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Spicy Black Bean and Coconut Soup

4-6 Servings

50 minutes

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Nigerian frejon, a smooth puree of beans and coconut milk, inspired this rich, flavorful soup that happens to be vegetarian (even vegan). We blend only a portion of the bean mixture so the soup is lightly thickened, not a heavy puree, with lots of texture from creamy whole beans. If possible, use unrefined coconut oil—it adds extra coconut flavor and aroma; if not available, refined coconut oil works fine.




Don’t chop the habanero. To prevent the soup from becoming too spicy, we halve the chili, rather than chop it, to expose the heat-containing ribs and seeds. Don’t forget to remove the chili halves before blending a portion of the bean mixture.

50 minutes


  • 5

    tablespoons coconut oil (see note), divided

  • ½

    medium red onion, finely chopped, plus more to serve


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Diana L.
February 25, 2023
Great soup and easy
Its very easy to make and delicious. I dont add a hot pepper but jalapeno (if you dont add jalapeno seeds it is not hot but adds flavor). Sometimes I add carrots. I do half of the recipe for one person.
Stacey D.
December 31, 2022
Amazing recipe

Watch out, it is really spicy but I totally love it. Didn’t use coconut oil because we didn’t have it, however, I still loved the flavor very much.

Denis W M.

Shih-Toa C.
Did you forgot to remove the halved habanero? I loved the soup and didn't find it very spicy at all!

kathleen h.

The crunchy onions at the end add the best interest. Not too spicy.

Darleen Perri F.

This was amazing! The coconut milk and hint of allspice combined with the thyme and black beans is a surprising treat for the taste buds. We like it spicy at out house so I used 2 habaneros and blended up 1/2 of one of the habaneros. This is a keeper.

Geri Y.

The habanero added a touch more heat than we liked.

Ronni G.

The amount and management of tomatos mentioned is missing from directions and demo.

Janelle C.

Hi Ronni,

The tomatoes serve as a garnish for this dish, which is why we didn't include an amount. It's totally up to your discretion, and as stated in the ingredients list, the tomatoes should be cored and chopped.

The Milk Street Team

James S.

The recipe calls for 5 tablespoons of coconut oil (see note), but I so not see a note referencing the coconut oil. Help???

Janelle C.

Hi James,

As stated in the recipe description, "If possible, use unrefined coconut oil—it adds extra coconut flavor and aroma; if not available, refined coconut oil works fine."

The Milk Street Team

Janine W.

Just made this soup and it was delicious! Two thumbs up! Does anyone know if this freezes well?

Leah S.

This was so different and delicious. It almost reminded me of a chowder. I did a few things differently....cooked up some dried black beans with some dried peppers and onions, left out the habanero, added the chopped tomato into the soup, and added collards. And I thought it was great by itself, so I just put out limes for each person to squeeze on if they wanted. This is definitely my new go to black bean soup recipe!

Kirsten F.

It's time to make this again. I made it and accidentally lost most of the pepper since it cooked down so much. It was delicious and not too spicy.

reginald allen w.

Excellent! used half of the pepper and heat-level was perfect.