Black bean soup recipe with orange jalapeno salsa

Last summer, I had the opportunity to meet Michael Natkin, author of the popular vegetarian cooking blog Herbivoracious. I got a copy of his cookbook, which I have greatly enjoyed reading through over the past few months.

His vegetarian recipes are unique, bold, and flavorful – and a lucky few of us got to sample some of them when he came to town to promote his book.

One of his recipes – this black bean soup – immediately struck me as a solid contender for my $10 Food Day Series. When I started adding up the cost of the ingredients, I knew this recipe was a winner!

Get a copy of Michael’s cookbook here: Herbivoracious: A Flavor Revolution with 150 Vibrant and Original Vegetarian Recipes

The Cost

For soup:

  • Black beans (3 cups) = $.75
  • Bay leaves (1) = $.07 (purchased in the bulk food section)
  • Vegetable boullion cube = $.20
  • Onion (1 medium) = $.30
  • Garlic (4 cloves) = $.15
  • Other ingredients (salt and spices) = $.10

Cost for soup = $1.57

For orange-jalapeño salsa:

  • Orange (1 large) = $.75
  • Shallot (2) = $.40
  • Jalapeño (1) = $.15

Cost for salsa = $1.30

Total cost for entire recipe = $2.85

Herbivoracious cookbook author

Blogger and cookbook author Michael Natkin

It’s no secret that vegetarian recipes tend to cost less than meat-based recipes. If you’re on a strict food budget, it’s worth exploring new vegetarian recipes to find a few favorites that you can make over and over.

This particular soup recipe is one that I have made several times. The soup is nice and mellow, but the sweet and spicy salsa gives it a nice kick.

This soup recipe is a part of my third $10 Food Day Series: That’s a whole day’s worth of recipes (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack) that costs less than $10. Feed a family of four for $10 a day – it is possible!

Want to stay up-to-date on the latest $10 Food Day posts? Please keep in touch by liking my Facebook page.


Black bean soup recipe with orange jalapeno salsa

Black Bean Soup With Orange-Jalapeño Salsa

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

You can use either canned or dried black beans for this recipe. For maximum cost savings, prepare your own dried beans. Place any extras in the freezer for future use.


For soup

  • 3 cups cooked black beans (or use two cans of black beans, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 orange, peeled, diced, and seeds removed
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped


  1. Place beans, bay leaf, and a cup or so of water in a large soup-sized pot over medium heat. Add boullion cube. Stir and allow to simmer while preparing other ingredients.
  2. Heat olive oil in a skilled over medium heat. Add onion and cook until the onions begin to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, and paprika. Remove from heat and place onion mixture into simmering soup pot. Remove bay leaf.
  3. Using an immersion blender, blend soup ingredients together until fairly smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender, remove soup from heat, allow to cool until it's safe to touch, and puree in a blender until smooth. Return soup to soup pot until ready to serve.
  4. Assemble the salsa right before serving. Serve on the side with sour cream and tortilla chips.

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