Bountiful Black Bean Soup

I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house.  So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

Fall can be a bit fickle.  Waking up to glorious sunny mornings with a chill in the air gives way to afternoons that turn quite warm, reminding you more of summer than an autumn day.  Indian Summer is nature’s last tease as winter will not be far behind.

We returned last evening from our second On The Road culinary adventure to Louisville, Kentucky where we had a real taste of fall.  The rolling hills and farmland were painted in autumn colors.  Sugar maples were a stunning iridescent orange. The oaks were bright red and the pastures a verdant green.  It was just beautiful.   The fog blanked the Kentucky River as we made our way to Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery (At Buffalo Trace) for a private tour of the distillery with Julian P. Van Winkle III.  The morning air was chilly and brisk allowing me to break out bulky sweaters and boots that I have not seen in so long.  Of course, by afternoon, we had all shed our jackets taking in that burst of Indian Summer.

Fog over the Kentucky River in Frankfurt, KY

Before we departed for Kentucky, when the temps were a bit cooler at home, I made a hearty vegetarian bean soup, in the spirit of the new season.   I was looking for something quick that is healthy and satisfying and warms up your soul, as any good soup should do.  Soup is pure comfort food this time of year.

The mixture of black beans, black-eyed peas, navy beans, and pearled barley are a nice blend for this soup.  Roasted corn and butternut squash add another texture and level of flavor.  I found that no real additions were necessary to the recipe and I was happy with the richness and complexity of the soup once it was reduced.

With something this gratifying, there is no need to complicate a meal; a simple salad, a loaf of crusty bread, and of course, a nice wine to pair with it.  I love the transition from summer’s bright flavors to the rich, deep, and more intense flavors of fall.   Those warm, satisfying, and rustic dishes are upon us once again.

The first taste of fall

Bountiful Black Bean Soup

Yield: 10 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 1/2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours

The black bean soup mix can be found in stores that carry Bob's Red Mill products or ordered online.


2 cups Roasted Corn ( I used fresh yellow corn)
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 medium Onion, chopped
4 stalks Celery, including leaves, chopped
4 cloves Garlic, minced
8 cups Vegetable Broth (I used Whole Foods brand)
1/2 pkg Bob's Red Mill Black Bean Soup Mix (1 3/4 cups)
1 28 ounce can Tomatoes, diced (with liquid)
2 cups Butternut Squash, cut into large bite-size cubes
2 Bay Leaves
1 teaspoon dried Basil
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped Thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dried Oregano
1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste


1. Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat; add onions and celery and sauté until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for one more minute.

2. Carefully pour in stock and scrape bottom of the pan to release any brown bits. Stir in the Black Bean Soup Mix and tomatoes. Add the butternut squash and roasted corn. Add herbs, stir and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 1/2 hour to prevent sticking. Add more stock or water if beans and squash absorb too much liquid.

To roast corn: It is convenient to use frozen corn, however, fresh was still available, so I chose to use it. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread frozen corn on a lightly greased cookie sheet and roast in oven for 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and cool.

Recipe courtesy of Bob's Red Mill

Bob’s Red Mill

17 Responses to “Bountiful Black Bean Soup”

  1. 1

    Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) — October 19, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

    This looks wonderful. I bet this smelled great as it cooked–definitely perfect for fall. Love your bowls!

    • Gwen replied: — October 21st, 2012 @ 4:35 pm

      Hi Jean,

      We love the bowls, too. They came from Williams-Sonoma last year. I’m not sure if they have them again this season or not. The soup was excellent and I like that we skipped meat on this one.


  2. 2

    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — October 19, 2012 @ 1:18 pm

    Black bean soup is so lovely. Great recipe!

    • Gwen replied: — October 21st, 2012 @ 4:36 pm

      Hi Katrina,

      There are more grains and beans in this mix, so it makes it a little different than traditional black bean soup, which I enjoyed.


  3. 3

    Rachel @ Bakerita — October 19, 2012 @ 1:41 pm

    Looks delicious, and perfect for fall. There’s something so comforting about a big hearty bowl of soup and a chunk of bread.

    • Gwen replied: — October 21st, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

      Hi Rachel,

      Yes, there is and I am ready for the hearty dishes this time of year inspires!


  4. 4

    Marie — October 19, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

    Looks amazing and I love those little serving bowls, too! On the menu for this weekend.

    • Gwen replied: — October 21st, 2012 @ 4:44 pm

      Hi Marie,

      Let me know how you enjoy the recipe!


  5. 5

    Jane Nellums — October 20, 2012 @ 8:40 am

    Can’t wait to try this wonderful recipe! Perfect for fall!
    Thanks again for your terrific website and I wish you the best in the contest!
    Jane N.

    • Gwen replied: — October 21st, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

      Hi Jane,

      Thanks so much! I am sure you and Wayne will like this recipe. It’s a nice way to add a vegetarian meal to your evening menu planning.


  6. 6

    Lisa — October 21, 2012 @ 9:38 pm

    Mmmm….this black bean soup looks so warm, lush, hearty and comforting. Beans, beans..they’re food for your heart..the more you eat..the more you…..hehe. I’m sorry, I had to. I could use a bowl of this right now..but I’d have to use the supermarket bag of frijoles negros in my cabinet..and some jack be little pumpkins and NO corn. Hmmm…on second thought – maybe I should just wait until I can make this as written.

  7. 7

    Suddie — October 22, 2012 @ 10:18 am

    We just made out our grocery list with all the ingredients for black bean soup. We love it when you have vegetarian recipes!

  8. 8

    The Squishy Monster — October 28, 2012 @ 9:38 pm

    I’ve been trying to incorporate more black beans into my diet…lucky me, I’ve now stumbled upon your site and found this…WIN!! =)

  9. 9

    Sarah — November 4, 2012 @ 11:46 am

    Many, many years ago, when I first met my husband, he impressed me by making a killer black bean soup. The secret was including a whole chicken, seasoned liberally with garlic powder and roasted in a cooking bag along with a can of concentrated apple juice. After roasting and cooling, pour liquids into a measuring cup to degrease and then add to the soup pot; pull meat off the bones and add, too. While his recipe doesn’t include many of your ingredients, I’m thinking that the marriage of the two might be incredible, should you want some meat in the soup. The apple with the squash and corn….mmmm. Off to the store!

  10. 10

    Liz |Cookingclassesdirectory — November 5, 2012 @ 6:36 pm

    After Hurricane Sandy I really need to find more soup recipes. Luckily with no electric my gas stove worked just fine. Soup was the highlight of the day.

    Your black bean soup looks like it will be a great hit. I have my ingredient list ready for the grocery store. Will be serving up your recipe this weekend!

  11. 11

    christine — October 27, 2015 @ 1:07 pm

    I LOVE this soup, wanted to use my homegrown squash in a soup last year, found the bean mix and recipe on the back and have been making big batches of it ever since. I’m trying to have more vegan meals and this is perfect.

    Do you think it would freeze well?


    • Gwen replied: — October 31st, 2015 @ 7:50 am

      Hi Christine,

      This soup does freeze well. The texture of the squash changes once it’s frozen, but the rest of it does fine. I like to use frozen soups within 6 months since they will lose some of the flavor over time.


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