Comforting Black Bean Veggie Soup

January is National Soup Month! There is nothing better than cozying up with a hot bowl of soup on a cold winter’s day. You might be tempted to reach for your favorite canned variety. But many canned soups are loaded with sodium. Excessive sodium intake may elevate blood pressure and increase your risk of heart disease. The worst canned soup offenders pack over half a day’s worth of sodium into a single 90 calorie serving. Not to mention, you’ll probably finish an entire two-serving can as a quick meal, exceeding daily sodium recommendations from the American Heart Association—in just one meal!

We prefer preparing our homemade favorites in large batches, then freeze leftovers in single portions inside Ziploc bags. All it takes is a quick thaw and reheat in the microwave to enjoy our favorite soups with no pressure to finish the batch before it would spoil in the refrigerator.

When a canned soup is on the menu during those especially busy days or sluggish evenings, choose one with around 300 mg of sodium or less per one-cup serving. Then, “dilute” it with a generous helping of fresh or frozen unseasoned veggies. It will still have more sodium than homemade soup, but you’ll get more fiber, antioxidants, and potassium than what’s listed on the nutrition facts label.

Resolved to eat more plants this New Year? Pull the lingering cans of black beans out of your pantry for this protein-and-fiber-rich black bean and vegetable soup recipe.

Black Bean Veggie Soup

Makes 12 one-cup servings


  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup carrot, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
  • 6 cups of cooked black beans (if using canned, rinse well)
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed tomato
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1-quart water
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin

Optional toppings:

  • Sliced green onion
  • Plain Greek yogurt or light sour cream
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Diced roasted red peppers
  • Hot sauce

Add olive oil to a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Sautee the celery, carrot, and onion until the onion is translucent. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. Cool slightly and puree in a blender. Adjust seasoning with salt (1/2-1 tsp.) and pepper (1/4-1/2 tsp.) and adjust the texture with water. Serve with optional toppings.


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