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Slow Cooker Sunday: Effortless black bean soup makes weeknight cooking easy

Hi, I'm Gina. I like food. A lot. That's what you'll find on Running to the Kitchen with the occasional smattering of fitness, sarcasm & weimaraners. 

Just 10 minutes of prep, and you're coming home to a ready-made meal

Lately I've been seeing tons of slow cooker recipes that call for two- to four-hour cook times. Can we talk about this for a second? Isn't the sole purpose of the slow cooker to do its thing while you're either sleeping or at work? I don't know many people who do either of those things for two to four hours. Although, I'd totally be down for a two-hour workday.

This black bean soup is a true slow cooker recipe, one that needs 10 to 12 hours, but it's perfect for long days at work when you come home and literally just have to scoop it into a serving bowl and top with a dollop of the fresh cilantro crema that comes together in a minute. It's a hearty, easy, vegetarian meal that's perfect for getting dinner on the table after a long, busy day.

Just 10 minutes of prep, and you're coming home to a ready-made meal
Image: Gina Matsoukas/SheKnows

Slow cooker black bean soup with cilantro crema recipe

Serves 6 – 8

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 10 hours | Total time: 10 hours 10 minutes


For the soup

  • 1 pound dried black beans, rinsed
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup hot sauce
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the cilantro crema

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a large slow cooker, place all the ingredients, cover, and cook on low for 10 – 12 hours.
  2. Remove the bay leaf from the slow cooker, and use an immersion blender (or transfer in batches to a regular blender) to blend the soup until somewhat smooth but still with a few chunky pieces remaining (about 2/3 blended, 1/3 chunky).
  3. Make the cilantro crema by combining the Greek yogurt, cilantro, lime, salt and pepper in a small bowl and stirring together until well mixed.
  4. Ladle the soup into serving bowls, and top with the crema.

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

Just 10 minutes of prep, and you're coming home to a ready-made meal
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

slow cooker sunday
Image: SheKnows

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