Cuban Black Bean Soup

Dinner, Fall, Instant Pot, Vegetarian, Winter

This Cuban Black Bean Soup makes a delicious, flavorful weeknight meal. This soup is plant-based and vegan and so flavorful. Top it with vegan (or non) sour cream, sliced avocado and diced red onion. Below you’ll find two ways to make it: in the Instant Pot and on the stove top.

Instant Pot Cuban Black Bean Soup

This recipe is fire for so many reasons! But before we dive into the recipe let’s talk about why I love this soup so very much.

Cuban black beans might be my favorite food to get in all of Florida. They truly are the food of South Florida. While my family isn’t Cuban, we spent a lot of family celebrations at Cuban restaurants. They were our go-to. And the black bean soup was always a favorite (along my other favorites like ropa vieja and picadillo (recipe coming soon!)).

Instant Pot Cuban Black Bean Soup

The most critical part of Cuban black bean soup?

The sofrito. In this instance it’s a combo of red onions, green bell pepper, garlic and some spices that give the beans some good flavor. Beans by themselves are notoriously bland so you definitely have to gussy them up with lots of spices and a healthy amount of salt.

Traditionally Cuban black bean soup is made with a ham hock or pieces of bacon, but I wanted it to be vegan/vegetarian. I’m trying to incorporate more plant-based recipes into my diet and this is a nice addition to my rotation of healthier recipes that I like to make during the week.

Instant Pot Cuban Black Bean Soup

The Instant Pot Saves LOTS of Time!

I remember when the Instant Pot first came on the scene, I was skeptical. But Billy was the only who truly converted me. My favorite part about cooking dry beans is that they are SO affordable. They’re so much cheaper than the can. And you can control the flavor from the beginning–huge advantage!

This is the simplest way to make black beans because it requires zero soaking of dried beans. And that’s because when you make black beans in a pressure cooker, they don’t need to be soaked—huge timer saver! This results in super fast Instant Pot cuban black bean soup!

I sautéed the sofrito in the Instant Pot and a natural release that lasts about 20 minutes, I blended it up the soup with an immersion blender.

How to Make Cuban Black Bean Soup

  1. Sauté onion, green bell pepper, garlic, salt, cumin, coriander, oregano and crushed red pepper together.
  2. Add the bay leaves, black beans and water. 
  3. Turn the Instant Pot to “high pressure” and set the time to 40 minutes. If you’re doing it on the stove-top, you want to bring the mixture to a simmer and cover the lid. Bring the heat down to medium-low.
  4. Natural release will help the beans cook a bit further. Remove the bay leaves.
  5. Blend up using a blender or a hand blender. 
  6. Divide amongst bowls and garnish with sour cream, avocado, diced red onion and serve with lime wedges.

If you end up making this Cuban Black Bean Soup, let me know on Instagram!

Additional Tips and Tricks

  • Can you use canned beans for this recipe? Absolutely. I would drain them and proceed with the recipe. I recommend cutting each cooking time (whether it’s for the Instant Pot or Stove Top) in half. You want the beans to soften so they can be blended easily.
  • Can you cook this on a stove top in a pot? Yes! The directions are below.
  • Bell Pepper substitutions – You can use red, green or yellow bell peppers.
  • Onion substitutions – If you don’t have red onion, use a yellow onion or white onion in its place.

Cuban Black Bean Soup Recipe

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4.75 from 12 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Natural release 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Serving Size: 4
Calories: 240kcal
Cuban Black Bean Soup made in an Instant Pot or on the stove. This Cuban favorite is made vegan for all to enjoy. Super quick and easy weeknight meal that's great for leftovers. 

Ingredients

Cuban Black Bean Soup:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion, peeled and roughly chopped (a tablespoon reserved for garnish)
  • 1 green bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt , plus more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican or Italian dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 dried or fresh bay leaves
  • 1 pound dried black beans
  • 4 1/2 cups water

For Garnish:

  • 1 avocado, pitted and sliced
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • Cilantro Leaves
  • 1 lime, quartered

Directions

To Make the Instant Pot Cuban Black Bean Soup:

  • Turn your Instant Pot to the "medium sauté function." Add the olive oil and when warm, add the red onion, bell pepper, garlic cloves, salt, ground cumin, coriander, oregano and crushed red pepper. Cook until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes. 
  • Add the bay leaves, black beans and water. Stir until combined. Place the lid to the Instant Pot on and press “cancel." Then, turn the Instant Pot to “pressure cook” and set the timer to 40 minutes. Make sure the pressure knob is on “seal.” 
  • When the Instant Pot comes to pressure the timer will begin. When the timer goes off, do not do a quick-release. Allow the machine to do a natural-release which will continue cooking the beans further. 
  • When the natural release is done, you’re welcome to remove the lid, making sure you do it pointing away from yourself. Remove the leaves of bay leaves and discard. Using an immersion blender, blend the black beans until they’re smooth and cohesive. This will thicken the soup quite a bit, going from kinda watery to a good soup consistency. 
  • Alternatively, you can transfer this to a blender in batches. 
  • Divide amongst bowls and garnish with avocado, a dollop of sour cream, some of the reserved red onion and cilantro leaves. 
  • Soup lasts up to 1 week when stored in an air-tight container in the fridge. 

To Make the Cuban Black Bean Soup on the Stove:

  • In a medium to large pot, set over medium heat, add the olive oil. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic, salt, ground cumin, coriander, oregano and crushed red pepper. Cook until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes. 
  • Add the bay leaves, black beans and water. Stir until combined. Bring to a simmer and bring the heat down to medium low. Cook for about 1 1/2 hours, until the beans are tender.
  • Remove the leaves of bay leaves and discard. Using an immersion blender, blend the black beans until they’re smooth and cohesive. This will thicken the soup quite a bit, going from kinda watery to a good soup consistency. 
  • Alternatively, you can transfer this to a blender in batches. Divide amongst bowls and garnish with avocado, a dollop of sour cream, some of the reserved red onion and cilantro leaves. 
  • Soup lasts up to 1 week when stored in an air-tight container in the fridge. 
CourseDinner
CuisineAmerican, Cuban
KeywordCub, Cuban cuisine, Cuban food, instant pot chili, instant pot recipes, Latino Recipes, Soup, Vegan Soup, Vegetarian Soup
Serving: 4g | Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 24mg | Potassium: 4mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 100IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg
Did you make this Recipe? Tag me Today!Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen

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  • Reply Lori Erokan October 1, 2020 at 11:56 am

    Adriana, just want to make sure about this before making it. I don’t have an Instapot, will be making it on the stovetop. Is it really true that I don’t need to presoak the dried beans? (Either way is fine, but want to do it correctly.) I can use my Creuset dutch oven, or my Cuisinart pasta pot. Which would be best? This sounds awesome, can’t wait to try it!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme October 1, 2020 at 11:59 am

      With black beans you don’t HAVE to but if you have time, I would. I think even soaking them for like 4 hours would really soften them up and be best. Probably the Dutch oven. Hope you love it!

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