A vegan enchilada soup with black beans, made easily from scratch in the instant pot! (Or easily adapted to the slow cooker or stovetop.) This is an easy but economical recipe with dried beans and cupboard staples – no pre-made sauce! Mellow but smoky and flavorful with a beautiful silky texture, you can add all your favorite toppings to make this soup perfect for your family.
So this soup? It’s a little bit of magic. One of those recipes that doesn’t ask for a lot, then delivers you a surprisingly perfect meal.
I love that this requires so few ingredients and doesn’t need canned or jarred enchilada sauce. What makes this soup carry the “enchilada soup” badge is that we start it off as though we were making a roux based enchilada sauce from scratch. We then thin the sauce out and let the beans cook in it. It works perfectly. We end up with a really beautiful silky texture.
It’s not really any harder because you would have been pre-cooking your onions and garlic anyway. So we just add in our flour and spice roux on top of that.
Take a look:
I’ve kept the flavors mellow here. I usually like to pack as much as possible into my soups, but this one was best pared back.
The subtle smokiness from the enchilada base carries it, and just the fact that we are using dried beans makes the recipe so insanely delicious. It’s a great reminder of why cooking beans from dried is such a good idea. The texture is downright dreamy.
Of course, all of my other black bean recipes use canned. Life is life. But the instant pot makes dried beans a practical option for those of us who don’t always remember to pre soak and don’t always have two hours to make dinner, and if we waited for those two scenarios to happen concurrently, well, we’d eat no beans ever.
Please remember you can make this in the slow cooker or on the stove! The instructions are in the Recipe Notes.
Additions and Adaptations
If you prefer more presence of tomatoes in your black bean soup, you could add two cans. I tried that and it was great, just not my preference because the tomato took over a little. I like this very subtle and creamy. But if you prefer that fresh, zingy style more – you should go for it.
Similarly, you could replace the canned tomatoes with your favorite salsa if you want to take it down a less subtle path.
I would not recommending pureeing this soup. Pureeing, or partially pureeing, is a way to add body and creaminess to a black bean soup but there’s no need here because of that roux base we started with. And you’d lose the melt in the mouth factor from those freshly cooked beans. And it’s easier not to! So put the blender away. It’s a win/win.
Let’s Discuss Toppings
Cilantro (fresh coriander), avocado and spring onion (green onion) were my line up of choice in these photos and they keep the soup vegan! But the world is your oyster. Cheese and sour cream (whether nondairy or dairy versions depending on your dietary needs) are always welcome additions to a black bean soup.
For dipping, and to round this out to a fuller meal, try cornbread or mini quesadillas.
Instant Pot Black Bean Enchilada Soup
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 green chili, chopped
- 4 Tbsp flour
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 14 oz (400 g) can of tomatoes
- 2 cups (450 g) dried black beans, rinsed*
- 6 cups (1400 ml) vegetable broth , (I used 2 stock / boullion cubes + water)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Juice of 1 lime
- Measure out your smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin and flour. Add them to a bowl together and set aside.
- Set your Instant Pot to "Saute" mode. Heat a little oil and saute the onion until soft. Add the garlic and chili and cook until they are also soft.
- Now pour in another couple of tablespoons of oil into the pan to ensure the bottom is well coated. Add the flour and spice mix and stir constantly to form a paste around the onions, garlic and chili. Be careful not to let it stick to the bottom, add additional oil as needed to loosen things up.
- Once everything is smelling toasty and warm and the mixture has darkened, start adding the broth, little by little, mixing continuously while a thick sauce forms. Don’t add too much liquid at once, as it can cause the paste to clump up.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Once all of the broth is in, add the black beans and the canned tomatoes on top. Do not stir (as you want to keep the tomatoes suspended in the broth as much as possible, if they get to the bottom and sides too much you can get a burn warning.)
- Cancel the "Saute" mode and set to "Pressure Cook" for 20 minutes.
- Once the cycle is finished, allow a Natural Pressure Release (or at least wait 10 minutes or so before doing a manual release.)
- Open the lid, stir through the lime juice and serve with your chosen toppings.