black bean soup in a white bowl with cilantro landscape photo

This Black Bean Soup tastes just like the one from Panera Bread- creamy & flavourful with bits of whole black beans. A easy and healthy recipe made in the instant pot with just 10 ingredients. Vegan, Gluten Free + Oil Free.

black bean soup in a white bowl with cilantro and bread

Happy Friday, friends! It’s officially soup season here in Toronto and I’m kind of (really) excited because I LOVE love love soup. Soup is the ultimate comfort-cozy food and it just makes me feel all warm inside. Plus, the smell of my kitchen when making soup…. all the fall vibes ya’ll. To kick off soup season, I’m sharing my all time fav: black bean soup. But not just any ol’ black bean soup, but my recreation of Panera Breads Black Bean Soup! They discontinued this soup so I knew I had to try and recreate it and after many attempts, this is the combo and ratios of ingredients I ended up loving the most. You ready to make some yummy black bean soup? Let’s get into it.

black bean soup ingredients panera bread

Ingredients in this Panera Black Bean Soup Recipe

I wanted this soup to taste exactly like the one I used to get at Panera Bread. I looked at the ingredients list they listed and went from there. So stoked to say this recipe is just 9 ingredients that are pretty much pantry staples! Tomato paste was listed on the ingredient list but I didn’t notice much of a difference with or without it so I left it out but feel free to add 1-2 tbsp it if you have some!

step by step photos of making homemade black bean soup

How to Make Easy Black Bean Soup in a Instant Pot

I’m pretty busy during the day so I wanted to make a pretty hands/eyes-off black bean soup so of course, I turned over to my instant pot (keep reading for the on the stove version).

  1. FRY THE VEGETABLES: Set instant pot to SAUTEE on HIGH. Fry the onions and garlic. Then fry the celery, red bell pepper and carrots with the cumin for a couple minutes.
  2. ADD BEANS: Add in the dry black beans, vegetable broth, salt and mix.
  3. SET THE INSTANT POT: Set instant pot to MANUAL on HIGH for 30 minutes. Once the time is up, release the pressure manually. 
  4. RESERVE SOME BEANS: Using a ladle with open holes, scoop out 1-1.5 cups of black beans.
  5. BLEND: Blend the rest of the soup using a immersion blender or in a blender.
  6.  COMBINE: Pour the blended soup back into the instant pot and add in the reserved black beans. Mix together and add more salt/cumin to taste.
simple black bean soup in a bowl with nothing on top

How to Make Panera Bread Black Bean Soup on the Stove

To make it on the stove, it’s the exact same steps except instead of adding it to an instant pot, add everything to a large pot. Once the beans are added, bring the water to a boil. Then turn the heat down to a medium low and let it simmer for 2 – 2.5 hours or until the black beans are tender. Then follow the same steps from #4 onward.

black bean soup in a bowl with bread

How to Properly Store Homemade Black Bean Soup

Lentil and bean soups are amazing for meal prep because they last so long without changing in texture or flavour. This black bean soup will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-6 days. Black bean soup is best kept in the freezer for at least 1 month. The best way to freeze left over soup is to let it cool and then transferring it into a reusable ziplock bag. Lay them on a flat surface (like a baking tray) and stick them into the freezer until fully frozen. To reheat frozen soup, simply let it defrost on the counter and then pour it into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute or until warm. Or, pour it into a small sauce pan and heat on medium for 2-3 minutes until warm.

black bean soup in a white bowl with cilantro side shot

Tips & Tricks to Making the Best Panera Black Bean Soup

  • CHOP THE VEGETABLES SMALL: This might just be preference, but it’s the most similar to panera breads black bean soup.
  • RINSE & PICK THE BLACK BEANS: Be sure to go through your black beans to check for anything other than black beans- you don’t want to be eating tiny stones! Also remember to give them a good rinse.
  • ADD THE LEMON JUICE LAST: be sure to add the lemon or lime juice in the blender. If you add citrus juices early on in the cooking process it tends to get bitter.
  • GARNISH: Panera doesn’t garnish their black bean soup but to make it even more epic, add on some cilantro. To take it to the next level, top it with some sour cream, salsa, avocado or vegan cheese!
  • SERVE: You gotta serve this black bean soup with some bakery style bread! If you’re not a bread person, rice would be delicious too 😉
black bean soup in a white bowl with cilantro in hand

I really hope you try this black bean soup. If you’ve ever tried Panera’s black bean soup, I promise this version won’t disappoint and you’ll be saving $$$! Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

black bean soup in a white bowl with cilantro on black cloth

More Cozy Vegan Soups to Try!

black bean soup in a white bowl with cilantro

If you recreate this Panera Bread Black Bean Soup Copy Cat recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
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Panera Black Bean Soup


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.8 from 14 reviews

  • Author: Lisa Kitahara
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

This Black Bean Soup tastes just like the one from Panera Bread- creamy & flavourful with bits of whole black beans. A easy and healthy recipe made in the instant pot with just 10 ingredients. Vegan, Gluten Free + Oil Free.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 onion, chopped (175g)
  • 23 garlic cloves, minced (12g)
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped small (160g)
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped small (75g)
  • 1 small carrot, diced small (130g)
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup dry black beans, rinsed (200g)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp salt (+ more to taste)
  • 1/2 lemon juiced (2 tbsp)

Instructions

  1. Set instant pot to SAUTEE on HIGH. Fry the onions and garlic with a tbsp of olive oil or water (2-3 minutes). Add in the celery, red bell pepper, carrots and cumin and cook for another 3 minutes. 
  2. Add in the dry black beans, vegetable broth and salt. Give it one good mix. 
  3. Press CANCEL. Then set to MANUAL on HIGH for 30 minutes. Once the time is up, release the pressure manually. 
  4. Using a ladle with open holes, scoop out 1-1.5 cups of black beans. Add in the lemon juice and blend the rest of the soup using a immersion blender or in a blender. 
  5. Pour the blended soup back into the instant pot and add in the reserved black beans. Mix together, taste and add more salt or cumin to taste. Serve immediately. Garnish with cilantro, avocado, salsa and serve on its own or with some bread or rice!

Notes

Nutritional Information Disclaimer: Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated on an online tool (Cronometer).

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Soups & Stews
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 255
  • Sugar: 6.5g
  • Sodium: 974mg
  • Fat: 1g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.1g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0.22g
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 42.9g
  • Fiber: 10.7g
  • Protein: 12.8g
  • Cholesterol: 0

SAVE IT FOR LATER! ↓

panera copy cat soup in a white bowl with pinterest text

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Konnichiwa

About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.


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34 Comments

  1. This was absolutely scrumptious!!! 30 minutes made our beans perfectly – definitely not mushy. There was not much liquid, so this isn’t a soupy option. I didn’t purée any of it since my husband wanted to make a burrito of it. The flavor was off the charts!! This is definitely going on my weekly rotation. Note: The full amount is very sparse…maybe 4-5 cups total. That works great for us two, but if you have a family to feed, definitely increase the quantity cooked.






  2. Delicious soup but 30 minutes was not long enough in my instant pot. The beans we removed before pureeing were not done. Otherwise it was delicious.