Sweet potato black bean soup is an easy dinner recipe that's hearty and filling, and just so happens to be vegan friendly too! The delicate flavor of sweet potato is complemented by aromatic ginger, garlic, paprika and cumin.
Note: this post was originally published in 2020 and updated in 2021 with new photos and improved instructions.
I've been eating this sweet potato black bean soup all week and I'm not sick of it yet! This soup is so wonderful because it's:
- filling without being heavy
- easy to make with pretty basic ingredients
- easy to make vegan (just use vegetable stock!)
- full of bright, aromatic flavors that perk up the mild flavor of the sweet potato and black beans, including ginger, garlic, cumin, paprika and lime!
If you're on the lookout for a healthy yet satisfying winter soup, look no further - this soup recipe is just what you need!
- Fire roasted tomatoes: if you don't have fire roasted, you can substitute a can of regular diced tomatoes.
- Onion: I used yellow onion, but sweet onion would also work well. If you don't have those, you can just use any kind of onion you have on hand.
- Oil: I used olive oil, but you can use your favorite cooking oil (like canola oil, vegetable oil, etc.).
- Paprika: this gives the soup a beautiful reddish hue. For a more smoky, deep flavor, substitute smoked paprika!
- Stock/Broth: you can used homemade or store-bought. Any kind you like will work: chicken, beef, etc. To make the soup vegan, use vegetable stock!
Step by step photos
1. The first step is to prep the veggies. First, peel the sweet potato and cut it into about ¾ inch (19 mm) cubes. I talk more about how I like to cube sweet potato in this post for turkey sweet potato soup!
Then, peel the garlic and ginger and chop them finely. Finally, peel the onion and chop it into small pieces.
2. Once you have the veggies prepped, heat the oil over medium high heat in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Once the oil is hot, add the chopped onion and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
After that, add in the kosher salt, paprika, cumin, garlic and ginger. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, for another 2 minutes. The spices should be very fragrant by this time!
3. Next, add in the entire contents of the cans of black beans and fire roasted tomatoes (do not drain, the soup needs the liquid!). In addition, add in 2 of the 3 cups of broth or stock and sweet potato cubes. Stir everything together and turn the heat up, bringing the soup to a boil.
Once the soup is boiling, turn the heat back down again to maintain a gentle boil.
4. Continue to gently boil the soup for 12 - 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are tender. You can test this by piercing a chunk of sweet potato with a fork or small knife; it should slide in easily without much resistance.
5. Turn the heat off and squeeze the juice from half a lime into the soup. Give it a stir, and taste the soup. If it needs more salt or lime juice, add it in. Serve the soup immediately, garnished with extra lime if you like!
Tips and tricks
- When cubing the sweet potatoes, try to make them uniform in size. If the sweet potato cubes are vastly different sizes, the smaller pieces will overcook and begin to break down before the larger pieces are cooked.
- When sautéing the onions and spices, turn the heat down if you notice the spices are getting too much color.
- While the soup is boiling gently, if you notice that a lot of the liquid has been absorbed, you can stir in as much of the remaining 1 cup broth/stock as needed.
Yes you can make this soup ahead of time; it keeps well stored in a covered container in the fridge. To reheat, microwave in individual bowls or heat up in a small saucepan on the stove. In my opinion, the flavors intensify even more after a day or two in the fridge! Leftovers will keep for 3 - 4 days in the fridge.
You can also freeze this soup if you like, but the potatoes will lose some of their texture and get kind of mushy. So, for the best experience, I really recommend eating it fresh and keeping the leftovers in the fridge for a few days to enjoy.
In my opinion, this soup is hearty enough to serve as a main course on its own, especially if you serve the soup with some interesting garnishes. Try garnishing the soup with extra lime wedges, a dollop of sour cream, and/or cubes of avocado! A sprinkle of chopped cilantro would also be a nice touch.
If you want to fill out dinner with a couple other sides, try serving with warm crusty bread and/or a simple green salad. Or, if you would like to serve this soup as a side dish or starter for your main meal, I think it would pair really well with a grilled cheese, patty melt, or sausage sandwich!
If you’ve tried this recipe, please leave a star rating and/or review in the comments section below, I would love to hear from you! You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And sign up for my weekly newsletter to get recipes delivered straight to you!Print
Sweet Potato Black Bean Soup
An easy-to-make soup flavored with garlic, ginger, cumin and paprika, with a squeeze of fresh lime. A hearty and healthy soup that's vegan friendly.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: main course
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: American
- 1 ½ pounds (680 g) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾ inch (19 mm) cubes (about 4 ½ cups)
- 1 large (or 2 small) onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil (or your preferred cooking oil)
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste (see note 1)
- one 15 ounce (425 g) can black beans, undrained
- one 14.5 ounce (411 g) can fire roasted tomatoes, undrained
- 2 - 3 cups (473 - 710 ml) stock/broth, any type (for vegan soup, use vegetable broth)
- ½ - 1 lime
- Prep the produce: peel and cut the sweet potatoes into ¾ inch (1.9 cm) cubes. Chop the onion. Peel and finely chop the garlic and ginger.
- Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.
- Add the paprika, cumin, salt, ginger and garlic; continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent and spices are fragrant. (If needed, turn the heat down to avoid burning the spices.)
- Add 2 cups broth/stock to the pot, plus the cubed sweet potatoes, black beans, and fire roasted tomatoes. (Add the entire can of black beans and fire roasted tomatoes; do not drain.) Stir to combine.
- Raise the heat to high to bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to maintain a gentle boil and cook until the sweet potato is tender, about 12 - 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. After each stir, press down the sweet potatoes with a wooden spoon to ensure they are covered by the liquid. If too much liquid is being absorbed while the soup is boiling, add up to one additional cup of stock/broth.
- Turn off the heat and squeeze the juice of ½ lime into the soup. Stir and taste the soup; add additional salt and/or lime juice if needed.
- Serve immediately, garnished with additional wedges of lime (optional).
This recipe uses kosher salt, which is coarse grained. If substituting with fine grain salt, start with 1 teaspoon salt instead of the 1 ½ teaspoon called for, and add more at the end if needed.
Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for 3 - 4 days in a covered container.
The nutrition information below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator, and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical, health, or nutritional advice. See our full nutrition disclosure policy.
- Serving Size: ¼ recipe
- Calories: 421
- Sugar: 5.3 g
- Sodium: 639 mg
- Fat: 8.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 74.8 g
- Fiber: 15.7 g
- Protein: 13.6 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: sweet potato black bean soup, sweet potato soup, black bean soup
Elizabeth Ellis, PhD
This was pretty good. I had trouble finding the actual recipe. I was using dry beans, not canned beans, and I couldn't figure out ahead of time how much time to allow for cooking. I probably simmered them for 1 hr. 40 min. before I added them to the onion/tomato mixture for another 20 mins. I would have liked to know what the calorie/protein count was.
Hi Elizabeth! Thank you for your feedback on the recipe! The recipe card is always at the bottom of the post, if you want to skip right to the recipe card, you can click the text that says "jump to recipe," it's right underneath the published date at the top. And thank you as well for your input on nutrition information, I have been thinking about adding nutrition information to my posts so I am happy that is something people will find helpful. Thank you again for trying my recipe I'm glad you enjoyed the soup 🙂
EXCELLENT! So delicious! Absolutely on my soup rotation!
Thank you Kelli! I'm really happy you loved the recipe 🙂 Thanks for sharing!