Black Bean Soup with Avocado Salsa

by formerchef on February 8, 2010

Post image for Black Bean Soup with Avocado Salsa

I’ve been thinking a lot about food lately. No surprise there, right? However, I’m not thinking about which dessert to make next, but rather how I can eat in a healthier, more responsible, and sustainable way. Because of this, I’ve decided to do a 21 day “cleanse” diet. I’m not going to go into the whole story here, but if you’re interested and would like to read more about it; why I’m doing it, what I’m eating, and how I feel, see the link at the top of the page which says “21 Day Cleanse Diet” or go here.  At the bottom of that page, you’ll find links to each week’s progress reports.

One of the reasons I’m doing this is to challenge myself as a cook. Can I make healthy, gluten-free, vegan food that people will actually want to eat, regardless of whether they are purposefully choosing to eat this way? I think it’s possible and this black bean soup is a great way to start.

So what about you? Are you thinking more about what you eat? Are you making a conscious effort to eat healthier and how? What are some of your favorite healthy dishes?

Black Bean Soup with Avocado Salsa
Printable Recipe in PDF

1 lb dried back beans
1 cup diced carrots (2 med.)
1 cup diced onion (1 ea.)
1 cup diced celery (about 3 stalks)
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper (1/2 pepper)
1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper (1/2 pepper)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 ea 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (I used organic)
32 oz vegetable stock plus 3-4 cups water (or more veg stock)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper

Cover the dried back beans in water and soak 8 hours or over night. When ready to cook the soup, drain the beans and rinse.

Heat a large soup pot and add the olive oil. Add the carrots, onions and celery and saute until soft. Add the garlic and bell peppers and saute another 2 minutes. Add the dried oregano and cumin, mixing it all together.

Mix in the diced tomatoes and then the 32 oz of vegetable stock. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook until the beans are soft. You will need to add water or more stock as the beans absorb the liquid. Add it in, one cup at a time, as needed. When the soup is done (about 1.5 hrs), add salt and pepper to taste. Serve, topped with avocado salsa and a side of corn tortilla quesadillas (with soy cheese if vegan).

Avocado Salsa

1 avocado, diced (ripe, but still firm)
4 oz cherry tomatoes (I used multi-colored ones)
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 lime (juiced)
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro (chopped)
salt and pepper

Dice the avocado and cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Slice the green onions (white parts and some of the green) thinly on the diagonal. Combine all ingredients, taking care not to mash the avocado.



1 diane February 8, 2010 at 7:09 am

LOVE this soup! I’ve forever a fan of beans in any form and any added avocado on top is a pure treat.
Bravo to you for being so dedicated to your cleanse and you’re making wonderful food as a result of it!
I don’t know if I can be as strong…..need my potato chips! :/

2 formerchef February 8, 2010 at 7:15 am

Thanks Diane! Guess what? There’s no prohibition against potatoes on this diet. You can have potatoes, corn, rice, just no wheat gluten. You may not lose any weight eating those things, but you may still feel better. I’m thinking of making potato gnocchi next…

3 chefgwen February 8, 2010 at 7:13 am

I love black beans and this soup seems chocked full of good flavors. When I see vegan, I usually turn the other cheek. For some reason, I don’t associate vegan with tastes good. But looking at your enticing bowl of soup makes me want to dive in. Good luck with your 21 day challenge!

4 formerchef February 8, 2010 at 7:16 am

Gwen- Thanks! I usually feel the same way about anything “vegan” so that’s why I see this as such a challenge for me as a cook. I’m glad it looks good to you too!

5 Liss February 8, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Great timing; a nice black bean soup is exactly what I’ve been looking for!

6 Jennifer February 8, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Now that is one fine looking soup! Im loving the avocado salsa!! yum!

7 nina February 8, 2010 at 8:05 pm

I love the balance of this meal……chunky earthy beans and soft creamy avo…nothing wrong with that!!!Mmmmm

8 Jenna Black February 9, 2010 at 4:48 pm

I’m so glad I saw this recipe on tastespotting-
this is the type of recipe I really really like.
Fresh ingredients- and that’s all.
Maybe i’ll give it a go 🙂

9 Sonia February 10, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Yum! This recipe looks awesome. Will definitely give it a try, although I’m not sure of the availability of fresh avocados in our neck of the woods these days so perhaps the salsa will have to wait. Good luck with your cleanse; they’re always challenging but *such* a great reminder to pay attention to what we put in our mouths!

10 Danielle February 10, 2010 at 4:07 pm

I really appreciate that you attach recipes as PDFs. It makes printing so much easier! No copying and pasting. Thanks!

11 formerchef February 10, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Danielle- You’re very welcome!

12 Heather February 12, 2010 at 4:01 pm

This sounds like a wonderful recipe and I’m going to try it soon, serving to a large crowd. How many servings does this recipe make?

13 formerchef February 12, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Good question! Thanks for reminding me I need to remember to put yields on my recipes. 🙂 I didn’t measure this out, but I would guess it makes somewhere around 12-8oz portions. The avocado salsa recipe is probably only enough for 6 portions.

14 grace February 14, 2010 at 1:43 am

this may be the perfect black bean soup recipe. all the wonderful veggies and seasonings alone are terrific, but that salsa takes it straight to the top for me. oh avocado, why must you tempt me so? 🙂

15 Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen February 15, 2010 at 11:25 am

I always think it is fun to challenge ourselves in the kitchen! This soup looks great! I would certainly eat it!

16 jd April 13, 2010 at 12:55 am

This looks absolutely fabulous – I’m especially enamored with the avocado salsa. Can’t wait to try your recipe, thanks!

17 Natalie May 31, 2014 at 3:03 pm

I have shared this recipe multiple times over the years and always have a great response. Thanks for this, it has become a staple at my house!

18 formerchef May 31, 2014 at 6:33 pm

Natalie, thanks for letting me know. So happy to hear you enjoy it!

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