Black Bean and Grilled Vegetable Soup

Black bean soup gets a flavor-packed update with the addition of grilled veggies. This soup is hearty, protein-packed, and perfect for a cold winter day.


  • Two medium-sized red onions
  • Generous sea salt and pepper throughout
  • Oil of choice for sauteeing and grilling
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • Pinch or more of cayenne pepper
  • Optional dash of tequila for deglazing
  • 4-5 c vegetable broth
  • Two 15-oz cans of black beans, divided
  • 1 tbsp Mexican oregano
  • Zest of a lime
  • Sweet potato
  • 2 c frozen corn
  • 2-3 colored bell peppers
  • Juice of a lime
  • Handful of fresh cilantro
  • Garnishes of choice for serving


  1. Take ONE of the red onions, dice it up, and caramelize it in a large soup pot with a dash of oil. Salt and pepper it liberally.
  2. When the onion is caramelized, add the cumin seeds and toast for a minute, stirring frequently.
  3. Add all the powdered spices (chili powders, coriander, paprika, cayenne) and toast for another minute, again stirring frequently.
  4. Optional but awesome: deglaze the pan with a few shots of tequila!
  5. Add vegetable stock (~4 cups to start) and start bringing everything to a boil.
  6. As the soup is heating, add in about two thirds of the beans, more salt and pepper, oregano, and the zest of a lime.
  7. Let it all come to a boil, reduce it to a simmer, and cook for 10-15 minutes to let everything soften.
  8. Using an immersion blender (easy!) or a regular blender (working in batches), puree the soup base until you have a smooth consistency. Return it to a simmer and allow it to keep cooking as you work on the remaining components.
  9. Add the remaining black beans AFTER pureeing. This will allow you to have some whole beans in the final product.
  10. Taste and adjust! Do you want more heat? Then add more cayenne and/or chili powder. Do you want more flavor depth without adding heat? Add cumin or paprika. Feel like you need more zing in general? Add salt or lime zest (but save the lime juice for the end).
  11. Cut the sweet potato into disks and grill until charred on both sides. Don't worry too much about cooking it all the way through, since it will have some additional time to keep cooking in the soup. Dice it up and add it to the soup.
  12. Cut the second red onion into rounds and grill until charred on both sides. Dice it and add it to the soup.
  13. Grill the corn and add it to the soup.
  14. Fire roast or grill the bell peppers. Dice them up and add them to the soup only shortly before serving so that they don't get too soft.
  15. Just before serving, add some finely chopped cilantro and the juice of a lime.
  16. Serve it up with whatever garnishes you like!