Quick & Easy Black Bean and Lentil Soup

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This black bean and lentil soup isn't just quick and easy - it's healthy, hearty, and comforting too!

I don’t know about you, but cold weather sends me straight into a soup season frenzy. Hearty beef stews, soups, and my favorite: clam chowder. What do all these soups have in common? They’re hearty, they’re warming, and they’re not really that healthy.

It’s not that healthy soups aren’t comforting, I just find it easier to use fatty ingredients to create warming soups. Until now. We discovered this secret ingredient that transforms healthy soups into creamy, comforting winter warmers. You won’t guess which ingredient it is in this quick and easy black bean and lentil soup!

It’s All About the Beans

Before we get to that secret ingredient, let’s talk a little bit about the star of this soup: black beans. These legumes have a creamy texture and mild flavor when cooked through, making them perfect for the base of a soup. Using canned black beans not only speeds up the cooking process significantly, but it also makes sure that those beans will be fully cooked.

What makes black beans so healthy? They have a unique starch structure, made almost entirely of so-called “resistant starches.” These types of starches act a lot like dietary fiber as your body digests them. They pass through the upper digestive tract without being broken down, which means the starches never convert to simple sugars.

All this boils down to two important things: less of a spike in blood sugar levels, and a higher level of satiety. So when you eat black beans, you’ll feel fuller, longer. Nothing wrong with that, especially when they taste so delicious to boot!

Don’t Forget About The Other Bean: Lentils

We would be remiss if we didn’t talk about the other legume in this soup: lentils. I love using green lentils in this recipe because they have more texture than red lentils, which tend to reduce to mush. This firm texture adds a nice counterpoint to the soft black beans.

These small but mighty legumes bring more than just an amazing nutty flavor to the dish. They’re full of insoluble fiber, along with a myriad of other vitamins and minerals. Not only are they packed with heart-healthy folate and magnesium, iron for energy, but they have an added nutritional benefit. Just one serving of lentils a day can lower “bad” cholesterol as much as 5%! Now that’s a win, win.

OK, What About That Secret Ingredient Already?

I know, you’re on the edge of your seat with anticipation! Ready to know which ingredient is our show stopper? Is it the diced tomatoes? No, those are tasty and will add a nice acidity to the soup, but there’s no secret there. What about the cumin? Nope, that contributes a nice smokiness but people have been combining black beans and cumin for years, that’s nothing new.

It’s the coconut milk. Vegans often cook with coconut milk, and for good reason. This ingredient adds a much-needed fat to this black bean and lentil soup. Those fats help carry all of the other flavors while adding a rich, creaminess that really ties this soup together. Wait, you may say, but isn’t fat bad for you? Yes, and no.

Coconut milk contains a beneficial fat known as lauric acid, which is used by your body as energy. The rest of the fats are saturated fat, which is usually bad for you. In the case of coconut milk, however, research has shown that coconut milk actually improves cholesterol and doesn’t have any detrimental cardiovascular effects.

Quick & Easy Black Bean and Lentil Soup

Before you get started, you might want to read up on the five reasons to eat more coconut. Then, give this amazing black bean and lentil soup a try and let us know what you think! Could you notice the addition of coconut milk, and would you want to make it without our secret ingredient?

Unlike other beans, lentils don’t need to be soaked before cooking. They also cook up very quickly, so you won’t have to simmer this black bean and lentil soup away all day.

This recipe is beyond delicious. In fact, clam chowder, although still at the top of my “favorites” list, is now sharing the number one spot with Quick & Easy Black Bean and Lentil Soup.

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Quick & Easy Black Bean and Lentil Soup

It's all about the beans in this delicious and nutritious soup.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 8 people
Serving Size 1 cup
Course Dinner, Soup
Cuisine American

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 sweet onion or yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots finely diced
  • 14 1/2 ounces diced tomatoes can
  • 1 cup dry green lentils
  • 30 ounces black beans cans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt more or less to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable broth optional water or a combination of the two
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk canned

Instructions

  • In a large pot, over medium-low heat, add water and sauté diced onion until tender, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, stir and cover.
  • Bring soup to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until lentils and carrots are tender, approximately 30 minutes.
  • Garnish with (optional) diced avocado.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 232kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 473mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 3g |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 2
Keywords dairy-free, Gluten-Free, Kid-Friendly, Plant-Based, Vegetarian

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Gale Compton

Gale co-founded SkinnyMs. with a goal to provide women with delicious recipes, fitness routines, and ways to reach their ideal weight. Gale has been featured on the Today Show in which she won a cook off for the best Lasagna. Be sure to search for her winning recipe, Skinny Lasagna Rolls.

Guided by her firm belief in healthy eating and the power of exercise, Gale has written two cookbooks and several fitness ebooks. She earned her Fitness Training Certification from, National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association. Gale loves to run with her dog Maggie and has completed numerous half-marathons.

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22 Comments

      1. I don’t understand why it is 7 points – the only thing on FreeStyle with points would be the coconut milk, correct? Lentils and black beans are zero.

        Is 7 the old point system?

        Thanks!

    1. Kathy, Since there’s only 1 can of diced tomatoes, increase vegetable broth until desired consistency is reached. You could also add one small can of diced chili peppers, in addition to 1 cup more vegetable broth. 🙂

    1. Courtney, Yes, most definitely. The reason we prefer the stovetop, it only takes around 30 minutes to cook.

  1. How are you getting 7 smart points for this? I got 2. The only thing with points is the coconut milk (12 points) and the vegetable broth (1 point, i’m using 5 tsp of better than bouillon). 13/8 = 1.6 = 2, rounded.

    1. Tina, This recipe has SmartPoints w/o freestyle. This recipe was scheduled long before Freestyle was announced by WWs.

    1. Joy, Hands down, Native Forest Organic. I order a case from Amazon and use it for all sorts of recipes, including soups and stews. With this recipe, I freeze leftovers in mason jars. Just had a bowl last night and it was amazing! 🙂

    1. For this recipe you’ll be able to add everything to the Instant Pot. Cook on manual with high pressure for 10 minutes. Let the steam naturally release for about 5 minutes before manually releasing and removing the lid.

  2. If you are doing a whole food plant based diet, you can avoid the fatty coconut milk by adding some coconut flavoring. This recipe looks great without the coconut milk, though. Will be making in the crockpot while I get ready for Christmess guests. Happy holidays.

    1. Hi Julia, the coconut milk does more than just add flavor. There are also different type of coconut milk. You can choose what works best for your needs.

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