Slow-Cooker Black Bean Soup, in a blue bowl with avocado, cilantro, jalapenos, red onion, and avocado crema with lime and jalapeno in the background. #blackbeansoup #mexicanfood #slowcooker #crockpot #soup @FlippedOutFood
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Slow-Cooker Black Bean Soup with Avocado Crema

Slow-cooker Black Bean Soup with Avocado Crema is an easy, hands-off meal that lets your crockpot do most of the work. The avocado crema adds a delightful, tangy creaminess to the soup. A perfect lunch, light dinner, or side-dish.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 –8

Ingredients

FOR THE BEAN SOUP

  • 1 lb dried black beans
  • 1 sweet Vidalia onion sliced into thick rings
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
  • 1 orange rind
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp ancho chile powder
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups beef broth (or vegetable broth; see Recipe Note #3)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 smoked ham hocks (optional; see Recipe Note #3 and 4)
  • 1 chipotle pepper (optional, see Recipe Note #3)

FOR THE AVOCADO CREMA

  • 1 avocado peeled and pitted
  • 1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp cilantro chopped (optional)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice

FOR SERVING

  • cilantro chopped
  • sour cream or Mexican crema
  • sliced avocado
  • sliced scallions
  • sliced jalapeños
  • cotija cheese crumbled

Instructions

FOR THE BEAN SOUP

  • Empty beans into a colander; rinse and pick through to remove any stones or other non-bean material. Add beans to slow-cooker along with all remaining ingredients for the soup. Lid and cook on low for up to 8 hours.
  • Remove orange rind and bay leaves; discard. Remove ham hocks: you can pick the meat off the bones and add back later (after pureeing the soup), if you'd like, or leave as-is.
  • Puree the soup to your liking with an immersion blender (see Recipe Notes #1–2). Check seasoning; adjust as necessary. Serve with avocado crema, condiments, and garnishes.

FOR THE AVOCADO CREMA

  • Add all ingredients for the avocado crema to a small food processor or into the blender cup of an immersion blender. Blend until smooth. If you like a looser crema, add 1–2 tbsp. water (this will likely be necessary if you use sour cream in place of Mexican crema). 

Notes

  1. You can also use a blender, but you must cool the soup first and work in batches. (Hot soups in blenders can cause nasty burns and blender explosions!)
  2. If you like some intact beans remaining for texture, remove a few cups of beans first and add back after pureeing the rest.
  3. You can make this recipe vegetarian by omitting the ham hocks and substituting vegetable broth for beef broth. To recapture the smokiness of the ham hocks, add a chipotle pepper to the beans while they slow-cook, OR add an extra 1/2 tbsp. of cumin.
  4. If you can't find smoked ham hocks, you can use the bone from a smoked ham or simply add some smoked ham cubes (1.5 cups).