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black bean coconut soup with butternut squash

Loaded with fiber, protein, phytonutrients and deliciousness, black beans are awesome, especially in vegan soup!
I also love butternut squash. I mean, who doesn’t? Smooth and tender, filling and sweet; hello vitamin A and C!
And coconut… well, if you know anything about me you know how much I adore coconut.

This recipe was inspired by a soup of the same name at Peacefood Cafe; one of the best vegan restaurants in NYC, and the place that inspired me to become a vegan.  I worked there for a while, and whenever Chef Rafael would make the Coconut Black bean soup, mmMmmm, I’d get so excited!  If you’ve ever been to Peacefood Cafe, and ordered this dish then you’ll understand my enthusiasm.

This is my rendition of the Black Bean Coconut soup.  Like Peacefood’s, it’s rich, hearty and subtly sweet.  I think this recipe is improved by the addition of other vegetables.  The varying textures of butternut squash, carrots and red bell pepper complement each other nicely, while the heat of the it is balanced by the red onion and fresh mint sprinkled on top.  Surprisingly the mint, used as a substitution for cilantro, is delightful.  I made this soup a few weeks ago for dinner, and upon first bite I knew it had to be shared on Sweet Potato Soul.  I hope you find it as enjoyable as I did.

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Black Bean Coconut Soup

By: Jenné
I prepared my black beans fresh, but if you're crunched for time use canned beans.  You'll notice that the butternut squash is steamed prior to adding it to the soup, I do this to shorten the total cooking time, and also to insure that the other vegetables do not become overcooked while the squash is cooking.  When steamed, the squash should take about 10 minutes to become tender, but still a little firm. I like it spicy, but I suggest starting with 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and add more if necessary.
Servings: 6


  • 4 cups black beans, cooked OR 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup butternut squash, cubed & steamed
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (save some for garnish)
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 of a vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil OR olive oil
  • red onion, minced for garnish
  • fresh mint or cilantro for garnish


  • In a large pot heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (or olive oil) on medium heat.  When warm, add onions and garlic and saute until translucent.  While the onions are sauteing, steam butternut squash in a separate pot.
  • To the onions and garlic, add carrots and red bell pepper.  Cook for a couple of minutes then add coconut milk plus 2 more cups of water and 1/4 of the bouillon cube.  Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer to cook until the vegetables have reached your desired texture, about 10 minutes.  Add butternut squash then season with cumin, coriander, cayenne and salt.  Stir well and cook for another few minutes.  Add more spices to taste.
  • Garnish with minced red onion, red bell pepper and mint or cilantro.
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About Jenne

I’m a Georgia Peach living in Los Angeles (by way of NYC), with an insatiable love of sweet potatoes, travel, animals, and cooking. On Sweet Potato Soul you’ll discover hundreds of delicious and easy-to-make vegan recipes.

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