Panera Bread Black Bean Soup is a vegetarian soup that is made full of wholesome ingredients that you are going to love.
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Healthy and hearty, black bean soup is a cold-weather favorite that is as delicious during warmer months. Try pairing a big bowl of this vegan Panera Black Bean Soup with a thick slice of whole-grain bread or a simple salad for an ideal light meal. The soup works equally well as a quick snack or starter if you prefer. Whether your goal is to start eating better or only enjoy something tasty, give this Panera Black Bean Soup recipe a try.
Black Bean Basics
You have two chooses when it comes to cooking with black beans: canned or dried beans. The advantage of canned beans is the ease. All you need is a can opener. Yes, cooking dried beans takes more time and effort, but it can be worth it.
Besides the slight amount of money you will save by cooking dried black beans, you will significantly reduce the amount of sodium in the beans. Canned black beans have a lot of salt, and even rinsing won’t entirely remove it all. If you are sensitive to sodium or only a restricted diet, cooking dried black beans is your best bet.
Traditionalists say you should always soak black beans overnight since it will significantly reduce the cooking time, improve the bean’s texture, and reduce the chance of the beans splitting during cooking. But it takes a lot of planning as well. A much quicker and almost as good method for quick soaking beans is putting the beans in a pot with just enough water to cover them. Bring the water to a boil. Immediately turn off the heat and cover the pot. Let it sit for 2 hours before continuing with cooking.
But wait, all that time soaking is just the beginning. You still need to cook those black beans!
- Drain the soaking water and put the black beans in a pot with enough water to cover them.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot.
- Let the black beans cook for about two hours. Check on the beans from time to time to stir them and ensure the water is always covering them.
- Drain and use in the recipe.
Tips for Making, Storing, and Serving Panera Black Bean Soup
- It stores well in the fridge and lasts up to three months in the freezer. Don’t be afraid to make a double or even a triple batch of this recipe. It will survive a few days in the fridge and improve in taste after sitting overnight. Freeze single portions in freezer bags for easier reheating.
- Reheat in a saucepan. Thaw in the fridge or the microwave and reheat over medium on the stove. You can add a little more stock or water if the soup is too thick.
- Try puréeing the soup. For a smoother consistency, use a stick blender or a regular blender to purée some or all of the soup.
- Make it your own. Get a bit crazy with the ingredients. Increase the cumin or try topping with chopped fresh cilantro. Shredded cheese, a swirl of plain yogurt, and a few slices of avocado also make excellent additions.
Panera Bread Black Bean Soup Recipe Ingredients
I noticed a lot of online recipes include chicken broth but this soup is not made with chicken broth, it is vegetarian. You should use vegetable broth to prepare this soup.
For this recipe, you can use canned black beans if you like, but you can also make them with my dry black beans recipe. I like to cook my black beans in my Instant Pot. Using my Instant Pot, I can cook my beans in about an hour.
You might wonder what else is in Panera Bread Black Bean soup. This soup is made with carrots, celery, onions, black beans, and the perfect touch of spices. You can find all of the ingredients you need for this recipe in your everyday grocery store.
Here’s the full list of what you need:
- White onion
- Vegetable oil
- Red bell pepper
- Vegetable broth
- Canned or cooked black beans
- Ground cumin
- Fresh lemon juice
How to Make Panera Black Bean Soup
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, add vegetable oil, onions, celery, and carrots.
- Sprinkle the vegetables with a pinch of salt
- Sauté the vegetables until the onions become translucent.
- Add bell pepper and garlic.
- Continue to sauté vegetables until the garlic becomes fragrant.
- If using canned black beans, rinse the beans to remove excess starch.
- Add beans, vegetable broth, salt, and cumin to the pot.
- Allow the soup to simmer until heated through.
- Taste the soup and add more salt if needed.
- Mix cornstarch with water to make a slurry.
- Slowly add the cornstarch slurry to the soup while stirring briskly.
- Just before serving, add the lemon juice and stir to combine.
Love Panera Bread? Check out these copycat recipes!
- Panera Bread Autumn Squash Soup
- Panera Bread Baked Potato Soup
- Panera Bread French Onion Soup
- Panera Bread Mac and Cheese Recipe
- Panera Bread Muffins
- Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Panera Bread Creamy Tomato Soup
Popular Soup Recipes
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Panera Bread Black Bean Soup
- 1 cup white onion chopped
- ½ cup celery chopped
- ½ cup carrot chopped
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ cup red bell pepper chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 32 ounces vegetable broth
- 30 ounces black beans or 3 to 4 cups of cooked black beans
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1½ teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon of water
In a large pot add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
Add onions, celery, and carrots. Sprinkle the vegetables with a pinch of salt to help them release the water in the vegetables.
Saute vegetables until onions begin to become translucent.
Add bell pepper and garlic.
Continue to saute vegetables until the garlic becomes fragrant.
If using canned black beans, rinse them to remove excess starch.
Add beans and vegetable broth to the pot.
Add 1 teaspoon of salt and cumin to the soup.
Allow the soup to simmer for about 10 minutes to heat through.
Taste the soup and add more salt if needed.
Add cornstarch and water mixture to the soup. It will help thicken the soup.
Just before serving, add the lemon juice.