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Black Bean, Kale, Spinach Soup

Prep Time:

2 Hour

Cook Time:

30 Minutes


6-8 Servings



About the Recipe

My dad used to insist that a decent home must have a fresh pot of soup, beans, and rice every day—according to him, the most important and vital dishes to accompany the main course. On the other hand, my mama believed that all our bodies needed were fresh veggie soup, beans, and big salads. She aimed to keep it simple and skip the main course, whether it was chicken guisado, Cecina, or carne asada. However, my dad didn't quite grasp the concept of vegetarianism. Interestingly, more than meat, he demanded his daily fresh soup, beans, and rice. Eating meat was just a habit.

During my elementary school days, returning home from school meant being greeted by the enticing aromas wafting from the kitchen. Picture arriving home after hours of traveling in the yellow bus, being the very last one and utterly starved. Finding a seat at the table in our yellow kitchen was a challenge due to the size of my family—five brothers, one sister, one nephew, plus my brothers' constant stream of friends. Once I could sit, my mama, knowing me so well, would serve me her delicious freshly cooked beans with a generous amount of broth, a tiny spoon of sour cream (either from the farmer’s market or the ranch of one of the Mexican ex-presidents, right next door), fresh cilantro, two raw serrano chiles, and warm corn tortillas. Yum!

Today, in our house, there's always a fresh pot of beans. With these beans, I prepare various vegan and vegetarian soups, along with other easy-to-make Mexican dishes like burritos, tostadas, tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, sopes, tortas, and molletes. But more about those recipes later. That will be in another book.



6-8 cups fresh water

2 cups dry black beans (or black-eyed peas or pinto, yellow, or lima beans). Soak them one night before, and change the water a few times before cooking.

1 small onion cut in half or leeks

2-4 cloves garlic (optional)

chili powder or cayenne (optional)

1 tbsp cumin or kombu (to assist digestion for vata)

3 tbsp epazote or a pinch of hing (to assist digestion for vata)

1 bunch cilantro

1-2 tsp fresh or dry Mexican or Greek oregano, cilantro, or spearmint or yerbabuena with coriander (to assist digestion and to cool down the other herbs for pitta)

sea salt

1 tsp of coconut oil (summer) or ghee (winter) (optional)


raw avocado cut in cubes

raw tomato cut in cubes (optional) 

lime or lemon

finely chopped kale, basil, cilantro, dill, and parsley

chili flakes or sautéed or raw serrano (coconut oil for summer, ghee for winter; optional) 

organic extra-virgin olive oil or ghee



  1. Sort and wash the beans, then soak them overnight or for a minimum of four hours if possible.

  2. In your favorite stainless-steel or cast-iron soup pot, add 6-8 cups of water along with the beans, sea salt, cumin, cayenne, and cilantro and/or epazote. After 1 hour, add more cilantro, onion, and garlic.

  3. Cook the beans slowly over low heat. Then, cover the pot, bring it to a boil, and simmer for about 2 hours.

  4. Check the beans frequently and add water if necessary. Cover again and continue cooking until the beans are soft. Aim for a liquid and creamy bean soup consistency. Adjust seasoning as needed.

  5. Play around with the ingredients and enjoy. Your soup is now ready to serve.

    For a richer creamy version: Add one bunch of finely chopped kale, spinach, and herbs. Let it simmer with extra minced garlic for added flavor.


    Add sea salt and the fresh finely chopped raw garden ingredients on top.

    *** Serve with ghee, olive oil, or avocado oil, and accompany it with organic corn tortillas, feta cheese, sour cream, rice, barley, quinoa, millet, or gluten-free pasta and, of course, a serving of yummy roasted veggies and tea.***

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