Slow Cooker Smoky Vegan Black Bean & Sweet Potato Soup

Recipe by April McGreger, author of “Sweet Potatoes” and Weavers Way member


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lb. dried black beans
  • 2 Tbs. chopped chipotles in adobo sauce (remove seeds if you prefer a milder flavor)
  • 7 ½ cups water
  • 3 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 ½-inch chunks
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 ½ Tbs. fresh lime juice, divided
  • 1 cup of your favorite dairy-free sour cream, to garnish
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves or sliced scallions, to garnish


In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onions, peppers and celery and sauté until softened, about four minutes. Add the garlic and spices and continue to sauté another minute or two until the spices are lightly toasted and aromatic. Transfer the mixture to a six-quart slow cooker.

Rinse the beans and pick out any debris. Add them to the pot along with the chopped chipotles and 7 ½ cups water. Scatter three cups of sweet potato chunks over the beans, and do not stir. Sprinkle the salt over the top. Cook overnight or about 8-10 hours on low or on high for about 4 hours.

Gently stir in a few grinds of black pepper and two tablespoons of the fresh lime juice. Taste. Season with another ½ teaspoon salt if desired. 

Stir the remaining ½ tablespoon of lime juice into the dairy-free sour cream to loosen. Top bowls of soup with a generous dollop of sour cream and a bit of cilantro or scallions. Halved grape tomatoes, avocado and vegan cheese all make lovely and delicious garnishes as well.

Serves 6-8