’re still hard when it’s ready to eat.

    • Angiy says

      In my exerance you need to cook the beans first. If you don’t cook them all they way first, don’t add anything acidic until the beans are tender.

  5. Tara Pettengill says

    I just made this and it was incredible! It was so easy to put together on a day that I woke up sick and miserable. Thank you for another great recipe.

  6. Les says

    I just tossed the carrots, spinach & garlic in my food processor. Zap and I was done! It’s cooking now. WIll advise of outcome. Also thought a bit of kale wouldn’t hurt either.

  7. Kathy says

    This sounds delicious, but here in the US, tin can linings contain a hormone-disrupting chemical called BPA (Bisphenol-A) that leaches into the foods they contain. Have you ever made it with dried beans? I would imagine you could just add more liquid. Any thoughts or tips?

    • Vic says

      I had the exact same question, and found a few rather useful discussions at stackexchange
      and at chowhound

      In essence, most of the discussion seems to indicate that it is wise to pre-cook the beans. I feel obligated to mention that I’ve also read about warnings about how some beans in dried form require cooking/boiling at a certain temperature hot enough to break down any toxins (phytohemagglutinins?) that exist in the beans’ raw form (like kidney beans) and that sometimes undercooking the beans can increase the level of toxins in the bean– boiling for at least 10 minutes seems to be the most recommended solution for beans like kidneys. More info can be found here

  8. Kristen says

    Thanks for this delicious recipe! My kids loved it and told me to make it again soon. I’m always happy when they enjoy something so healthy. And I had fun explaining to my American children what grams and tins are!

  9. Tara says

    Would I be able to use frozen spinach in this recipe or would it perhaps alter the consistency of the soup? Also do you know if this is a good soup to make in bulk and freeze for later? Thanks!

  10. MissD says

    Just discovered your website, and ive enjoyed having a look around at the scrummy recipes and the gorgeous photos.

    Just wondered if the refried beans add a lot to this soup? I have everything in my cupboard but those.
    Thanks in advance

  11. Katharine in Brussels says

    Thanks Becca, this is ready and cooling off on my hob now (had to do a hurry-up stovetop version) for Friday night dinner after DH and I pick up the kids. Because there are little people involved there is no chili powder in the pot, but my bowl will have some. Cheers!

  12. says

    Wow, this recipe sounded great and then I read the cooking instructions and now I really love it! Dump everything in the crockpot and go have a cocktail. Can’t wait to try it.

  13. says

    You should make sure that the refrieds are vegetarian, as regular canned ones use lard. Also, there is no reason to soak dried beans overnight. Just rinse and add to the pot. Cook the soup for 8 hrs. and the beans should be fine, as just simmering dried black beans for about 2.5 hrs. makes them tender enough.

  14. Laurie says

    Do you use Red re-fried beans or Black re-fried beans? I am making this tonight. It sounds delicious.

  15. Val says

    I really fancied black beans for dinner and selected your website. Made the blackbean and mushroom chilli. It was not only delicious but so quick and easy to make. I had all the ingredients already (even added some fresh spinach at the end). I’ve got some beans leftOver so will try the soup tomorrow. I love your website and intend to try all 60 dishes. Wonderful!

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