Saturday, September 29, 2012

Black Bean Salsa Soup ( Slow Cooker)

This spicy black bean soup is one of our favorites. Homemade soup is a staple in my house and some soup recipes seem to create themselves . This vegan and gluten free recipe for  black bean soup is usually made from a combination of whatever I have on hand, my mood, and the season. Spicy ( or mild) salsa gives it a kick.

Since butternut squash is in season right now, that is what I used for the orange vegetable of choice. In the winter, I would substitute carrots or yams.

Slow cooker is ideal for making soup

I find my crock pot is ideal for making soup. I just throw everything into the slow cooker in the morning, go to work, and come home to a fragrant kitchen and a nourishing pot of bubbling hot soup. It really is that easy.

Soup curbs the appetite with nutrient dense goodness

When you come home from work tired and hungry, instead of grabbing a handful of cookies while you make dinner, you can have a small bowl of soup to tide you over until you prepare dinner. I find that homemade soup is rich in nutrients, high in fiber, and delicious.  It will help you fill up, not out.

This soup can be frozen

Since a crock pot makes a large batch of soup, why not consider freezing some of the soup for next week. It is the perfect time saver and plan ahead strategy.

Using dry beans means thinking in advance

When I thought about this soup, I thought in advance. I washed and soaked a bag of black beans before I went to bed and then drained and rinsed them in the morning. ( no big deal right?)  It took some extra thought but minimal work.

After rinsing, I then added the soaked and rinsed beans to the crock with 1/2 a butternut squash ( cubed) , some peeled and sliced yams, chopped tomatoes, fresh garlic, sliced onion,  all kinds of herbs ( parsley, cilantro, basil)  and lots of celery. I think the celery is what really makes it.

Keep reading to find out why I call it a black bean salsa soup.

I let the soup cook all day ( 4 hours on high, 4 hours on low) or just do 6 hours on high.. 9 hours on low until the beans and veggies are soft.

Crock Pot before Cooking contains uncooked ( but soaked) black beans, butternut squash
yams, celery, fresh garlic, onion, parsley, cilantro, cumin, and Trader Joes' saltless seasoning
" 21 Salute" ( cover veggies with a little  more water or broth than this)

I know that it looks like a lot of butternut squash, but I promise you the soup is not sweet!
The squash is covering everything else.

Chilly fall nights call for soup

Homemade soup is perfect in the fall when the nights are beginning to be chilly and the house is not quite warmed up yet. Of course this is delicious too in the winter too.

Make a meal out of your soup
Since this soup has a significant amount of beans for protein, add some cooked brown rice or cooked quinoa when you serve it to make it a meal!

Butternut squash is plentiful at farms in our area right now, so I like to find lots of ways to use this health giving vegetable that is full of beta carotene, antioxidants, and vitamins.

Add the salsa to give it a kick to each bowl when serving-

This soup is delicious and very mild. If you want a little kick add 2 tablespoons of chipotle spice while cooking or add a tablespoon of fire roasted salsa (mild) that I get at Trader Joe's (-which has no salt and is fabulous; see below )- to your bowl upon eating.. I always add the salsa and thus I call my soup Black Bean Salsa Soup..

Finished Soup; good but mild before addition of salsa

The small bowl contains the salsa

I add a tablespoon or so of  Trader Joe's Fire Roasted Salt Free Salsa ( mild) from the little bowl
 to add to my soup bowl for a  little kick

I have a thing for black beans; I think I could eat them everyday. They are filling, tasty, and nourishing. Read about the health benefits and versatility of black beans


1 16 ounce bag dry black beans , soaked overnight and drained
2 cups cubed butternut squash ( peeled) or 2 cups diced carrots
1 medium yam, peeled and cubed
4 large ribs of celery, sliced
2 large tomatoes, blanched and skin removed and chopped ( or canned chopped tomatoes)
1 medium onion , chopped
4 cloves garlic sliced thick ( or more to taste)
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 Tablespoon cumin
2 Tablespoons salt free seasoning - Trader Joe's has a salt free seasoning called,  " 21 Salute"
Water to cover or half water and half vegetable broth


Place the soaked and drained dry beans into your large crockpot. Add the remainder of vegetables, herbs, and spices.  Cover the contents with water ( about 10-14 cups) or half water and half broth. Cook on high for 4 hours and then on low for an additional 4 hours.  If you are not going to be home,  you can  cook on low for 9 hours or cook on high for 6 hours.

Forgot to soak the beans overnight? 
If you forgot to soak the beans overnight, use canned black beans and make the soup on the stovetop, It will need to cook for at least an hour and half until all the vegetables are soft.
or you could try canned beans in the crock pot. If you do , let me know how it works!!

CROCK POT FALAFEL- crazy idea but it works

Tip of the Day:

Do you know how many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants your little ones ate today?
If your toddler is eating (GF) crackers, bread, pasta- probably not enough vitamins and antioxidants..
Try this fun trick.
Fill a muffin tin  with a variety of fresh fruit, cut up veggies, and healthy dips!
Let them pick from the colorful fresh food tray. Found this idea and photo on  a blog called Bfit  Bfree

                                                                  Photo from Bfit  Bfree
Will be shared on the following blog carnivals

Pin It Please leave a comment so I know you stopped by. Scroll down to the end of the post and click on comments.


  1. That sounds delicious. I am always looking for yummy soup recipes that would be a hit with my family, and this one looks perfect! Thanks so much, Judee!

    Visiting from OTMM :)

  2. I have a thing for black beans too. Thank you for sharing with See Ya In the Gumbo this week. I love that you started your post with an empty bowl. Cute!

    1. I love seeing ya in the Gumbo each week. I think the empty bowl says it all.

  3. I plan to make lots of soup, on weekdays, this winter and I want this to be one of them. It is just the hearty type for the cold weather.

    1. It's actually great in any kind of weather! but I agree, the cold weather really is great for soup

  4. I always love finding new slow cooker recipes. This recipe so frugal and sounds delicious!

    1. This soup comes out great in the slow cooker. All the flavors mingle great

  5. Hi Judee,
    I can't wait to try your Black Bean Salsa Soup, it looks delicious. Enjoy your weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  6. What wonderful comfort food - I love the warming spices in this delicious soup. It must smell lovely when it is cooking!

    1. Mostly I used garlic and cumin. Real food does smell great when cooking

  7. spicy comfort food! thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things hop. Sorry I'm a bit slow getting here xo

  8. We soak and cook beans almost every other day! This will be a Gottatry for sure. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Looks good! I love bean soups.

    Thanks for linking to Healthy 2day Wednesday. Hope to see you back this week!

  10. yum!! that looks delicious! I make soup every thursday, with the leftovers from Mon tues and wed...but never in a crock pot....I will try this, thanks!!
    i am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

  11. Soup in the crock pot it the best and what a time saver too. Hope you like it!

  12. The combination of flavors in this salsa sound delicious! This would be a tasty and colorful addition to any meal! Thanks.


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