Spicy Black Bean Soup

Sometimes bean soups are made with bacon, rendering them unfit for vegetarians and others looking for a plant-based diet. This black bean soup derives its rich flavors from cayenne pepper, cumin, and smoked paprika instead, making it flavorful and meat-free. Garnish with a dollop of full-fat sour cream and a handful of fresh cilantro.

Serves 2-4


1 tablespoon oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

Pinch red chili flake

Pinch cayenne pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

3 cups vegetable broth

1 can black beans, drained

½ cup corn kernels

For serving:

½ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

½ cup sour cream


In a medium-size pot, cook the onion in the oil over medium heat for about five minutes. Add the cayenne and red chili flake along with the garlic, and cook for another minute. Deglaze the pan with a bit of vegetable broth, scraping up the browned bits of onion and chili off the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining vegetable broth and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. Add the black beans.

Remove about 1 cup of the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the soup mixture and stir in the corn. Cook until fully heated through and serve with fresh cilantro and sour cream.