Black bean & sweetcorn soup

Black bean & sweetcorn soup

In a bid to eat a tad more sensibly in the new year after the excesses of the holiday season, I have decided that soup should play a starring role in our evening meals, a couple of times a week.

I wanted to start off with black bean soup, but most such recipes call for pureeing the soup, and pureed black bean soup does not look particularly appetising, at least to me. I also find the texture of pureed bean soups kinda… meh.

I love Mexican mixed bean and lentil soup, so I used that recipe as a base for creating another Mexican-inspired soup, this time with black beans and sweetcorn.

It was excellent, and I would make it exactly the same way next time. The small amount of red lentils add body to the soup without having to thicken the broth with cornflour (cornstarch) or arrowroot, which doesn’t seem right with bean soups.

I started with 110g of dried black beans, and let Stanley cook them, though a 400g/14oz tin of black beans, drained and rinsed, could be substituted.

We served this with bread and a green salad.

British       American
1 tablespoon   olive oil   1 tablespoon
65g   finely chopped onion   1 small
1/2   fresh chilli, finely chopped (or to taste)   1/2
2   cloves garlic, minced   2
1/2 teaspoon   cumin seeds   1/2 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon   oregano   1/4 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon   paprika   1/4 teaspoon
1/2x400g tin   chopped tomatoes   1/2×14 ounce can
500ml   vegetable stock   2 cups
3 tablespoons   red lentils   3 tablespoons
110g   dried black beans, cooked   generous 1/2 cup
    (or substitute tinned beans, drained & rinsed)    
60g   frozen sweetcorn   1/2 cup
    salt and freshly ground pepper to taste    
    finely chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)    

1. First toast the cumin seeds in a heavy, dry skillet (I use cast iron) over medium-low heat until fragrant, a minute or two. Remove to a mortar and pestle and grind to a powder. Set aside.

2. Heat olive oil over low heat, and saute onion and chilli until soft, about 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Add garlic and saute an additional minute or two.

4. Add toasted cumin powder, oregano and paprika, and cook another minute.

5. Add tomatoes and their liquid, vegetable stock and lentils. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lentils are soft.

6. Add black beans and sweetcorn continue to simmer for 15 minutes to blend flavours. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with coriander (cilantro).

Makes 2 servings.


  1. Such a simple recipe for an amazing looking dish! The addition of the lentils is genius!

  2. Oooh that looks amazing! The color is divine. I made Soup for dinner tonight – it is one of my all time favourite meals and the combo’s are just endless. Will try this one for sure.

  3. i couldn’t agree more with you Felicity. i just posted a simple broth the other day. the tummies need a break.

    i love lentils used in soup. gives it a richer taste.

    you make such lovely soups:)

  4. yes please do learn flaky pie crusts and i’ll self-invite myself over:P

    Hope you’re having a good day:)

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