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Slow Cooker Vegetarian Black Bean and Rice Soup with Lime and Cilantro

I’ve made this Slow Cooker Vegetarian Black Bean and Rice Soup many times for parties and it’s always been a hit. The soup only has a small amount of rice, but the rice adds texture and flavor to this meatless, gluten-free, low-glycemic, and South Beach Diet friendly soup. Use the Recipes-by-Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.

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Slow Cooker Vegetarian Black Bean and Rice Soup with Lime and Cilantro [KalynsKitchen.com]

I first made this Slow Cooker Vegetarian Black Bean and Rice Soup with Lime and Cilantro when black beans had been on my mind, and this recipe was one of those intuitive ones that swirled around in my brain for a few days and then suddenly I found myself in the kitchen making it. This has happened to me for years, but luckily when I started blogging I learned to write the recipes down.

The soup was flavorful and delicious, with earthy beans, sour lime juice, and spicy cilantro all combined in a healthy soup without a drop of fat, salt, or gluten, and although I used chicken stock, it could have easily been vegan if you used vegetable stock.  This may be one of the healthiest recipes I’ve ever channeled and it’s a perfect Meatless Monday soup. I’ve made this recipe so many times for parties when I wanted a vegetarian option and it’s always been a hit.

There isn’t a lot of rice in the soup, but the rice is important. If you’re following the South Beach Diet or another carb-conscious eating plan, I strongly recommend using Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice, although brown rice would be acceptable. Uncle Ben’s is the lowest glycemic index type of white rice, plus it’s the type of rice Julia Child used. Bet you didn’t know that!

However, even though the rice is essential, this soup is really about the black beans. They’re one of the World’s Healthiest Foods, high in dietary fiber, protein, and antioxidants. Black beans have very large amounts of the trace mineral molybdenum, which can be beneficial to people who are sensitive to sulfites.

(You can find more meatless recipes by using the Recipes-by-Photo Index Page for Meatless Monday or checking Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index.  For more Meatless Monday ideas from other bloggers, follow our Meatless Monday board on Pinterest, or check Meatless Monday at BlogHer.)


(Slow Cooker Vegetarian Black Bean and Rice Soup with Lime and Cilantro was updated February 2013 with better photos and instructions.)  

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Black Bean and Rice Soup with Lime and Cilantro [KalynsKitchen.com]
In a 3-4 quart slow cooker, combine beans, tomatoes, chicken or vegetable stock, onions, garlic, cumin, oregano, Ancho chile powder, and Chipotle chile powder.  Cook on low 6-8 hours (or on high 3-4 hours.)

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Black Bean and Rice Soup with Lime and Cilantro [KalynsKitchen.com]

When beans and tomatoes are very well done (even starting to fall apart), it’s time to add the rice.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Black Bean and Rice Soup with Lime and Cilantro [KalynsKitchen.com]
You might be tempted to use more rice, but trust me, 1/4 cup will be perfect.  If you were cooking on low, turn the slow cooker to high.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Black Bean and Rice Soup with Lime and Cilantro [KalynsKitchen.com]

Cook on high for about 30 minutes, or until the rice is tender.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Black Bean and Rice Soup with Lime and Cilantro [KalynsKitchen.com]
Then stir in the fresh lime juice and chopped cilantro and cook about 5 minutes.  Serve hot, with more lime and cilantro to add at the table.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Black Bean and Rice Soup with Lime and Cilantro [KalynsKitchen.com]

And just for fun, here is the original photo from 2006, which was okay for those days but not great!

Slow Cooker Black Bean and Rice Soup with Lime and Cilantro
(makes 6 servings, can be doubled for larger Crockpot or stovetop cooking, recipe created by Kalyn)

Ingredients:
2 cans (15. oz. each) black beans with liquid
2 cans (14.5 oz. each) petite diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or canned chicken broth (or use vegetable stock for strictly vegetarian or vegan version)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp. minced garlic (or more)
1 T ground cumin
1 T dried oregano (preferably Mexican oregano)
1 tsp. ground Ancho chile powder (I used Penzeys)
(could substitute regular chile powder)
1/4 tsp. ground Chipotle chile powder (I used Penzeys)
(could substitute finely chopped Chipotle chile in adobo from a can)
1/4 cup white long-grain rice (not more!)
(I use Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice for South Beach)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (2 limes)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or more)

Equipment:

I used my new favorite Crock-Pot 3.5 Quart Slow Cooker for this recipe.  Any slow cooker that’s 3-4 quarts will work.

Instructions:

In small Crockpot, combine beans, tomatoes, chicken or vegetable stock, onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, Ancho chile powder and Chipotle chile powder. Cook on low for 6-8 hours (or 3-4 hours on high), until tomatoes are disintegrating and beans are starting to fall apart.

When soup has reached the consistency you want, turn Crockpot to high if you were cooking on low. Add 1/4 cup rice and cook until rice is done, about 30 minutes.

Add fresh lime juice and cilantro and cook 5 minutes more.  Serve hot, with additional fresh lime pieces for each person to squeeze into soup and more cilantro if desired.

Stovetop Instructions:
Increase the stock to 2 1/2 cups.  Combine beans, tomatoes, chicken or vegetable stock, onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, Ancho chile powder and Chipotle chile powder in a 3-4 quart saucepan and simmer on low for about 60 minutes (or until the tomatoes and beans are well done.)  If the liquid has reduced quite a bit, add 1/2-1 cup water, then add the rice and simmer for 30 minutes more, or until rice is tender.   Add fresh lime juice and cilantro and cook 5 minutes more.  Serve hot, with additional fresh lime pieces for each person to squeeze into soup and more cilantro if desired.

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Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:

Soup like this with a lot of low-glycemic ingredients and just a little rice is a perfect choice for Phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet.  Use Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice or brown rice to keep this South Beach friendly. I haven’t tried this with Cauliflower Rice for less carbs, but I think it would be delicious!

Find More Recipes Like This One:

Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?

I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn’t have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

More Tasty Soups You Might Like:

The Top Ten Low-Carb Soup Recipes on Kalyn’s Kitchen

Slow Cooker Soup or Stew Photo Index Page ~ Slow Cooker from Scratch

Spicy Black Bean and Chickpea Soup ~ Local Kitchen

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Black Bean and Rice Soup with Lime and Cilantro [KalynsKitchen.com]
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55 comments on “Slow Cooker Vegetarian Black Bean and Rice Soup with Lime and Cilantro”

  1. What a great recipe! Being ever so resourceful I made a few alterations to suit what I had on hand and taste. I had leftovers from a batch of Carolina's Black Beans and Rice so I used that instead. I also halved the amount of tomatoes and used 1 can of corn with juice in place of the second half of tomatoes. I increased the broth to 3 cups using chicken bouillon and kept the spices the same amount but omitting the lime juice and adding a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Paired that with some cheddar biscuits on the side and what a hearty dinner!

  2. Looked promising, but Way too much tomato and lime. Might be good if tomato and lime were reduced by half, replaced with more stock or water.

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