Three-Ingredient Black Bean Soup

Easy Black Bean Soup

The group text flashed across my iphone, along with the phones of six other busy moms:  a recipe, delivered in a sort of morse code of cooking instruction, with the enthusiasm of someone with a real gem to share. It read roughly like this:

“Great new hack from Britta! 2 cans black beans, one container pico de gallo = soup.” The text ended with, “My kids and I loved it.”

Enough said. I had to try it.

I went out and procured the goods and within five minutes of unpacking groceries I had a seriously delicious bowl of hot soup in my hands. It was tastier, in fact, than the bean soup I’d made two weeks prior from a James Beard-award winning cookbook.  And that one called for 12 ingredients, took me 30 minutes to make, and 10 minutes to clean up.

I’ll take a three-ingredient soup (and friends who aren’t greedy with good recipes) any old day.

black bean soup with salsa and sour cream in a white bowl

Easy black bean soup
5 from 1 vote

Three-Ingredient Black Bean Soup

This soup is shockingly tasty considering it calls for just three ingredients and takes all of five minutes to make. It's perfect as part of a simple dinner along with crusty bread or warm tortillas. Or make it for lunch, packed into thermoses for school or work.

Course Dinner, Lunch
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 5 cups, 4 servings
Author Katie Morford


  • Three 15-ounce cans black beans (not drained)
  • One 12-ounce container pico de gallo salsa (about 1 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream, plus any favorite garnishes, such as avocado, cilantro, salsa, grated cheese, or diced onion


  1. Drain the liquid from ONE of the cans of beans and put into a medium saucepan. Add the remaining 2 cans of beans and their liquid to the pan. Add the pico de gallo salsa. Set over medium-high and cook until warm.
  2. Transfer half of the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return the pureed soup to the saucepan and stir well. If the soup is too thick for your taste, thin with a little water. Heat to desired temperature.
  3. Serve in bowls with a dollop of sour cream or any other favorite garnishes.

Thank you to Britta Narum, who was the inspiration behind this recipe and to Spring Utting for sharing it with the rest of us. 


11.10.2018 at11:46 AM #

Tocha Villasenor

This looks like it could become a definite go-to for me. But am I missing something? What is to be done with the third can of drained beans? It seems like instead of opening a whole can just for the bean juice, maybe 1/4 or so cup of broth or water would suffice? Or are those beans going somewhere in the recipe that I missed?

11.10.2018 at11:46 AM #

Katie Morford

You make a great point. If you don’t think you’re going to use up those additional beans, just use broth or water. I’d start with 1/3 cup and then add more if needed. You may need to add a little salt. I will tinker with this recipe to simplify it. Thanks for pointing this out!

05.15.2019 at6:01 PM #

Lori C

You drain the 1st can of beans and put the BEANS in the pan, not the water – Think that is what it means.

07.25.2019 at3:39 PM #

Lisa Dee

I love this soup. I use two pints of homemade black-beans with liquid and a small homemade jar of re fried beans. I buy salsa (fresh) and freeze it when it is on sale. In fact, I will make a batch tomorrow for lunch with a friend.

07.25.2019 at3:39 PM #

Katie Morford

Awesome. Nothing better than making it with homemade beans (and so smart to freeze salsa when it’s on sale!).

04.11.2020 at3:52 AM #


For Tocha – Use the beans from the drained can for something like Katie’s Quick Huevos Racheros ( or use in tacos, taco or other salads; mix with corn, red onion, cilantro, and jalapeno/poblano (optional), season with salt & pepper to taste to use as a ‘salad’ side dish (you could also drizzle/mix in some olive or other oil then roast in the oven a bit). Depending on preferences, you can meal plan the third can of beans into the week’s menu somewhere. It’s said (I haven’t tried it myself) that you can freeze cooked from scratch beans, so I would assume it would work for canned beans too. Pop them in the freezer to use at a later time.

06.16.2020 at8:36 AM #

Lauren Harris-Pincus

So easy and yummy! I must make this xoxo

06.16.2020 at8:36 AM #

Katie Morford

Hope you like it. So many options for goodies to top your soup!

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