This delicious Mexican bean soup is so easy to make and absolutely packed with amazing flavors. Made with tons of beans, veggies, spices and features a tasty savory tomato both. It is filling and creamy yet chunky, making it a hearty nutrient-packed meal you can make in under 30 minutes on a busy weeknight. 100% vegan, dairy-free and naturally gluten-free.
Here is a flavor packed and wholesome cozy recipe you will want to try soon: Mexican bean soup.
It is perfectly spiced, very hearty and loaded with warming flavors. We served it topped with crushed tortilla chips for an added crunch plus a generous amount of fresh cilantro to lighten up the whole meal and the result was just so amazing. It is similar to a Mexican bean chili, although more of a soupy-consistency. We just couldn’t get enough of this meal!
I have to say though that we are very much into any Mexican-inspired food, so this soup was right up our alley. Other than our weekly vegan taco nights, I'll also often make a Mexican buddha bowl with a homemade chipotle mayo. Also served with a sweet vegan horchata. Absolutely the best meal! But I'm always on the look out for more Mexican flavored vegan meals, especially the ones that can be done during the week.
And this recipe definitely is going to make it to our dinner rotation, our kids loved it too! It is loaded with good-for-you vegetables, such as pepper and onion, and it features mixed beans that are simmered into the most delicious savory Mexican broth. The combination of chili powder, cumin and oregano really boosts the flavor of the tomato lime broth.
This soup also is more stew-like, meaning on the thicker side, which makes it super filling and satisfying. But, you can easily adjust consistency depending of what you are looking for.
There is also a small can of green chili and a whole lot of garlic, adding more deep flavors to the already tasty broth. SO delicious!
You can make this recipe super quickly in about 20-30 min: using canned beans, canned tomatoes and frozen corn really is convenient here and helps speed up this recipe. You can make it during the week when your nights are busy or even prepare a big batch ahead of time to reheat for lunches or freeze to use for later, it stores so well!
Let me know if you gave it a try! ❤️
Why you will love this recipe
- Very healthy: loaded with fiber- and protein-packed beans, low-in-fat and also bursting with vitamin-rich veggies.
- Filling and very hearty
- Budget friendly
- All made in one pot
- Perfect to feed larger families
- Fun to garnish with yummy topping ingredients!
- Easy to make and done quickly
- Great weeknight dinner you can meal-prep ahead too
- 100% vegan, meat-free, plant-based, vegetarian and dairy-free
Ingredients you'll need
- Canned beans: I used a can of kidney beans and a can of mixed beans (pinto, kidney and black beans), but you can also use navy beans or lima beans if you prefer. I like using canned beans for convenience, but you could also cook your own beans from scratch! You will have to cook them first in water and then add them cooked to the soup. Here is a guide on how to cook beans from scratch from Love and Lemons that will help you.
- Corn: I used frozen corn, because that's always what I have ready-to-go, but you can also use fresh corn in the summer or canned corn too, if in a pinch.
- Onion: use yellow, red or sweet onion for this recipe.
- Red pepper: or green pepper, which I think works well in Mexican recipes.
- Garlic: I used 3 cloves, but add as much as you want!
- Canned diced tomatoes: regular tomatoes or a fire-roasted kind for an added smoky flavor. Fresh tomatoes (about 2 larges) should work too.
- Canned green chiles: optional if you don't have it, but it adds so much flavor, try not to omit! You can find canned green chiles in any grocery store. You could also add a diced poblano or jalapeño pepper instead.
- Spices: I like a mix of chili, cumin, dried oregano and paprika. Chipotle pepper would be great too or use smoked paprika for a more smoky soup.
- Vegetable broth: I like to make a vegetable broth from concentrated for its convenience and it is so much cheaper too. I use the concentrated vegetable broth from the brand better than bouillon.
- Lime: extra acidity enhances the flavor from the spices.
How to make a Mexican bean soup
This soup recipe should all be done within 30 minutes, or even quicker. Using already cooked beans really makes this meal quick and easy to prepare!
Cook the vegetables with the aromatics
Warm up a large pot (I like my cast-iron for this) with or without a little oil and then, add the onion and red pepper. Stir and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened.
Then, add the garlic and spices and stir well to cover the vegetables. Keep cooking for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Add the tomatoes with their juices, corn, drained beans, vegetable broth and canned chiles (with their juices-if using). Stir well and bring to a simmer. Turn down the heat to low-medium and let the soup simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes stirring often.
Blend (or not) and serve
When the soup is done and the vegetables are tender, then add the lime juice and adjust saltiness to your taste.
Also, for a creamier soup, then you can use an immersion blender to blend some of the soup right into the pot (I barely blend it since I prefer a chunkier consistency). If you don't have an immersion blender, then transfer about 1 cup or so of the soup to a regular blender, blend until completely smooth and transfer back to the pot of soup. Stir and repeat until desired consistency. For a brothy soup, do not blend and leave it as is (you can also keep covered while it simmers).
Serve while still warm topped with green onions and cilantro.
- Make sure to cook the onion and pepper first so they can brown nicely. I like to use a cast-iron pan for this kind of recipe: all those caramelized bits add so much extra flavor to the broth!
- Feel free to make this soup as thick or as thin as you wish. If you know ahead that you will want a thinner or brothy soup, then simply cover the soup while it simmers and don't blend or add more broth to the soup at the end to adjust. For a thicker soup that has more of a chili consistency, then make sure to keep the cover off and blend as much as needed to help thicken the consistency.
This soup is fun to garnish with more ingredients to give it more flavor and a fun variation in texture. I like to add a little cilantro to the pot of soup, but mostly I keep cilantro for topping while serving so it stays fresh and keeps its flavor better. Add some green onion or chopped fresh red onion if desired.
Also, I like to crush some tortilla chips right over our bowls for a nice Mexican-style crunch, but you can also serve the chips on the side to scoop the beans from your bowl. This recipe also goes well with whole wheat rolls or homemade tortillas to dip in the thick soup.
More garnishing ideas includes:
- Hot sauce
- Finely diced jalapeño
- Vegan tofu sour cream
- Avocado lime crema
- Marinated nacho jalapeño
- Extra lime wedges
- Diced fresh tomatoes
- Diced avocado
Variations to the recipe
You can change up a few things in this recipe and make it you own depending on your taste or what you already have. Here are a few swaps or add-ons to consider:
- Baby spinach or kale
- Diced carrots
- A scoop of salsa for more flavors
- Sweet potatoes
If you end up adding quite a few extra veggies, then make sure to adjust fluids accordingly and add more broth as needed.
Also, you can swap the beans for chickpeas, navy beans or lima beans, they would all work great in a Mexican style soup! Adding cooked lentils would also make for a thicker soup that's closer in texture to a Mexican bean soup with ground beef.
For a soup that's even more filling, then add some healthy grain to it, such as quinoa, brown rice or barley. Make sure to cook the grain first in a separate pot and add it cooked when the soup is all done cooking. Add more vegetable broth if needed.
For a spicy Mexican bean soup recipe, then add a pinch of cayenne pepper, ground chipotle pepper, diced spicy pepper (serrano or jalapeño) or use spicy canned chiles! You can also finely dice 1-2 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce and add it to the soup for a little heat and a nice smoky taste.
This soup stores so well, I highly recommend to make more, such as double batch, and then keep the extra for a second meal later in the week or use the leftovers to pack a few lunches to-go. Just as a reference, this recipe makes enough for 4 adults without much extra.
Once done, let the soup completely cool down before transferring the leftovers in an air-tight container. Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
To reheat, simply use the microwave or the stove. You might want to add a little splash of water if the soup thickened much during storage.
More Mexican-inspired recipes you might like
- Vegan white bean chili
- Mexican black bean avocado toasts
- Vegan loaded nachos
- Mexican pickled onions
- Vegan fish tacos
- Black bean burritos
- Mexican baked potatoes
- Healthy bean salad with chili-lime dressing
- Vegan fajita bowl
- Vegan taquitos
- Mexican shell soup
- Lentil barley soup
I hope you enjoy this Mexican bean soup as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Mexican Bean Soup
- Immersion blender or regular blender optional
- 1 yellow or red onion - diced
- 1 red or green pepper - diced
- 3 cloves of garlic - crushed
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp smoked paprika - or regular paprika
- 2 x 15 oz canned beans - such as black, pinto or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup frozen corn - or use fresh in the summer
- 15 oz canned diced tomatoes - regular or fire-roasted
- 3 cups vegetable broth - or enough for desired consistency
- 4 oz canned mild chiles - or spicy for a little heat
- ½ lime - juiced
- salt to taste
- Warm up a large pot with a little oil (or not, can be made oil-free) and then add the onion and red pepper with a pinch of salt. Stir and cook on medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes or until browned and softened.
- Add the garlic and spices (chili, cumin, paprika and dried oregano). Stir well and cook for one more minute.
- Add the beans, canned chiles, canned tomatoes and corn. Then, pour the broth over and stir well to combine. Cook uncovered for about 10-15 minutes stirring often.
- When the soup looks done, then add the lime juice and then, use an immersion blender to blend some of the soup. Make it as thick/creamy or as thin/brothy as you want! Alternatively, you can blend about 1 cup of the soup using a regular blender, and then pour it back to the pot of soup.
- Serve while still warm garnished with crushed tortilla chips, green onion and fresh cilantro. Enjoy!
- Storage: let the leftovers cool down and then transfer to an air-tight container. Keep in the fridge for 4-5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, use the microwave or the stove.
- This soup is super versatile! Feel-free to change the vegetables for: jalapeño, carrots, celery, poblano pepper, spinach, etc.
- More seasoning ideas includes: chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chipotle pepper powder, cayenne powder, etc. See the blog post for more ideas!