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Beef and Bean Soup

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A hearty beef and bean soup with meatballs, cabbage, and black beans – the perfect autumn or winter soup.

black bean soup with cabbage

Delicious beef and bean soup with beef meatballs, cabbage, bacon and black beans. Might seem like a lot of ingredients, but the soup is budget-friendly, easy and rather quick to make. And everybody will love it!

I think I have mentioned it before, once or twice (or 50 times probably), that we are soup fanatics in this house. We all love soup, any kind of soup, soup is the kind of dish I cook most often. Chicken soups, creamy soups, meatball soups, vegetarian soups, fish soups, you name it, I have probably already cooked a version of it.

 That is also the case with this wonderful beef and black bean soup recipe.

meatball soup recipe


The ingredient list might seem rather long, but don’t let that put you off from cooking this cabbage meatball soup. All the ingredients are easy to get, very cheap and you probably already have lots of them in the fridge and the pantry.


  • All I had to buy fresh was the ground beef to make the meatballs, but many times I already have frozen ground beef in the freezer as well.
  • You can also use sausages to make the meatballs. This way, things will go even faster, and you will not have to add any other ingredients to the meat mixture, the sausages are normally spicy enough.
  • To make sausage meatballs, remove the casings from about 500 g/ 1 lb sausages and form small meatballs with wet hands.
  • I used lean ground beef. Ground turkey will also be good instead. You can even use pork or rather a mixture of ground pork and beef, however, keep in mind that the soup will be fattier that way.
meatball soup with beans


  • I made this soup because I happened to have leftover cabbage, not enough to make stewed cabbage or German coleslaw, but enough to make a soup.
  • Other vegetables you will need to cook this meatball soup recipe are the typical “soup vegetables”: onion, carrot, celery, leek, and red bell pepper.

Pantry ingredients:

  • A can of tomatoes and a can of black beans, which you probably already have in the house.
  • If you don’t happen to have black beans, feel free to use white beans or any other sort of canned beans you have, the meatball soup recipe will be equally delicious no matter what kind of beans you use.
  • I use homemade chicken or beef stock, but use your favorite brand if you don’t wish to make your own stock.
  • I almost always use vinegar to sour this kind of hearty soup, almost any soup containing meat and/or beans.
easy bean soup recipe

How to make?

  • Start chopping the bacon and all the vegetables. I keep them in a separate bowl: bacon and onion together. In another bowl the carrot, celery, leek and pepper and in another bowl the cabbage.
  • Make the meatballs as well, as you will need a little time to form the balls. Set aside.
  • First saute the onion and bacon. Add the vegetables in the second bowl and saute for about 5 minutes more. Stir in the sweet paprika for about 1 minute.
  • Now add the tomatoes, the rest of the spices and stock to the pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Add the cabbage to the soup as well, cook for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are almost done, add the meatballs and the drained beans and simmer for about 15 minutes more until the vegetables are soft and the meatballs cooked through.
  • Adjust the taste with the red wine vinegar, more salt and pepper and serve.

The beef and bean soup with meatballs can be served immediately, but it reheats very well. Serve it either as it is or with a slice of crusty bread.

easy black bean soup recipe

More beef soups:

German Beef Soup with Dumplings

Lentil and Beef Soup

Beef Broth with Dill Pancakes

Organic Beef Bone Broth Recipe

beef and bean soup sprinkled with parsley in a blue bowl

Beef and Bean Soup (with Cabbage)

A hearty beef and bean soup with meatballs, cabbage, and black beans – the perfect autumn or winter soup.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6 -8
Calories: 395kcal
Author: Adina


  • Soup:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 100 g/ 3.5 oz bacon
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2-3 celery stalks depending on size (or about 50 g/ 1.7 oz celeriac)
  • 1 small leek
  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • ½ tablespoon sweet paprika powder
  • 1.5 liter/ 50.7 fl.oz/ 6 ½ cups chicken stock or beef stock
  • 1 can diced tomatoes 400 g/ 14 oz
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 250 g/ 8.8 oz white cabbage green or pointed cabbage can be used instead
  • 1 can black beans 400 g/ 14 oz (or another sort of canned beans)
  • 1-2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • fine sea salt and pepper
  • Meatballs:
  • 500 g/ 1.1 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley or frozen parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt less if using table salt
  • generously freshly ground black pepper


  • Cut the bacon into small cubes. Chop the onion finely. Set both aside in a small bowl.
  • Chop the carrot, celery stalks or celeriac, leek, and pepper into small cubes. Set aside in another bowl.
  • Slice the cabbage very finely or chop it into small pieces. Set aside in another bowl.


  • Chop the onion very finely. Combine the ground beef with the onion, grated garlic clove, egg, breadcrumbs, parsley, salt, and pepper. Mix very well with your hands.
  • Form the balls, about 30-35 walnut-sized meatballs. Set aside.


  • Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the bacon and the onion and saute for about 3 minutes.
  • Add the carrot, celery, leek, and pepper, stir well and saute, stirring often, for about 5 more minutes.
  • Add sweet paprika to the vegetables, stir well for one minute.
  • Add the stock, tomatoes, sugar, thyme, one teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
  • Stir well and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes.
  • Add cabbage and bring to a boil again. Simmer for 5 minutes, add the meatballs and drained black beans and simmer for another 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the meatballs cooked through.
  • Add 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar and more salt and pepper to taste. Add the remaining red wine vinegar according to your taste.
  • Serve immediately or reheated.


Serving: 1/8 of the dish | Calories: 395kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 1125mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 8g
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @adinabeck or tag #WhereIsMySpoon!

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Recipe Rating

Christy Myers

Friday 19th of November 2021

NM- Ha! sorry! Found it at the top of the ingredients! (My eyes) I’m chopping away right now.

Christy Myers

Friday 19th of November 2021

I’m just starting to Make this soup! It looks wonderful. However, I can’t find how much bacon is used anywhere in the notes, or ingredients. Please let me know- thankyou!


Wednesday 7th of November 2018

A very warming and hearty soup! My husband loves meatballs..this might trick him to eat some cooked veggies :-)