Black Bean Soup

This soup is a good candidate for pressure cooking. Use unsoaked beans and only 5 cups water. Cook at full pressure for 30 minutes, and allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes.

10 cups; 6 servings

Reprinted with permission, from JOY OF COOKING: 2019 EDITION.


  • 1 pound dried black beans, rinsed and picked over
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 serrano peppers, seeded if desired, and minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 10 cups vegetable stock, poultry stock, or water


  • Sliced avocado
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Hot sauce
  • Lime wedges


Step 1

If desired, soak dried black beans overnight in a bowl with enough water to cover the beans.

Step 2

When ready to cook, heat vegetable oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until softened, about 6-8 minutes.

Step 3

Add garlic, serrano pepers, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt and cook for another minute. Drain the beans, if soaked, and add to the pot along with the vegetable (or other) stock or water.

Step 4

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the beans are completely tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes for soaked beans and 2 hours for unsoaked. Scoop 2 cups of beans into a small bowl or food processor and mash or process. Stir back into the soup and simmer for 5 minutes more to thicken.

Step 5

Taste the soup and season with more salt if needed. Serve in soup bowls with your choice of toppings.

From the Kitchen

How other cooks made this recipe