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Chicken, Black Bean, and Cilantro Soup

This tasty Chicken, Black Bean and Cilantro Soup is low-glycemic, gluten-free, and South Beach Diet friendly. Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.

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Chicken, Black Bean, and Cilantro Soup found on KalynsKitchen.com.

Salt Lake has gotten about 24 inches of snow in the last 24 hours, and I could use some comfort food, so this delicious Chicken, Black Bean, and Cilantro Soup sounds perfect. This is a quick and easy recipe, especially if you have some leftover rotisserie chicken in the fridge.

If you’re a regular reader you know I’m constantly going through the archives of the blog and updating old posts with new photos. And the new photos here are a big improvement over the original photo, with soup spilled all over the edge of the bowl! Hopefully the new photo will convince you that this is a very tasty soup. I’m a better cook now than I was then, so I’m also updating the recipe with slightly better instructions. Best of all, if you have leftover rotisserie chicken, you can have this on the table in about 30-40 minutes.

Chicken, Black Bean and Cilantro Soup found on KalynsKitchen.com

Heat the oil in a heavy soup pot, then saute the diced onion and celery about 3-5 minutes, until they are soft but not browned. Add the ground cumin, chili powder, celery seed, and garlic and saute about 2 minutes more. Add chicken stock, vegetable broth, canned tomatoes, and salsa and let simmer 10 minutes. (Boring photo, but this is an important step.)

While the soup simmer diced up some cooked chicken into small pieces until you have about 2 cups diced chicken. Add the chicken and 1 or 2 cans of black beans to the soup, taste to see if you want to add the green Tabasco Sauce, then simmer on low about 15-20 minutes. While this mixture simmers wash, spin dry, and chop enough fresh cilantro to make 1 cup chopped cilantro. (You can use less, but I wouldn’t!)

Add the cilantro and let the simmer simmer 5 minutes more. Then add 3 T fresh-squeezed lime juice and simmer 2-3 minutes more. Serve hot, with cut limes to squeeze into the soup and sour cream if desired.

Chicken, Black Bean and Cilantro Soup found on KalynsKitchen.com

More Soups for People Who Like Cilantro:

Coconut and Lime Chicken and Rice Soup from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Pressure Cooker Spicy Pinto Bean Soup with Ham, Tomatoes, and Cilantro from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Chickpeas, Ginger, and Coriander Soup from Pinch My Salt
Carrot and Cilantro Soup from He Cooks, She Cooks
Minced Beef and Cilantro Soup from Cooking with the Single Guy

Chicken, Black Bean, and Cilantro Soup

This Chicken, Black Bean and Cilantro Soup is a quick and easy option for a tasty dinner.


  • 1 small onion, diced small
  • 1 cup celery, diced small (use celery leaves too if available)
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 tsp. celery seed
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder or garlic puree
  • 4 cups homemade chicken stock (or 2 cans chicken broth)
  • 1 can vegetable broth
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup salsa (I used Pace Picante Sauce)
  • 6-8 drops Green Tabasco Sauce or your favorite hot sauce (taste to see if you want this)
  • 1 or 2 cans black beans (not drained unless you choose to rinse the beans to reduce the amount of sodium)
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, cut in very small pieces (leftover rotisserie chicken is great for this)
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro leaves and stems (chop the stems very small), plus more for serving if desired
  • 3 T fresh lime juice
  • cut limes, for serving (optional)
  • sour cream, for serving (optional)


  1. In a large heavy soup pot, saute onions and celery in olive oil 3-5 minutes, until soft but not browned.
  2. Add the ground cumin, chile powder, celery seed, and garlic and saute about 2 minutes more.
  3. Add the chicken stock, vegetable broth, tomatoes, and salsa, and simmer 10 minutes.
  4. After 10 minutes, taste for hotness and add green Tabasco if desired.
  5. Add black beans and chicken and simmer 15-20 minutes more.
  6. While the soup simmer, wash, dry and chop enough fresh cilantro to make 1 cup chopped cilantro. and squeeze enough limes to make 3 T juice.
  7. After 15-20 minutes, add the chopped cilantro and simmer 5 minutes, then add lime juice and cook 2-3 minutes more.
  8. Serve hot with fresh limes to squeeze into the soup, with sour cream and additional chopped cilantro to sprinkle on top if desired.
  9. To make a delicious vegetarian soup, use 3 cans vegetable broth and eliminate the chicken stock, and 3 cans black beans and eliminate the chicken.


This recipe created by Kalyn.

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Black beans are actually allowed for any phase of the South Beach Diet and other low-glycemic diet plans, although the portion size is limited for South Beach Diet Phase One. The black beans would make this Chicken, Black Bean and Cilantro Soup too high in carbs for a low-carb diet, but you can make a lower-carb soup by using 4 cups of cooked chicken and eliminating or cutting down on the beans.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also 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.

Chicken, Black Bean and Cilantro Soup found on KalynsKitchen.com

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72 comments on “Chicken, Black Bean, and Cilantro Soup”

  1. I love cilantro anything so this is right my alley! You just inspired me to go revist my own old posts , some of the vegetarian recipes are such treasures, they deserve the attention which they didn't get due to horrible pictures!

  2. Sam I've decided that re-doing photos is a job that will never end, but it's so nice when the recipe has a better photo. The saddest thing about people who don't like cilantro is that there's no converting them!

  3. Just mention black beans and my ears perk up. I need to go back and re-do photos too.

    I know what you mean about the love/hate thing with cilantro. I had a friend once say, "what is in this that I don't like?"

  4. Thanks Paula, and lucky you to have cilantro growing! I've never had luck growing it here.

    Calee, thank you; glad the recipes are working for your family!

  5. Kalyn, thank you for putting so much time into your blog! I love when older posts get revised and no one does it enough.
    Also, I am always on the hunt for diet friendly recipes that use things that the rest of the family will eat too, thank you so much!

  6. Wow! Your new picture really looks fabulous–especially compared to the old one. I love cilantro and have it in my flower bed right now so this is definitely one for me to try.

  7. Noriko, welcome, and hope the blog will be useful for you!

  8. Kalyn, I am so happy to have found your blog…I have been thinking about going back to the south beach diet, but I needed to find newer, exciting recipes and now I have….
    Thank you…

  9. Marcia thanks, and glad you're enjoying the blog. In the comment right above yours are my thoughts on making this without cilantro.

  10. In my case, cilantro hates me, causing major stomach discomfort. I'm wondering how well this recipe would translate without cilantro… sure looks good! As for your before & after photos, wow! I know exactly what you're talking about in terms of learning that craft. Just discovered your blog recently and am enjoying it very much!

  11. Wow, I have not heard of that before; sounds like you definitely don't want to eat it. I'd substitute a smaller amount (maybe 1/2 cup) of chopped parsley for the cilantro, or just leave it out entirely. I think you could also use chopped celery leaves as the "herb" here; I love their flavor.

  12. Kaylyn,

    This soup sounds wonderful, except I'm one of those people that hates cilantro. I'm not fond of the taste, but the kicker is that it makes me feel wierd, almost drunk, so I avoid it completely.

    Is there any substitution that would be almost as good as cilantro?

  13. Shirley, glad you are inspired to make it by the new photos!

  14. Kalyn, I'm so glad that you updated this post because I can't wait to make this soup. March has teased us with some warm days, but good soups are still very welcome, especially when I don't have the wood stove going and it gets a bit chilly in our house. Love the new photos, too! Thanks as always. 🙂


  15. Katy, Glad you're enjoying the blog!

    I'm going to answer here so you know why I don't do it that way. The print with picture isn't an option with the blogging software I use. I'm creating each of the printer friendly pages on a separate site, and I would have to add pictures by hand to the printer-friendly pages. For most people, dding more to those pages would defeat the purpose of having them (so that a recipe prints on one page) and the only way to give people a choice would be to create two printer pages for each recipe (which I'm not willing to do, at least not at this point.)

    I also don't want to add the phase to the recipe for several reasons. First, many people use this site who aren't on South Beach, which is why I discuss the phase after the recipe in the main post. Second, I am working hard to keep the printed part of the recipe as short as possible so that it doesn't go over one page. It seems easy enough to me to just make a note of it when you print the page if you can't tell from the ingredients.

  16. Hi Kalyn. This isn't a post to be published but a question/comment (or two). I print a lot of your recipes so it would be great if you could include your "phase" advice on the recipe (eg. suitable for first phase, etc.). Also, is there a reason you don't have an option to print the recipe with the picture? Since your photos are so good, it's a shame not to have that option. Otherwise, if I want your phase advice and a picture, I have to save to a new file, add it all together and then print that new doc. I noticed a lot of the other cooking bloggers have the "print with picture" option. Thanks for your great site – I use the recipes all the time.

    Katy McCoy, Sacramento

  17. Eliza Jane and Strawbz, hope you enjoy the soup!

  18. Wow this looks really yummy – I'm going to have to try it out 🙂

  19. This soup looks delicious! I'm a college student and I live in community dorms, so the idea of having a one pot meal that uses rotisery chicken is great! I love cilantro in salsa and gacamole but my mom doesn't so this will be the first time I've tried it in soup!

    I come to your site almost daily just to see what's new! Thanks for helping me keep off the freshman 15!

  20. Lydia, thank you! I have definitely improved, right?

  21. Wonderful contrast between the new and old photos! Soup is the hardest thing to get right, but it's such fun when you get a photo that makes the soup look as good as it tastes. Well done!

  22. I'm making this soup right now! I used smoked paprika in place of the chile powder, and it smells fabboo. Thanks for the recipe. Your site is lovely and well-organized.

    On a side note, I'm the only person I know who went from hating cilantro (soapy, the whole bit) to absolutely loving it (suddenly, in one day), and now I can't get enough. So I guess it's not genetic. Unless I mutated.

    I made a cilantro martini (cilantro, simple syrup, lime juice, gin, vodka) last night. It was really great with the Thai green curry I also made.

    Thanks for spreading the cilantro love!

  23. Jennifer, so glad you liked it, and the addition of garlic and ginger sounds good to me too.

  24. This soup is fantastic!! The added lime was exactly what the soup needed and how can someone not like cilantro?? The only think I did differently was add diced garlic and ginger. Yum!

  25. Anonymous, good idea to reduce the salt by rinsing the beans. I will edit and add your suggestion. (I have to confess that I’m a big salt fan and I have to be careful not to get too much salt in things.)

  26. Great soup! Made it tonight and there’s enough for 3 more meals. I would rinse the black beans though, to reduce the sodium of the soup. Very salty.

    Thank you!

  27. I made this last night, and it was terrific. I subbed 4 or 5 plum tomatoes for the canned tomatoes called for. I was dubious about the addition of the celery seed, but had some in the house and threw them in…loved it, and will definitely be making it again!

  28. Cilantro – the more the better in my book.
    Black beans – favorites here.
    Look very good to me Kalyn.

  29. Noobcook, thank you. I’m jealous of anyone who has cilantro growing right outside their door!

  30. This looks so good!! I am growing cilantro (we call it ‘yam sui’ or chinese coriander in S’pore) in a little pot outside my apartment, so I get a constant supply (well most of the time anyway ;p)

    btw, love your blog … and your food pictures are as drool-worthy as the food! XD~~

  31. Nice to hear from so many fellow cilantro-lovers. Also great to find out that you guys don’t care if I spill soup all over the bowl, because I am such a messy cook!

  32. Oh the horror! A picture of a soup bowl with soup all over the rim! I kid of course – the soup sounds delicious and the bowl of soup looks like it’s actually for eating and not just gazing at.

  33. we’re eating a lot of soups and I find them healthy and nourishing…this is antoher great one on the list!

  34. My husband was the first person who introduced cilantro to me.

    Looks so tempting!

  35. I love Cilantro and this recipe sounds like a winner, can’t wait to try it. So glad I found your blog.

  36. This sounds delicious! I absolutely love cilantro, and this soup is a must-try on my list.

  37. my wife didn’t like cilantro for a long time, but now she doesn’t think it’s too bad.

    It’s definitely a preferred taste for some, while weird to many others.

  38. When I first tried cilantro I did not like it too much but now I can;t get enough of it! It goes really well in soups.

  39. i love cilantro, although sadly i’ve never grown my own! i made a great corn and cilantro salad this summer, but i’ve never put it in a soup. this looks great!

  40. Your worse photo looks better than my best 😀 This soup sounds perfect for me…with lots and LOTS of cilantro!!!

  41. Comments before this one were from late 2005 when I first posted this recipe. I love the historical aspects of some of these early comments. A lot of these bloggers are still good blogging friends.

  42. Fortunately I love cilantro. I say “fortunately,” because I love it. And I love to love it. But I totally understand that some folks find it soapy.
    Deborah Madison has a soup recipe in Local Flavors that calls for an absurdly huge amount of cilantro — and it works! (She’s a genius.)
    I’m a dud at growing it, though. Cold weather crop? Oh. I’ll buy a plant this week while I’m getting new chives and thyme!

  43. Once upon a time, around 4 years ago (wow it’s been that long!), i didn’t have a garden patch of my own and i was allowed by my soon to be mother in law to grow some herbs in her garden. I grew cherry tomatoes, mint, parsley and coriander (cilantro). It was around the end of spring that i started potting them and they went wild! The cherry tomatoes could not stop producing sweet and juicy fruit and the coriander, mint and parsley were lush green and they took over the patch i had. The only thing was like you said some people either love it or hate it. Well in this case, only moi has it in the food so what i did to keep it growing is even when it’s not needed in cooking, i would still trim the stalk to encourage them growing.

    That’s a lovely soup you’ve created Kalyn.

  44. How correct you are about the love-hate status of cilantro, Kalyn! In india, we generously sprinke the herb in our daily cooked lentils (dal). At our home, my mother and brother love their dal to be profusely cilantro-ed, whereas I can’t stand even a speck of it in my food. I can never understand them and vice versa. lol.

    That said, your soup looks super delicious!

  45. Hi kalyn, guess, once you relish the flavour there’s no turning back on cilantro,you get hooked on to it’s flavour!

  46. I love cilantro too! In fact, we had it in two recipes tonight, fresh guacamole and sprinkled on Soffrito Rice. Yum.

  47. i am one of the pour souls that has the soap gene… bleck.

    enjoy your cilantro !

  48. I, too, LOVE cilantro. But I have the same trouble trying to grow it here with our warm springs. I had no idea cilantro was actually a cold weather crop until one year I had some volunteer seedlings peeking out of the snow.

  49. I LOVE cilantro! I plan on trying your recipe. Thanks!

  50. Love, love, love cilantro! Had for the first time (that I realized, anyway) in 2001 and have been a fan ever since. Made black bean soup last night and forgot to get cilantro at the store and the soup was sorely lacking. My hubby also loves it (thank god!). I think you’re right that people either love it or hate it.

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