Traditional Costa Rican Black Bean Soup Recipe

Black bean soup in a ceramic bowl beside a cloth napkin and spoon.

This traditional Costa Rican black bean soup recipe is a delicious, healthy, and simple vegetarian/vegan meal that everyone loves!  Just black beans, veggies and water- too easy and too delicious!

Table of contents

  1. About This Recipe
  2. Recipe
  3. Substitutions
  4. Variations
  5. Serving Suggestions
  6. FAQ
  7. Printable Recipe

About This Sopa Frijol Negro Recipe

Black beans are one of the cornerstones of Costa Rican cooking, and there is a myriad of delicious recipes featuring the ingredient. We started making more types of black bean recipes when our girls were learning how to eat solid foods and they loved this soup. Both of them really loved black beans, and I think they are super easy to prepare.

One of our favorite recipes from Costa Rica is the Black Bean soup or caldo de frijol. Most Costa Rican homes have a pressure cooker, in which black beans are often prepared fresh in the morning so they’ll be ready for lunch or dinner.

Everyone knows that freshly cooked black beans smell so absolutely delicious that it’s hard to wait to eat them until mealtime. Which is how I suspect black bean soup was invented. It was made into a meal, then, by adding a hard-boiled egg. Apart from being a staple in most Costa Rican home cooking, you can also find sopa de frijol on most restaurant menus. 


This dish is easily prepared in the slow cooker. However, I prefer to use the pressure cooker or Instant Pot because the meal is ready in about a half-hour. I generally get the beans started, put the eggs in a pot and bring to a boil- everything is done about the same time. 

Related post: Big List Of Delicious Recipes Served With White Rice

Black Bean Soup Recipe

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups dry black beans  
  • 8 cups of water  
  • 1/4 sweet red pepper 
  • 1/4 white onion 
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro  
  • 3 garlic cloves  
  • 1 tbsp salt sea salt preferred   
  • 2 stalks celery, cut in half   
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4-6 eggs hard-boiled and peeled  

Instructions:  

Roughly chop all vegetables. Rinse the beans under cold tap water and drain.

Place beans, water, sweet red pepper, onion, carrots, garlic  in a slow cooker and cook stirring lightly. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-4 hours while stirring occasionally every 30 minutes. This is also a great Instant Pot recipe, can be made in the pressure setting on high for 25- 20 minutes. 

While the soup is cooking, hard boil the desired number of eggs and peel.

To serve- remove large pieces of vegetables (optional)  and place black beans in a fairly large bowl. Add one egg per serving. Cover the beans and egg with broth. Serve hot, with Salsa Lizano and white rice for garnish. 

Related post: Black Bean Empanada Recipe

Substitutions

In place of the water, you could use chicken broth or vegetable broth.

You may find this soup in Costa Rica with a red bean, a kidney bean. The broth is a bit redder in color but the flavor is essentially the same.

Variations

The soup is traditionally served by removing the big pieces of cooked vegetables before serving.  However, we love to eat them too, so I just leave them in the soup.

If you are ordering this at a Costa Rican restaurant, you may want to find out how the soup is served. It might just be broth and rice. It might have the whole beans. It might come with a fried egg or a boiled egg. Just clarify and ask for what you want.  

Once the beans are about on their last leg, you can also make them into this amazing Costa Rican bean dip.

Serving Suggestions

This is a great recipoe to serve with Costa Rican white rice. You may also find Costa Rican black bean soup served with freshly made tortilla chips or with homemade warm tortillas. This soup is always served with Salsa Lizano.

Related post: Costa Rican Black Bean Dip Recipe

FAQ

Do I need to soak the black beans? – Nope! this recipe is a no soak method because of the pressure cooker. I do recommend that you wash the beans first. I just put them in a colander run water over them for a few minutes. I don’t even dry them out before putting the pressure cooker or Instant Pot.

Can I prepare this on the stovetop? – Yes! It takes a long time- I think you probably need to simmer the beans covered for at least two hours. And that’s also after soaking the beans- preferably covered in water overnight. 

More popular bean soups from Pura Vida Moms:

Printable Recipe

Yield: 6 servings

Traditional Costa Rican Black Bean Soup Recipe

Black bean soup in a ceramic bowl beside a cloth napkin and spoon.

This traditional Costa Rican black bean soup recipe is a delicious, healthy, and simple vegetarian/vegan meal that everyone loves!  Served with Costa Rican white rice and Salsa Lizano.  You can find this dish on most Costa Rican restaurant menus as well. These ingredients can be easily be found at your local grocery store.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dry black beans  
  • 8 cups of water  
  • 1/4 red pepper 
  • 1/4 white onion 
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro  
  • 3 garlic cloves  
  • 1 tbsp salt sea salt preferred   
  • 2 stalks celery, cut in half   
  • 4-6 eggs hard-boiled and peeled

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook stirring lightly.
  2. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-4 hours while stirring occasionally every 30 minutes.
  3. This is also a great Instant Pot recipe, can be made in the pressure setting on high for 25- 20 minutes. 
  4. While the soup is cooking, hard boil the desired number of eggs and peel.
  5. To serve- remove large pieces of vegetables (optional)  and place black beans in a fairly large bowl.
  6. Add one egg per serving. Cover the beans and egg with broth.
  7. Serve hot, with Salsa Lizano and white rice for garnish. 

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 306Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 187mgSodium: 1351mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 10gSugar: 3gProtein: 21g

Please double-check this information with your favorite nutrition calculator.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Lol
    May 3, 2020 at 2:42 am

    Celery is not part of a tradicional CR black bean soup

    • Reply
      Christa
      May 3, 2020 at 4:16 pm

      From what region? We always add it in San Ramon in the Central Valley. I’ve never seen it without! Pura Vida! Christa