gluten free · slow cooker · soup · vegetarian

Bargain Black Bean Soup

Oh hello there!

I’ve rebranded myself a bit, as you may have noticed. I haven’t blogged in a while because I was getting too lazy to take fancy pics of my food and with all of the hoity-toity food blogs out there I thought, what’s the point? Who wants to “eat with Julia” when they can suckle on Jamie Oliver’s sweet teat? or get randy with Bobby Flay and sassy with Rachael Ray?? Let’s be honest. I’m no professional. I’m probably not even good enough to make it past the first round of top chef because I don’t know how to poach an egg properly. But I do know flavour and fun and food and how to make it quick and dirty and easy. I also lack the ability to compose a proper sentence which is ironic seeing as a lot of my paid work involves writing. BUT I GOTS GOOD IDEAS MAAAAAN!

Goodbye “Eating with Julia” and hello “Eat This and Shut Up”. If you’re an industry professional who knows me you’d say “Oh, this is very on brand!” while sipping a cashew milk macchiato. That’s what I want to do. I want people to eat food so good that they shut their yaps for a second while they’re transported to delicious bliss.


I’ve been cooking a ton lately and it’s time to share some of the tasty tidbits with you fine folks.  I live in LA now and the Canadian dollar is complete shit. It costs a lot of money to move your life to a new country and I’ve been blowing through cash like the Queen of England. Yesterday morning before running to the gym I made the cheapest, most delicious meal I could think of using basic pantry items. Black Bean Soup. I wanted to eat this soup for dinner so I knew I had to get it in the slow cooker asap if these beans were going to cook. Here’s what you need to make this goodness and it will literally cost you a few bucks.

Julia’s Budget Black Bean Soup


1 pound dried black beans
6 cups water
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
half a large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp each cumin, adobo chili powder, cayenne pepper, oregano
salt and pepper
splash of olive oil
few dashes hot sauce


Sour cream or Kefir cheese
Queso fresco crumbling cheese or feta
Chives or Cilantro
Lemon or lime


Rinse the black beans and throw everything in the slow cooker except the can of tomatoes. Apparently tomatoes can make the beans cook more slowly. Same with vinegar. Something about the acid in them. Maybe this isn’t true but I didn’t want to take a chance! Also, no need to soak your black beans. I find soaking them makes them mealy and it’s just a waste of time and water. I say 2 tsp each of the spices but to be honest I just kind of dumped some in and eyeballed it. I made this in 10 min before I ran off to yoga like a real asshole. If you don’t like too much spice take it ease on the cayenne. You can always add more hot sauce or chili flakes later! Put the slow cooker on high for 5 hours and go do whatever you want. After 3.5 hours quickly take the lid off and taste the soup. Don’t burn your mouth! This is when you can check to see if it has enough spices etc. The beans should be tender but still a bit firm at this point. You can add more oomph here as well as your can of tomatoes. Stir everything together and let it go for another 1.5 hours.


Once the soup is done, ladle out a few scoops into your blender of choice. Let it cool a bit before you blend it. I was lazy so legit added a few ice cubes in it to cool it down so I could blend it and eat it faster. Blending a bit of it will add some creaminess but it’s not necessary! I made my soup very spicy to added a dollop of kefir cheese (which is like a sour cream/cream cheese hybrid) and some queso fresco. Topped it off with some chives, squeeze of fresh lemon and dinner was served!

Considering I didn’t even use broth, this soup was crazy flavourful. The garnish is not necessary but it definitely takes it to the next level. Creamy, spicy, tangy and fresh. If you want to omit the cheese go for it, but still top it with a punchy herb and a zip of lemon or lime. Serve it with crusty bread or a side salad to make it more of a hearty meal.

You can make this soup for next to nothing and I promise you it is SO good. The beans cost me $1 and the tomatoes were 89 cents. The rest is just stuff you already have at home! If you don’t have some of the spices I mentioned you could always use regular chili powder, paprika, dried parsley etc. Use any kind of onion you want. Make it your own! This recipe made enough for 4 healthy servings of soup. You could probably serve 6 if doing it as an appetizer.

So what are you waiting for? Eat this and shut up! Your taste buds will thank me 🙂

Love, Julia


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