Slow-Cooker Black Bean Soup

Slow-Cooker Black Bean Soup

Start your slow cooker in the morning and by dinnertime, you’ll have deeply spiced black beans that just need a quick blend to become a velvety and vegan black bean soup. While not essential, a smidgen of baking soda helps the beans soften so they end up almost fudgy. Blending some of the beans with their liquid gives the soup body; for a very smooth soup, purée the whole mixture. A little vinegar and a flourish of toppings keep it from being one-note. Leftovers will thicken overnight, so thin as needed with water or turn them into refried beans.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    In a 5- to 8-quart slow cooker, combine the beans, onion, garlic, chipotle chile and sauce, cumin, bay leaves and/or oregano, and baking soda, if using. Add 6 cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low until the beans are tender, 8 to 10 hours. Taste more than one bean to ensure they’re all cooked through; they should also flatten without much effort when pressed between your fingers.
  2. Step 2

    Remove and compost the bay leaves. Transfer the onion, garlic and chipotle chile to a blender or food processor, along with about 2 cups of the beans and broth. (You can purée more or less of the soup, depending on desired consistency.) Blend until smooth. Pour puréed soup back into the slow cooker, stir in the vinegar, then season to taste with salt. Eat with desired toppings.