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Sweet and Smoky Sriracha Black Bean Soup

Sweet and Smoky Sriracha Black Bean Soup by

I don’t think it’s any big surprise for me to say that soup is my favorite comfort food. I’m totally okay with it sliding to the wayside during the summer, where light fare liberally enhanced with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs rules the day. But once the chill hits, as it has this week (although the air conditioning is still running at work, yippee … must buy a pashmina this year), hearty soups — hot and full of deep flavors and textures — are what I crave.

Bean soups are a particular favorite. Filling and healthy, they create a full-bodied soup that easily switches up between bumpy (in a good way – whole, spoonable, tender beans mixed in with savory chopped vegetables) and creamy — sans dairy — when run through a blender.

I have a special affinity for the black bean — it’s been a favorite all of my adult life. Chiles rellenos stuffed with cheesy, spicy black beans … omg. And soup. I love how black beans take so well to different flavor treatments. Cuban black bean soup with lime and cumin and cilantro — a classic.

And now sriracha black bean soup. That addictive fiery condiment is the perfect addition to black bean soup, tamed ever so slightly with the smoky flavors of chili and a light autumn sweetness from maple syrup.

Sweet and Smoky Sriracha Black Bean Soup by

Oh, and on a completely unrelated soup note, I came across this on Facebook this morning: America’s Mood Map Test.

I was bowled over to learn I should live in New Mexico. I’ve never been there, but I’ve driven a lot of Arizona. I fell head over heels in love with the Grand Canyon, and the intriguing, consistently slanted slates of strata that stretches across Arizona and Utah. And me and Southwestern cuisine are already mejores amigas. But I think I need green, green hills and brisk fall weather to maintain my inner calm (I could definitely dig a winter home in New Mexico, though).

If you want to take the test, it’s a 60-second diversion. I browsed the comments on the article and no one said they were matched with Ohio. Not sure what to think about that — surely we Ohioans are not so atypical! (Although the teeming-crowd-disliking, curmudgeonette in me thinks it’s sort of okay. I kinda want to keep the amazingness of my hometown all to myself.)

Just for fun, in what state do you live, and where are you “supposed to” live?

Sweet and Smoky Sriracha Black Bean Soup by

Anyway. Back to sriracha black bean soup.

If you don’t have all of the specific ingredients in this list, don’t fret. These are staples in my household, but feel free to substitute what you have. Soup loves improvisation and bends easily to become your own. It’s cold and rainy today here in the Ohio Valley — if there was ever a day for the spicy heat of sriracha black bean soup, this is it.

Karen xo


Print Recipe
4 from 1 vote

Sweet and Smoky Sriracha Black Bean Soup

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 4
Author: Karen Gibson


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 slices regular or 2 slices thick uncooked bacon or vegetarian substitute, finely chopped
  • 1 cup diced onion about 1/2 of a large onion
  • 1 teaspoon pimenton smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 to matoes peeled seeded and finely chopped, or one 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cans black beans 15 1/2-ounce, drained but not rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons of your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce or vegetarian substitute - or just leave out
  • 1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce lean towards less for a lightly spicy flavor - 1 tablespoon is the perfect level of heat for me
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro reserve a few pinches for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream for garnish
  • 1 cup white cheddar or pepper jack cheese for garnish


  • Heat olive oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the bacon pieces. Cook until the bacon renders its fat, then stir in the onions and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Scoot the bacon and onions to the side, and tilt the pot slightly to let the fat pool to one side. Add the paprika, chili powders, and salt to the fat and stir to form a paste. Add the garlic, and stir everything together for 30 seconds, coating the vegetables and bacon with the spice mix. The garlic should be fragrant.
  • Add the stock, and increase the heat to medium-high. Add the tomatoes, black beans, BBQ sauce, maple syrup, Worcestershire sauce, and sriracha sauce and stir to combine combine thoroughly. When the soup reaches a gentle boil, reduce heat to simmer-low, and partially cover with a lid. Cook for 15 minutes. Taste, and add more salt by the pinches as necessary, plus a few grinds of black pepper. Stir in most of the cilantro (remember to leave some for garnish).
  • For a "beany" soup, leave as is. For a thicker, smoother soup, run an immersion blender through the pot (or hand-mash with a potato masher) to break up a portion of the beans, leaving about half of the beans intact.
  • Serve in bowls with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of cilantro and cheese.
Nutritional information, if shown, is provided as a courtesy only, and is not to be taken as medical information or advice. The nutritional values of your preparation of this recipe are impacted by several factors, including, but not limited to, the ingredient brands you use, any substitutions or measurement changes you make, and measuring accuracy.
Recipe Rating

Jane on Whidbey

Tuesday 15th of November 2016

I recently was in the middle of moving, and needed to eat with no fuss, no muss. I threw some soaked black beans in my electric pressure cooker with 2/3 a bottle of Trader Joe's Sriracha BBQ sauce and enough water to cover them by an inch, and cooked for half an hour. Opened it up and added a bunch of chopped up raw chicken thigh meat, and a couple of chopped up yams, and cooked another 7 minutes. I couldn't stop eating it. If I had added more water or substituted stock, it would have been a great soup, too. I've made it since with onions, tomatoes, and Italian sausage, and it's fabulous. I love that everything is cooked in one pot, I don't have to watch it, there's no clean-up to speak of, and I don't have to smell it cooking all day. I don't even want to taste stuff I've been smelling for hours and hours. The smell gets to me after a while. YMMV, of course. I live in a tiny house, and I don't want cooking smells in my clothes and furnishings.


Sunday 19th of April 2015

I love Srirachia, and have always liked black bean soup. I tried a version of this at a local restaurant and was looking for a clone. Kudos to you, this is one of the best receipes I have ever made that I've found on the internet. I used a whole medium onion (instead of 1/2), otherwise unchanged, with canned black beans and canned crushed tomatoes. Just as good if not better than the restaurant's version. Thank you.


Sunday 19th of April 2015

Thank you so much! It's one of my favorites, too. :)


Sunday 10th of November 2013

I live in Ohio I'm suppose to live in Georgia I want to live in Washington or Colorado.

the soup looks amazing, making it this week! So excited!

Julie @ Texan New Yorker

Wednesday 30th of October 2013

Live in New York, supposed to live in Illinois. Nah, too cold in the winter, though I do like Chicago.

This soup looks wonderful, definitely pinning it. I totally agree with you on the bean soups. So comforting in colder weather. I'm partial to black beans in any form too.


Tuesday 29th of October 2013

Pinned for when my spouse returns, as he'll love these flavors.

I have been to NM twice, and got married each time. $35 and a photo ID, minimum age 13. Gotta love it. (I was in my 30s, just amused that somehow a 13 yr old is legally old enough to marry but not drink, drive, or vote). Thanks!


Tuesday 29th of October 2013

I have friends (of legal age, all around ;) ) who spend a lot of time there, camping and hiking. It's gorgeous country, for sure. It is funny how some states still have laws that seem quite backward but go largely ignored.