Southwestern Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup

One flavor combination I just cannot get enough of is Southwestern flavors paired with sweet potato. That smoky, spiciness found in Southwestern cuisine with the subtle sweetness of the sweet potato is just to die for. I’ve made black bean and sweet potato enchiladas before, and it occurred to me to tweak my favorite enchilada soup a bit to bring the sweet potato enchiladas into a soup form. The results were fantastic, and I think I have a new favorite soup. My toddler really digs it too, so that’s a plus.

I can't get enough of the smokey, sweet, spiciness of this Southwestern sweet potato and black bean soup!

The soup is simple to put together, making it an ideal weeknight meal. It’s also very budget friendly, filling, and good for you too! If you prefer to have meatless meals, this is a perfect option for you! I used chicken broth to make my soup, but using vegetable broth instead makes this soup vegetarian and vegan.


This soup starts of with a base of homemade red enchilada sauce–SO simple, delicious, and cheaper than the store bought alternative! As awesome as the homemade enchilada sauce makes this soup though, my secret is adding a tiny (and I mean tiny) amount of liquid smoke flavor to the soup–it only takes a tiny amount to really ramp up the smokey, Southwestern flavor of this soup and it really helps highlight the sweetness of the sweet potato.


Southwestern Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup


  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1/2 a small onion, diced fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 TBS chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 6 cups chicken broth (or vegetable, if you prefer)
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
  • 1/2 TBSP agave or 1 TBS sugar
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced small
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • Salt and pepper to taste (amount of salt will depend on the sodium content of your canned ingredients)
  • Optional toppings: diced avocado, crispy tortilla strips, cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheese


  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft (about 3 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  2. Add the chili powder, cumin, and cayenne. Cook for 2 minutes to toast the spices, stirring constantly. Add the cornmeal and cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine.
  3. Add the broth and whisk together with the tomato paste and spice mixture until the spices dissolve into the broth. Add in the liquid smoke and sugar or agave. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add the sweet potato, black beans, diced tomatoes, and corn kernels to the soup. Bring to a boil, then cover, turn down the heat and simmer over low heat for 20-30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are soft.
  5. Serve with desired toppings and enjoy! 🙂

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Jana is a wife and a momma. Food has always been a passion of hers, which led her to study Culinary Arts in college. After having her son, she put her dreams of owning her own restaurant on hold for a while and discovered a love for sharing her life and her culinary talent through blogging. Jana could easily spend all day creating magic in the kitchen...if she didn't have to do the dishes afterwards.

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  1. I’m right there with you in the southwest flavors!!! I can’t get enough! Definitely have to try this soup!

  2. Once again, I so wish Steven liked beans! I may just have to make this for myself instead 😉 I love the use of sweet potatoes in this soup, that must add so much flavor!

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