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Kalyn's Kitchen

Crockpot Vegetarian Black Bean and Tomatillo Soup with Lime and Cilantro

You’ll love the tomatillos in this tasty Crockpot Vegetarian Black Bean and Tomatillo Soup with Lime and Cilantro! Use Slow Cooker Recipes for more recipes like this one.

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Crockpot Vegetarian Black Bean and Tomatillo Soup with Lime and Cilantro
Crockpot Vegetarian Black Bean and Tomatillo Soup with Lime and Cilantro is a recipe that I came up with in late August, in anticipation of the possibility that having braces might seriously change my eating habits. Although it’s true braces have made some of my favorite foods seem like more trouble than they’re worth, this soup is worth making even if you don’t have a newly-developed fondness for soft foods. The starring ingredient here, and one that makes this a good candidate for Weekend Herb Blogging, is the tomatillos, which my garden is still producing like crazy.

Tomatillos are a member of the nightshade family, along with tomatoes and eggplant. Also called “tomato verde,” they’re an ingredient in many Southwestern or Mexican dishes. And since the host for this Week’s Edition of Weekend Herb Blogging is Susan from The Well Seasoned Cook, and since she has a long-running legume love affair, it seems fitting that there are also black beans in the soup. Here is the new Weekend Herb Blogging index page with all the information you need to participate if you’ve been cooking with some type of herb or unusual plant ingredient this week.

collage photo for Crockpot Vegetarian Black Bean and Tomatillo Soup with Lime and Cilantro

Tomatillos can be used as soon as they fill out the papery husk, but if you get a bit behind schedule on picking them, they’ll start to burst out of the husks, like this. Try to use them when they’re still bright green, as they lose a lot of their tart citrus flavor when they turn yellow. I wanted the tomatillos to be quite finely chopped here, so I cut slices, then cut the slices into strips, and then into small cubes about 1/4 inch square.

You could probably skip this step, but before I put them in the crockpot, I sauteed the tomatillos in olive oil with some minced garlic. And of course, serve the finished soup with plenty of chopped fresh cilantro!

More Recipes with Tomatillos:

Tomatillo and Black Bean Salsa
Tomatillo Salsa Verde from Simply Recipes
Roasted Green Tomatillo Salsa from Andrea’s Recipes
Nick’s Chipotle Grilled Shrimp with Black Bean Salsa
Simmered Tomatillo-Serrano Chile Sauce from Cafe Johnsonia

Crockpot Vegetarian Black Bean and Tomatillo Soup with Lime and Cilantro

You’ll love the tomatillos in this tasty Crockpot Vegetarian Black Bean and Tomatillo Soup with Lime and Cilantro!


  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 8 tomatillos, chopped in 1/4 inch pieces (about 2 cups chopped tomatillo)
  • 1 T finely minced garlic
  • 1 T dried cilantro (optional, but recommended)
  • 2 tsp. dried Mexican Oregano
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 cans (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed well
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with juice
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (or a bit less if you don’t love lime like I do)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish if desired


  1. Chop onions and tomatillos into pieces about 1/4 inch.
  2. Heat olive oil in large frying pan, then saute onions and tomatillos about 5 minutes, then add garlic, dried cilantro, Mexican Oregano, and cumin and saute 1-2 minutes more.
  3. While vegetables saute, dump beans into a colander placed in the sink and rinse until no more foam appears.
  4. Put tomatillo-onion mixture into large 4-5 quart crockpot. (I used a 5 1/2 quart crock pot, but it was not completely full.)
  5. Add beans, tomatoes with juice, chicken stock, water, and brown rice.
  6. Cook on high for 4 hours (This could also be cooked on low for 8 hours.) Slow cookers can vary, so check and adjust the cooking time according to how hot your crockpot gets.
  7. After 4 hours (or 8 hours if using low) turn the crockpot to low setting, and let it cook 15 minutes to lower the temperature, then add the fresh lime juice and cilantro and cook 10 minutes on low.
  8. Serve hot, with additional chopped cilantro for garnish if desired.
  9. This recipe could be cooked on the stove.
  10. Follow directions above, but put ingredients into medium sized soup pot and add one cup more water.
  11. Cook at very low simmer for about one hour, then reduce heat for five minutes, then add lime juice and cilantro and simmer five minutes more.
  12. Serve hot, with additional chopped cilantro if desired.


Recipe created by Kalyn.

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
With low-glycemic black beans and lots of vegetables, this Crockpot Vegetarian Black Bean and Tomatillo Soup is a perfect dish for Phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet, or any type of low-glycemic eating plan.

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?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into this nutrition analyzer, 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.

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    35 Comments on “Crockpot Vegetarian Black Bean and Tomatillo Soup with Lime and Cilantro”

  1. Pingback: Friday Abstinence All Year Round? - Catholic Sistas

  2. Megan, the soup has both dried and fresh cilantro, so if you don't have dried I would just use a little more fresh and add when the recipe says.

  3. I don't have dried cilantro, so I'm wondering if I can use fresh? I'm guessing I would add the fresh cilantro toward the end of the cooking time so the flavor is still present?

  4. I used two 14.5 oz. cans, will fix that in the recipe right now and thanks!

  5. Hi Kalyn,

    What size cans did you use for the tomatoes? I bought two 28oz cans but I wasn't sure if you meant two 14.5oz cans. Going to try to make this tonight – don't have a crock pot but from the sounds of it, it will still be yummy.

  6. That is a delectable bowl of soup -I like that you used tomatillos

  7. Miss Penny, glad to hear you liked it. I like the idea of adding some tomato juice too.

  8. I tried this tonight and loved it! This is the first time I have cooked with tomatillos. I added a small can of tomato juice to thicken up the broth.
    Thank you!

  9. soup looks very delicious, a very hearty meal.
    hugs and smiles

  10. pssteve, I can only imagine that the Rancho Gordo beans would make this soup even better. I bought some once when I was in California and now wish I could get them here, but can’t justify paying shipping. Good idea to add chili powder too!

  11. Made this yesterday & just finished it off for dinner tonight. It's a great soup, and I've made a lot of bean soups.

    I used some good dry black beans from Rancho Gordo, soaking them for about 4 hours, then cooking them at a simmer for about 3 more. Drained them and made the soup.

    I also added some chili powder with the cumin.

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  12. Padma, yaaay. I’m so excited to get the methi seeds. The tomatillos are quite tart, almost sour tasting but really a good flavor. I like them a lot. Some people think they taste a little like green tomatoes but I think the flavor is much better.

  13. I am so skeptical of trying Tomatillo, wondering how they will taste? Are they sour or bitter?

    Kalyn, so sweet of you to leave a comment on my WHB entry – Methi Aloo.
    I can send you Methi seeds, don’t worry about purchasing it online. Just send me your address!

    Seriously now I should start thinking to cook with tomatillos

  14. yum! i have never seen such a bright and beautiful green tomatillo here in upstate ny. (shh)

    this recipe is a good starting point for soup season. thank you!

    oh, and i didn’t even notice that you had braces at the blogher boston conference. you go girl!

  15. This sounds so good, Kalyn! A very filling soup, perfect for busy days.