Skip to Content

Panera Black Bean Soup (Copycat Recipe)

Sharing is caring!

An easy copycat recipe for Panera Bread Black Bean Soup. A warm, spicy, vegetarian, or vegan dish served with avocado, cilantro, or even tortilla chips.

This healthy, comforting soup is a seasonal item, not always available in the restaurant. So, learn how to make your own version of Panera bread black bean soup in the comfort of your own home; it’s fast, easy, and thoroughly delicious!

Hungry For More Fast Recipes?

Sign up for the Newsletter to get Quick and Delicious Recipes in your Inbox each week! Find me sharing daily meal-time inspiration on Pinterest and Facebook.

two bowls of bean dish topped with avocado and limes. Two spoons, more avocado and cilantro beside it.

Hungry For More Fast Recipes?

Sign up for the Newsletter to get Quick and Delicious Recipes in your Inbox each week! Find me sharing daily meal-time inspiration on Pinterest and Facebook.

What is Panera Bread?

Popular bakery-café fast-casual restaurants with over 2000 locations in the United States and Canada. They proud themselves in selling 100% clean food, free of trans fats, antibiotics, artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors, or preservatives. The company started 35 years ago as a small cookie shop in Boston and developed into what you know and love today. That is a place offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner in an uncomplicated, mostly healthy way. They sell lots of bread and pastry items, salads, soups, and sandwiches, all made with fresh ingredients.

Hungry For More Fast Recipes?

Sign up for the Newsletter to get Quick and Delicious Recipes in your Inbox each week! Find me sharing daily meal-time inspiration on Pinterest and Facebook.

close up brown meal with avocado, lime and onions on top.

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Hungry For More Fast Recipes?

Sign up for the Newsletter to get Quick and Delicious Recipes in your Inbox each week! Find me sharing daily meal-time inspiration on Pinterest and Facebook.

What do you need?

This is a healthy recipe using just a few budget-friendly, wholesome ingredients; it’s made with vegetable stock to keep it vegetarian or vegan, it fills and keeps you satisfied for a long time.

And you will probably not even have to go to the grocery store before cooking; chances are you already have all the ingredients in the cupboard and fridge, I know I always do. A lovely pantry staple recipe using those canned beans (or even dry beans) I always seem to have in the cellar. So really you don’t need much to make a delicious vegetarian meal!

Panera bread describes this meal as “a bakery-cafe-inspired favorite made with plump black beans simmered in a spicy vegetable broth with onion, red bell pepper, garlic, and cumin.”

Hungry For More Fast Recipes?

Sign up for the Newsletter to get Quick and Delicious Recipes in your Inbox each week! Find me sharing daily meal-time inspiration on Pinterest and Facebook.

bowls with ingredients for making a panera soup copycat recipe.

Hungry For More Fast Recipes?

Sign up for the Newsletter to get Quick and Delicious Recipes in your Inbox each week! Find me sharing daily meal-time inspiration on Pinterest and Facebook.

Black beans:

  • 2 can of beans, each weighing 15 oz. You can use dried beans if you like, but don’t forget to soak them overnight and cook them before adding them to the soup. Cans are faster and more convenient.

Vegetable base:

  • Half a small red bell pepper, 1 small-medium onion, 3 cloves garlic, 1 small-medium carrot, and two small stalks of celery.

Spices:

  • Ground cumin, red pepper flakes (or chili powder to taste), and salt. You can add some dried oregano if you like; I do it from time to time.

Other ingredients:

  • Vegetable stock. Use vegetable stock for a vegetarian/ vegan version. You can use chicken broth or chicken bouillon cubes instead.
  • Tomato paste
  • Cornstarch to thicken the meal. This is optional; if you are satisfied with the consistency, skip the cornstarch. The dish should be relatively thick, but you can always thin it by adding more stock.
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil

Hungry For More Fast Recipes?

Sign up for the Newsletter to get Quick and Delicious Recipes in your Inbox each week! Find me sharing daily meal-time inspiration on Pinterest and Facebook.

two bowl of dark soup topped with avocado and onions.

Hungry For More Fast Recipes?

Sign up for the Newsletter to get Quick and Delicious Recipes in your Inbox each week! Find me sharing daily meal-time inspiration on Pinterest and Facebook.

Garnish ingredients: you can use just a few or all of them. My favorites are lime, avocado, and cilantro; the kids prefer cheese or sour cream.

  • Sour cream (not vegan anymore)
  • Cheddar cheese (not vegan anymore)
  • Lime wedges
  • Cilantro
  • Avocado
  • Tortilla chips
  • Red onion

Hungry For More Fast Recipes?

Sign up for the Newsletter to get Quick and Delicious Recipes in your Inbox each week! Find me sharing daily meal-time inspiration on Pinterest and Facebook.

collage of two pictures of bean soup before and after garnishing.

Hungry For More Fast Recipes?

Sign up for the Newsletter to get Quick and Delicious Recipes in your Inbox each week! Find me sharing daily meal-time inspiration on Pinterest and Facebook.

How to make Panera’s black bean soup?

Vegetable base:

  1. Finely chop the onions, garlic, carrots, celery, and pepper. Set them aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot or round Dutch oven. Cook the vegetables with a pinch of salt, on medium heat, for about 7 minutes until softer. Add a splash of water and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring often. The onions should be soft as they will not soften anymore once you add tomato paste. (1)
  3. Add cumin and red pepper flakes, more salt, and stir for about 30 seconds. (2)
  4. Add the tomato paste and stir well for about 1 minute. (3)
  5. Pour in about 2 cups vegetable stock or 2 cups of water and bouillon cubes. Scrape the bottom of the pan well. (4)
  6. Drain the beans. Add them to the pot, increase heat, bring to a boil, lower the heat again and cook for 20 minutes.
  7. Use an immersion blender or potato masher to puree the soup to desired consistency; it should not be smooth but creamy yet chunky. Alternatively, scoop a few cups, place into a blender or food processor, blend, and return to the pot. (5)
  8. Caution: When using a blender, fasten the lid well and never fill past the maximum fill line. Beware the steam that escapes from the top.
  9. Mix the cornstarch with cold water. Slowly add to the pot while whisking all the time, and let bubble until thicker. For a thinner consistency, add more vegetable stock and don’t thicken the meal with cornstarch slurry. In this case, you might want to add more cumin and red pepper flakes as well. You can blend it more thoroughly for a smoother consistency, but you should leave some pulses whole for authenticity. (6)
  10. Remove from the heat and adjust the taste with lemon juice and salt.
  11. Serve hot, garnished with any of the suggested items.

Hungry For More Fast Recipes?

Sign up for the Newsletter to get Quick and Delicious Recipes in your Inbox each week! Find me sharing daily meal-time inspiration on Pinterest and Facebook.

collage of four pictures of cooking vegetables in a dutch oven, adding spices and broth, blending and finishing dish.

Our quick recipes directly in your inbox!

Hungry For More Fast Recipes?

Sign up for the Newsletter to get Quick and Delicious Recipes in your Inbox each week! Find me sharing daily meal-time inspiration on Pinterest and Facebook.

Can you make it in advance?

Definitely. Once completely cool, refrigerate it for up to 5 days. Then, reheat it on the stove. You can also freeze it (without the garnish) in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Then, let thaw in the fridge and reheat well on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.

What to serve it with this Panera copycat recipe?

Except for the garnishes, you can serve Panera black bean soup with kettle chips or a piece of French baguette or another crusty bread. And an apple. This is how the bakery would serve it.

I also love to serve any kind of spicy black bean soup with rice (either white or brown), other sorts of bread, cornbread, biscuits, or quesadillas. To make it a complete meal, make a salad as well.

Hungry For More Fast Recipes?

Sign up for the Newsletter to get Quick and Delicious Recipes in your Inbox each week! Find me sharing daily meal-time inspiration on Pinterest and Facebook.

two bowls of panera copycat soup with black beans and avocado.

Hungry For More Fast Recipes?

Sign up for the Newsletter to get Quick and Delicious Recipes in your Inbox each week! Find me sharing daily meal-time inspiration on Pinterest and Facebook.

Hungry For More Fast Recipes?

Sign up for the Newsletter to get Quick and Delicious Recipes in your Inbox each week! Find me sharing daily meal-time inspiration on Pinterest and Facebook.

two bowls of bean dish topped with avocado and limes. Two spoons, more avocado and cilantro beside it.

Panera Black Bean Soup (Copycat Recipe)

Comforting Panera Black Bean Soup, an easy copycat recipe for a quick and healthy dinner.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Share Grow.me Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 242kcal
Author: Adina

Ingredients 
 

Soup:

  • 1 onion small-medium
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 carrot small-medium
  • 2 celery stalks small
  • ½ red bell pepper small
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon red chili flakes more or less to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cans black beans each 15 oz
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • ½ – 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Garnish (optional):

  • avocado
  • red onions
  • lime wedges
  • cilantro
  • tortilla chips
  • sour cream
  • cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • Chop: Finely chop the onions, garlic, carrots, celery, and pepper.
  • Cook vegetables: Heat the oil in a large pot. Cook the vegetables with a pinch of salt, on medium heat, for about 7 minutes until softer. Add a splash of water and cook for further 3 minutes. The onions should be soft, as they will not soften anymore once you add the tomato paste. Add cumin and red pepper flakes and stir for about 30 seconds. Add tomato paste and stir well for about 1 minute.
  • Cook soup: Pour in about 2 cups vegetable stock. Drain the beans. Add them to the pot. Increase the heat, bring to a boil, lower the heat again and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Blend: Scoop about 4 cups and blend in a blender until smooth (Note 2). Return to the pot. Alternatively, use an immersion blender or potato masher to mash the soup partially; it should not be smooth but creamy yet chunky.
  • Thicken: Mix the cornstarch with cold water. Slowly add to the soup and let bubble for 1-2 minutes until thicker. For a thinner consistency, add more vegetable stock, and don't thicken the soup with cornstarch slurry. In this case, you might want to add more cumin and red pepper flakes as well. For a smoother consistency, you can blend the soup more thoroughly.
  • Adjust: Remove from the heat and adjust the taste with lemon juice and salt.
  • Serve: Serve hot, garnish with any of the suggested items.

Notes

  1. Nutrition is calculated without the garnishes.
  2. Caution: When using a blender, fasten the lid well and never fill past the maximum fill line. Beware the steam that escapes from the top.

Nutrition

Calories: 242kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 709mg | Potassium: 681mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3490IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 3mg
Keywords: black bean soup, panera black bean soup, panera bread soup, panera copycat soup
Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.