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Cuban Black Bean Soup

Total Time
Prep: 15 min. Cook: 35 min.
Packed with veggies and protein, this Cuban black bean soup is highly satisfying and includes warm spices like cumin, chili powder and red pepper flakes.

Updated: Jun. 13, 2024

This Cuban black bean soup recipe is an outstanding dish on multiple levels. Firstly, it’s full of big flavors. You’ll love the spice and richness. It’s also very filling and can easily stand on its own as a meal (unlike some other soups). And, this soup is nutritious, thanks to the high content of veggies and protein (especially if you use dried black beans instead of canned ones to reduce your sodium intake). All in all, it’s a highly satisfying soup that makes a great dinner any night of the week.

Cuban Black Bean Soup Ingredients

  • Celery: Not only is celery rich in nutrients, but its natural flavor provides an excellent base for Cuban black bean soup.
  • Onion: Be sure to take ample time to cook your onions (along with the veggies) before adding in your beans and broth. This will help add depth and flavor to your soup.
  • Garlic: Mincing your garlic allows for a more even distribution of flavor.
  • Jalapeno: Jalapeno brings the perfect amount of heat when balanced with the other spices and seasonings in this soup.
  • Canola oil: Because canola oil has a neutral flavor and high smoke point, it’s the best type of oil for sautéing the veggies in this soup.
  • Black beans: Want to ramp up the flavor of this soup? Make your own instant pot black beans using dried beans.
  • Vegetable broth: Low-sodium chicken broth would work here, as well.
  • Oregano: Tarragon can be a substitute for oregano if needed.
  • Cumin: Adding cumin will add richness and depth to your soup.
  • Chili powder: Chili powder adds a smokiness and earthiness.
  • Coriander: Coriander has a range of health benefits, in addition to rounding out the flavors of this soup.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes: Go easy on the red pepper flakes at first and increase as desired. Crushed red pepper flakes increase in heat exponentially, so it can be easy to overdo it.
  • Hot pepper sauce: Add a dash of hot pepper sauce or your hot sauce of choice for additional heat.
  • Tomatoes: Chopped tomatoes add a nice texture to your soup.
  • Sour cream: You can use fat-free sour cream here if you want a healthier alternative.
  • Cilantro: Fresh cilantro pairs beautifully with the flavors in this soup.


Step 1: Saute vegetables

In a Dutch oven, sauté the celery, onion, garlic and jalapeno in oil until the onion is tender.

Step 2: Stir in the beans and broth

Next, stir in the beans, broth, water, seasonings and hot pepper sauce and bring everything to a boil. Then reduce the heat and let simmer, uncovered for about 20 minutes. Let it cool slightly.

Step 3: Process soup in a blender

In a blender, process the soup in batches until smooth. Return it to the pan and heat through. Top it with garnishes like tomatoes, sour cream and cilantro, if desired.

Cuban Black Bean Soup Variations

  • Make sofrito: One of the backbones of Cuban cooking, sofrito is an aromatic blend of peppers, onions, herbs and garlic. You can use this as your soup base instead of the celery, garlic, jalapeno and onion. To make a basic sofrito, combine one head of garlic, a red bell pepper, a green bell pepper, a few green onions and cilantro in a food processor and pulse until a chunky sauce forms.
  • Add meat: If you want to add meat to your soup, chorizo or bacon would work well here.
  • Add rice: Cooked white rice is a great addition if you want your soup to be even more substantial.
  • Top with different garnishes: Sliced avocados, red onion and fresh lime juice also make for excellent garnishes.

How to Store Cuban Black Bean Soup

Let the soup cool down to room temperature, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

How long does Cuban black bean soup last?

Your Cuban black bean soup should last for five to six days if stored properly.

Cuban Black Bean Soup Tips

Do I have to use a Dutch oven for Cuban black bean soup?

Any heavy pot will work fine, but Dutch ovens are particularly well-suited for cooking soups because they retain and evenly distribute heat, which results in better flavor.

Should I leave the lid on or off when I’m cooking Cuban black bean soup?

The general rule of thumb is to cook with the lid off if you want a thicker soup. If you want to reduce some of the liquid, leave the lid on or partially on.

What should I serve with Cuban black bean soup?

This soup makes for a hearty meal on its own, but you can also always add a green salad and cornbread if you need a little something more.

Cuban Black Bean Soup

Prep Time 15 min
Cook Time 35 min
Yield 9 servings (2-1/4 quarts)


  • 4 celery ribs, sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 4 teaspoons canola oil
  • 4 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 9 tablespoons chopped tomatoes
  • 9 teaspoons fat-free sour cream
  • 9 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro


  1. In a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray, saute the celery, onion, garlic and jalapeno in oil until onion is tender. Stir in the beans, broth, water, seasonings and hot pepper sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Cool slightly.
  2. In a blender, process soup in batches until smooth. Return to the pan; heat through. Garnish each serving with tomatoes, sour cream and cilantro.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 202 calories, 3g fat (0 saturated fat), 1mg cholesterol, 786mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 9g fiber), 11g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 lean meat, 1/2 fat.

Using a blender, this soup becomes a smooth, nutritious heart-warmer just right for those cool nights. If the soup is too thick, add a little more vegetable broth to thin it out.—Tracy Lohr, Urbandale, Iowa
Recipe Creator