It’s Friday Night – Try Mexican Black Bean Soup for Supper

Posted by on Feb 11, 2011 in Friday Supper Ideas, Nutrition | 6 comments

Mexican Black Bean Soup

It’s Friday night – finally – and it’s been another long, hard week. The last thing you want to do when you get home is figure out what to make for supper. Instead of digging another frozen pizza out of the freezer, why not spend a few minutes more making a dinner that’s not only quick, easy, and inexpensive, but is also delicious AND nutritious!

My recommendation – Mexican Black Bean Soup, with whole wheat toast and a green salad.

Black beans are without a doubt one of nature’s super foods. High in both soluble and insoluble fiber, black beans help lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar, and prevent constipation. Their dark color is linked to high levels of antioxidants, “approximately 10 times that found in an equivalent amount of oranges, and comparable to that found in an equivalent amount of grapes or cranberries.” [] Black beans are also high in minerals such as iron, potassium, manganese and magnesium, and vitamins such as thiamin and folate.

They can also be combined with various other ingredients to make some seriously yummy meals. Here’s my recipe for Mexican Black Bean Soup – which I made again yesterday, and it disappeared amazingly quickly!

Mexican Black Bean Soup recipe (serves 8)

you need:

– a pressure cooker (you can do it in a soup pot, but it will take hours instead of minutes)

– two 540ml cans of black beans (drained and rinsed)
– one 796ml can of diced tomatoes
– one cup of salsa
– 1tbsp olive oil
– 1 medium onion
– 1 tbsp crushed garlic
– 1-2 tbsp chili powder
– 1 tsp cayenne (if you like it HOT)
– 1 vegetable bouillon cube
– two cups water

– a handheld blender (Bamix, for example), or an upright blender, to puree it all before serving (optional, but recommended)


Heat olive oil in pressure cooker, add onion and garlic and fry til lightly browned. Add remaining ingredients, put lid on pressure cooker, bring to a boil and cook 15 minutes. Blend and serve. If you want, a dollop of sour cream mixed with chopped cilantro in each bowl is yummy.

Serve with a piece of whole wheat toast and a bowl of green salad with oil and vinegar dressing.

Nutritional breakdown (per serving) []

This food is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Iron, Magnesium and Manganese, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber and Folate.

– glycemic load ~12 (very low – that’s good!)
– inflammation factor ~83 (relatively high – that’s good too!)
– calories 200
– fat 3 grams
– protein 12 grams
– dietary fiber 12 grams
– Vitamin A 18% DV
– Vitamin C 16% DV
– Thiamin 23% DV
– Folate 45% DV
– Iron 22% DV
– Magnesium 24% DV
– Phosphorus 19% DV
– Potassium 20% DV
– Copper 20% DV
– Manganese 33% DV


  1. Too bad the pressure cooker will destroy the nutritional value of the soup. Soak the beans over night and no need to cook so long or so hot.

    • Hi, Cal,

      I found that interesting, so I took a look online to see what I could find. There isn’t a single universal opinion on this, but this is one of the two that seemed to predominate :

      “Use a pressure cooker to cook the beans. Boil a little water in the pressure cooker and seal the top tightly to prevent liquids from escaping. This raises the heat and pressure of the steam produced, which can cook foods in a fraction of the regular cooking time and preserve nutrients.”

      Basically, because pressure-cooking is much (MUCH!) faster, it preserves nutrients better than cooking more slowly in a normal pot (which also lets nutrients escape through evaporation).

      Since most beans NEED to be cooked in order to be safely eaten, then doing so as quickly as possible seems like a good way to minimize nutrient-loss.

  2. Hey, I’m going to do this right away!!!

  3. How long do you need to cook it if you don’t use a pressure cooker?

    • As long as you’re using canned beans, then it probably wouldn’t take TOO much longer – maybe 30-60 minutes, instead of 15. I’ll admit – I never do it, because I love the speed of pressure-cooking (it means I don’t have to plan ahead 😉

  4. Ha easy way is grind the black beans into a flour then cook in presure cooker then do the rest . I wouldnt touch canned beans .

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