Black Bean Soup With Lime-Pickled Red Onions

A bowl of black bean soup garnished with lime-pickled red onion and avocado
Prep Time: 
80 minutes
Number of Servings: 
Recipe Source: 
Soup Nights by Betty Rosbottom ($35, Rizzoli, 2016)



  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 34 cup diced celery
  • 2 12 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 2 12 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 14 tsp oregano
  • 38 tsp chipotle chili powder plus more for a spicier taste
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed well and drained
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock (can use vegetable stock as well), plus more if needed
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half


  • 1 large red onion
  • 14 cup lime juice
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro, plus 2 tsp more for garnish
  • 2 ripe avocados, cut into 12 inch cubes


  1. In a large, heavy pot over medium heat, heat oil until hot. Add onion and celery and cook, stirring often, for 4 minutes. Add garlic and stir 1 minute more. Stir in cumin, oregano, 38 teaspoon chipotle chili powder, and 12 teaspoon salt. Stir 1 minute more. Add black beans, chicken broth or vegetable stock, and cinnamon sticks.
  2. Bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until soup has reduced by about a third (to about 8 cups) and has thickened, 40 to 45 minutes. Season soup with salt to taste, and with 18 teaspoon chipotle chili powder if you’d like more heat. Remove and discard cinnamon sticks. (Soup can be prepared one day ahead. If preparing ahead, cook to this stage; cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat over medium heat, stirring often. If soup is too thick, thin with more broth.)
  3. For the Lime-Pickled Red Onions, peel and then halve onion through root end. Cut each half crosswise into very thin slices to yield 1 12 cups. Transfer onions to a medium nonreactive bowl and toss well with lime juice, salt, sugar, and 1 tablespoon cilantro. Marinate onions for 30 minutes; they will still be crisp. (Onions can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Keep covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature 30 minutes before using.)
  4. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish each serving with pickled onions (spooning a little of the marinating liquids along with them), diced avocado, and a sprinkle of cilantro. Pass extra onions in a bowl.
Nutrition Info: 
598 Calories, 28 g Protein, 83 g Carbohydrates, 20 g Fiber, 20 g Total fat (3 g sat, 12 g mono, 2 g poly), 123 mg Sodium, ★★★★★ Vitamin B1 (thiamine), Folate, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Potassium, ★★★★ Vitamin B3 (niacin), Magnesium, Phosphorus, ★★ Vitamin B6, C, Calcium, Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), E, Pantothenic acid, Zinc