Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr
6 servings

Cumin and fiery serrano chile infuse this simple soup as it cooks, and a dollop of sour cream provides a refreshing foil for the spicy flavors. For less heat, seed the chile first or use a milder pepper, such as jalapeño. You can also omit the chile altogether, if you prefer.

How to Make It

Step 1

Sort and wash beans; place in a large bowl. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand 8 hours. Drain.

Step 2

Combine beans, broth, and next 5 ingredients (through chile) in an electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 10 hours. Discard bay leaves. Stir in juice and salt. Ladle 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 6 bowls; sprinkle each with 2 teaspoons chopped cilantro. Top each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons sour cream. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.

Chef's Notes

This recipe has been retested for Cooking Light Slow Cooker Tonight, 2012

Ratings & Reviews

SarahBurgdorf's Review

December 01, 2009
I think quality ingredients are key for this recipe. I use cumin so frequently that I always have a fresh bottle on hand. Fresh vibrant cilantro is also key. I also highly recommend braising the onions along with a boneless skinless pork chop. These additions to the recipe are a simple way of raising the flavor profile without adding to the calories significantly.

Hey, guys, this is good

March 07, 2016
And it couldn't be easier or cheaper. I did purée some of the beans to thicken it up a bit. I served with sour cream and shredded cheddar, but I think it would be good topped with avocado too.

brendagiunta's Review

January 07, 2015

Lightrod's Review

February 09, 2014
I make this using all chicken stock, rather than the water and vegetable broth, and I puree the whole soup - with the cilantro - when it's finished. Then I stir in the lime at the end. When I do this, the soup comes out creamy, thick, and flavorful. We add the sour cream dolloped on top at the end, and my whole family loves it. Actually, my family adds the sour cream, but I add plain yogurt because I like the slightly sour taste it adds. I feel it complements the lime well. I serve it with warmed corn tortillas or corn bread and a salad. Very easy, and the house smells great when I come home to it.

SkinnyMealPlans's Review

October 10, 2013

my2jlove's Review

August 19, 2013

Debbie17's Review

June 04, 2013
Wow, was this bland! I can not believe this made it past the CL test kitchen.

KarenFashana's Review

April 09, 2013
Quite possibly one of the best soups I've ever made. So easy to throw all the ingredients in the crock pot and have it be ready to eat when you get home from work. Super flavorful and healthy to boot.

lizzie924's Review

November 19, 2012

seffken's Review

February 14, 2012
My husband and I love this recipe. We've been making it for years because it's delicious and budget friendly.