Spicy Black Bean Soup

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This is one of those go-to soups I make when I want something hearty and fast. I can’t get enough of black beans; I take a store-bought container of black bean soup and dump extra black beans into it to make it thicker and heartier. Trader Joe’s black bean soup is the base I use — it’s my favorite and I’ve tried a lot of different brands. Feel free to experiment in your own kitchen with the following basic recipe.


  • 1 32-oz. container of Trader Joe’s Latin Style Black Bean soup with garlic, chipotle, and sea salt
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped (optional)
  • 2 15-oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 4-oz. can fire-roasted diced green chiles
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 tsp. salt (optional)

Extras and garnishes:

  • shredded chicken or turkey
  • whole kernel corn
  • diced tomatoes
  • shredded cheese
  • sour cream
  • diced avocado
  • crushed tortilla chips


  1. In a medium-sized pot heat soup over medium-low heat. Add bacon (if using), beans, and chilies. Heat thoroughly.
  2. In a food processor or blender blend beans, chiles, and bacon in batches until almost smooth. It’s OK if you don’t blend every last bean, chile, or piece of bacon.
  3. Add chicken or turkey and corn kernels (if using) and turn heat up slightly. Add spices.
  4. Serve garnished with shredded cheese, sour cream, diced avocado, diced tomatoes, and/or crushed tortilla chips.
  5. Soup will thicken when it stands and while refrigerated overnight.

Recipe rating:

This dish is a tad spicy! Adding sour cream and cheese will reduce the spice. Serve with some fresh crusty bread and you have yourself a hearty meal.

Note: to make this dish vegetarian, omit bacon and shredded poultry.

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