Black Bean Soup with Cilantro-Lime Cream

Black Bean Soup with Cilantro-Lime Cream
Black Bean Soup with Cilantro-Lime CreamCourtesy Image

This warming soup is perfect for a chilly afternoon. It can be easily packed for meal prep, or you can also make a double batch and freeze half for a busy work week.

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Recipe from The Gluten-Free Instant Pot Cookbook by Jane Bonacci and Sara De Leeuw (Harvard Common Press, 2018).

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Prep time

15 minutes min.

Cook time

16 minutes min.

  • For the soup: 2 cups dried black beans, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 large onion, finely chopped, 1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped, 2 stalks celery, trimmed and finely chopped, 1 clove garlic, minced, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, ½ to 1 teaspoon chipotle powder, to taste, 4 cups vegetable stock or water, divided, Juice of ½ to 1 fresh lime
  • For the cilantro-lime cream: ¾ cup sour cream, Juice of ½ to 1 fresh lime, ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, rinsed well and patted dry, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chipotle powder, to taste, Kosher or fine sea salt and ground white pepper, to taste
  • For optional garnishes: Chopped fresh cilantro leaves, Chopped scallion, Chopped ripe tomatoes, Fresh lime wedges
To make the soup: Sort the beans, discarding any pebbles or debris, rinse them well, and drain. Place in a large bowl and cover with fresh water. Loosely cover and set aside overnight. Drain before adding to the soup. Press the Sauté button on your electric pressure cooker. Add the oil to the inner pot and when hot, add the onion, bell pepper, and celery. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables have softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, and chipotle powder. Stir to evenly coat all the vegetables with the seasonings. Add 1 cup of the stock, scraping the bottom of the pot to release any browned bits. Pour in the remaining 3 cups stock and the soaked and drained black beans; stir well. Press Cancel. Close and lock the lid, making sure the steam release handle is in the sealing position. Cook on high pressure for 12 minutes.
To Make the Cilantro-Lime Cream: Combine the sour cream, lime juice (start with juice of 1/2 lime), cilantro, and chipotle powder in a food processor. Run the motor until the herbs are completely pureed and smooth. Taste and add salt and pepper. Add more lime juice or cilantro if you want a bolder, brighter flavor, but remember that flavors intensify over time. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
To Finish the Soup When the soup is finished, release the pressure naturally for 10 minutes, then turn the steam release handle to venting, releasing any remaining steam. Unlock the lid and open it carefully. 2. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup or transfer to a blender and puree in batches. You can leave some of the beans whole for a chunkier texture or puree until completely smooth. Stir in the fresh lime juice. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Ladle into serving bowls, add a dollop of the cream (if using), top with your desired garnishes, and serve.
*Chef’s Note: If you forgot to soak the beans overnight, don’t worry, you can still make the soup. Place the sorted beans in a sauce pot and add enough water to cover by 3 inches. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Turn off the heat, cover, and let the beans rest for 1 hour. Drain and cook as directed above.