Sweet Potato Black Bean Soup

This colourful and hearty soup is a meal in a bowl, spiced with Mexican flavors that will warm you up on a cold winter day and send you back for a second helping. This soup is rich in quality carbohydrates and protein, making it an ideal recovery meal after a tough workout. The brilliant orange that makes sweet potatoes so appealing signals their high beta-carotene content, an antioxidant with disease-fighting potential. In addition, sweet potatoes provide a healthy dose of vitamin C, folic acid, and B vitamin, and fiber. Research shows that eating soup has many health benefits, so put this one on your menu soon!


1 tbsp. olive oil

1 medium-sized onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)

2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups chopped)

1 large red sweet pepper, chopped

1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped (add more or less pepper to taste)

2 garlic cloves, chopped fine

1 tbsp. chili powder

1 tsp. ground cumin

3 cups vegetable broth

1 14 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained

1.5 cups corn (from fresh, frozen, or canned and drained)

2 cups cooked black beans (19-oz can, rinsed and drained)

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Juice of 1/2 lime (cut the other half into wedges to garnish bowls)

Garnishes (optional)

Cheddar cheese, grated

Chopped cilantro

Chopped green onions

Lime wedges (people can squeeze more lime juice into their soup)


  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, sweet potatoes, red pepper, jalapeno pepper, and garlic. Cook until peppers and onion are tender (about 5 minutes).
  2. Stir in chili powder and cumin, and reduce heat to medium. Cook, covered, until sweet potatoes are tender (about 8 minutes), stirring occasionally.
  3. Add broth, tomatoes, and corn. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Stir in corn and reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove half of soup to blender or food processor, puree until smooth, and return to pot (you can skip this step, but it gives the soup a wonderful texture!). You can also use an immersion blender and blend partially (but I find removing to a blender gives a better texture).
  5. Stir in the black beans, cilantro, and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and black pepper, and add a few squirtz of hot sauce if you want a spicier soup. If desired, top each serving with cheese, cilantro, and/or green onions.

Makes 8 Servings (of about 1 ¼ cups).

Nutrition Per Serving

  • 185 calories
  • 7 g protein
  • 5 g fat (.4 g sat)
  • 0 mg cholesterol
  • 36 g carbohydrate
  • 7 g fiber
  • 440 mg sodium
  • 535 mg potassium


Sheila Kealey is a health promotion consultant, writer, and athlete passionate about encouraging lifestyle habits that promote good health.  She has a Masters’ degree in Public Health and has collaborated on many research articles related to diet and health. Sheila cross country ski races with XC Ottawa, and also competes in triathlons and running races (5k’s are her favourite, but she has gone the distance once, running a 2:57 marathon).  Sheila loves developing healthy recipes, and coauthored the cookbook and nutrition guide Food For Thought: Healing Foods to Savor.  Sheila shares advice on nutrition, physical activity, sports science, and tasty nourishing foods on twitter and her website.