Easy, cheap and vegetarian-friendly black bean and red pepper soup

Depending on where you shop, this simple veggie soup can cost around $6-12 to make. (Allison Harris)

Allison Harris

In these cold winter months, nothing is more comforting than a hearty bowl of soup. However, soup can sometimes be expensive, time-consuming and difficult to make. Over my few years of living in an apartment as a college student, I developed this recipe for a super easy and cheap veggie soup. To this day, it’s one of my favorite meals and lasts well as leftovers. For all the ingredients (minus spices), it’s about $10-$12 and makes about six servings. It is also fully vegetarian, and it can be vegan if you prefer not to top it with cheese. 


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic 
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin 
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 full onion
  • 2 cans of black beans 
  • 1 can “chili ready” diced tomatoes 
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 3 bell peppers, one orange, one red, one yellow
  • 2 cups instant rice
  • Salt to taste
  • (Optional) Shredded cheese (cheddar or cheddar jack are both great for this)


  1. Dice the onion and toss it in the pan with 1 tbsp oil until they start to brown. Dice the peppers and set them aside. 
  2. Add all the spices plus garlic, stir and let cook for about five minutes. 
  3. Add beans, diced tomatoes, diced bell peppers and veggie stock. Cover with salt (how much is up to you) and stir together. 
  4. Cover your pot and let the soup simmer on medium heat for about 25 minutes. Stir occasionally while checking for taste, making sure the peppers are soft. 
  5. At the 20 minute mark, you can reduce the soup to a simmer and in a separate pot, cook two cups of instant rice. 
  6. When the soup and rice are both done, you can either mix them together in the pot or just add rice to your bowl and serve the soup over it. Top with shredded cheese for extra tastiness. Then, enjoy!

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