Black bean soup is my go-to wintertime dish.
Not only does it warm my body during the frigid months, but it also makes me feel super cozy.
Read Also: 10 Best Toppings for Black Bean Soup
The flavors of black beans (see also this list of recipes that use a can of black beans), onions, garlic, and tomatoes combine together to create a savory, hearty, and warming soup that’s perfect for any occasion.
But if you’re looking to make your soup a little creamier, there are a few tricks you can use.
You can use cornstarch to thicken a black bean soup. Combine 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of cold water in a small bowl. Stir to combine, then whisk the mixture into the soup until it thickens.
In this post, I’m going to tell you how to thicken up your black bean soup without using a lot of additional ingredients!
How to Thicken Black Bean Soup (10 Easy Ways)
The best part about black bean soup?
You can thicken it up for an even more rich and comforting texture!
There are several methods to achieve this, so I’m going to show you my favorite ways to thicken black bean soup:
1. Potato Starch
Potato starch is one of the most common ways to thicken soups, and it’s easy to find in the grocery store.
To use it, simply mix one teaspoon of potato starch with two teaspoons of cold water until completely dissolved.
Add the mixture to your soup at a slow trickle as you stir, to avoid lumps forming. Simmer for a few minutes, and your soup should be thicker.
2. Add flour or cornflour
You can add flour or cornflour to thicken bean soup. The best way to do this is to make a slurry first.
For example, mix 2 teaspoons of flour with 1/2 cup of water in a small bowl and whisk until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps.
Then, stir it into the soup and keep stirring until the soup has reached the desired thickness.
3. Add cream or yogurt
If you’ve got a few tablespoons of heavy cream, yogurt, or sour cream in the fridge and want to give your soup a velvety texture, stir it in just before serving.
Take care to only simmer the soup for a few minutes once it’s been added so that it doesn’t curdle.
4. Blend in bread
There are many ways to thicken bean soup, like using starchy beans and bread.
I favor bread. Bread is more readily available than beans and easier to use: you don’t have to cook it first, or remember to soak it in advance.
The best way to use bread is to blend the soup with a little of the liquid so that the pieces of bread are well coated before you add them back into the soup.
If you just put slices of bread into the simmering soup, they’ll float around on top until they get saturated and sink, then settle as a lump on the bottom of the pot.
Or worse, they’ll get blown by bubbles of boiling soup against the side of the pot, where they will stick until they burn.
5. Add lentils or rice
One of the problems with black bean soup is that it’s too thin. It ought to be thick and hearty, like a good stew.
But it usually turns out more like a thin broth.
Well, I learned to solve that problem recently by accident.
I was making a big pot of black bean soup and I started adding things to make it thicker: lentils, rice, barley, stuff like that.
And when I finally got around to tasting the result, it was too thick! So I added some water.
Now what had happened was the starch from the lentils and rice had thickened my soup just enough, which meant that when I added more things to thicken it further, I overdid it.
But the solution was obvious: If you want to thicken black bean soup without adding too much thickness, add lentils or rice and cook until they’re done.
6. Add refried beans
I was making black bean soup the other day and the recipe I was using called for pureeing a portion of the beans and returning it to the pot.
This is a common technique for thickening black bean soup, but it seemed to me there had to be an easier way.
In looking around for alternatives, I came across a method that’s even easier, and doesn’t even require pureeing: just add refried beans.
It’s nothing more than that: in addition to dry beans, which you soak overnight and then simmer until soft, you add a can of refried beans.
You don’t even need to cook them separately before adding them; just open the can and dump them in along with the other ingredients.
The result is a thick, rich black bean soup, with none of the effort of pureeing cooked beans before adding them back in.
It’s one of those techniques that seems obvious in retrospect-and something I didn’t know before trying it myself.
7. Potato Peels
If you want to thicken your soup without using cornstarch or flour and without changing the taste of the soup, try potato peels!
You can just peel a potato and cook the peels in some water on the stove for about 10 min.
Then you can blend the peels with some of the cooking water and add it back to your soup.
The starch from the potatoes will slowly help to thicken up your soup.
Make sure you are only adding in enough potato water that it is not completely overpowering when your soup is done cooking.
If you do not have any potatoes, an alternative would be to add in some cooked rice.
Cooked rice also has a lot of starch in it, which will help to thicken up your soup.
8. Tapioca Flour/Starch
Tapioca flour/starch is a wonderful thickener for soups and sauces.
It doesn’t have a strong flavor so it won’t overpower the dish you are making and it has no slimy texture issues or problems for those with food sensitivies like potato starch or cornstarch might have.
Use about 1 tablespoon tapioca flour/starch per cup of liquid if you are going to simmer your soup for more than 5 minutes or 2 tablespoons if you aren’t going to simmer the soup for very long.
9. Purée some beans
If you prefer a smooth soup, you can purée a portion of the whole beans in your soup with an immersion blender (or transfer them to a regular blender before blending it).
Mix it well and let it cook for another 5 minutes before serving.
10. Strain some beans
Another possibility is to remove about 1/4 of the beans from your soup and blend them with 1/2 cup of liquid from the pot.
Then, strain this mixture back into the pot through a fine-mesh sieve. Keep stirring until the soup has thickened to your liking.
How to Thicken Black Bean Soup: 10 Easy Ways
- Potato Starch
- Add flour or cornflour
- Add cream or yogurt
- Blend in bread
- Add lentils or rice
- Add refried beans
- Potato Peels
- Tapioca Flour/Starch
- Purée some beans
- Strain some beans