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
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 2 1/2 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 3/8 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
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro, plus 2 tsp more for garnish
  • 2 ripe avocados, cut into 1/2 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, 3/8 teaspoon chipotle chili powder, and 1/2 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 1/8 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 1/2 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