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Mexican Bean Soup

This soup has bold, vibrant flavors without being heavy, as a chili can be. Be sure to pair with Chipotle Avocado Cream. And avoid substituting cumin powder for cumin seeds—the whole seeds really add a distinctive flavor element.
Course Soup


  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 cups   red onions finely chopped
  • 6-7 medium - large cloves garlic minced
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/4 tsp cumin seed don’t substitute ground cumin!
  • 2 ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 - 2 tbsp jalapeno pepper chopped (adjust to taste, optional, can also sub crushed red pepper, see note)
  • 1 28-oz can 796-ml diced tomatoes
  • 1 14 or 15-oz can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 14 14 or 15-oz can  kidney beans rinsed and drained (or pinto beans or black beans)
  • cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube ex: I use Harvest Sun brand (not stock, just the cube)
  • 2 ½ - 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup or agave nectar optional
  • 1 ½ tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • chopped fresh cilantro for serving
  • lime wedges for serving


  • In a large pot over medium heat, combine the oil or water, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin seed, dried oregano, cinnamon, and jalapeño (if using). Cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally; lower the heat if the onion is sticking. Starting with 21⁄2 cups of the water, add the remaining ingredients, except the lime juice, cilantro, lime wedges, and Chipotle Avocado Cream. Stir, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and add the remaining water to thin, if desired. Serve in individual portions with cilantro and lime wedges and a dollop of Chipotle Avocado Cream (recipe below).


Kid-Friendly: If making this soup for a family with young children, you may want to omit the jalapeño so the soup does not have spicy heat. It will still be flavorful, just not spicy hot for the little ones. Also, if you don’t have a fresh jalapeño on hand, feel free to add a few pinches of crushed red chili flakes or a few dashes of hot sauce, to taste.