Caribbean Bean Soup with Collard Greens

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This hearty Caribbean inspired soup is just what you need on cold winter days! Made with red and black beans and collard greens, simmered in a coconut milk broth with lime juice and Jamaican spices, this meal-worthy soup is sure to warm you up.

As much as I love winter and I love snow, this year I’ve kind of had it with cold and flu season. I think I hit a personal record of being hit with three nasty bugs since fall, each of which wiped me pretty bad for the greater part of two weeks. And the last of my two illnesses were only spaced apart by about one week. UGH.

I’m still getting my energy back and getting over a cough from my last bout of sickness. It’s nice to be starting to feel better, but man, it’s really hard to get anything done when you’re sick!

So I’ve been a little behind on recipe development, partially because I’ve been so worn out, and partially because food just hasn’t been all that appealing to me lately.

This soup is kind of exactly what I need for times like this! For one thing, it’s easy. Perfect for low energy days. Also, it’s packed with beans and collards and nutritions stuff to make me feel better. Also, it’s got a nice little kick to clear the sinuses. And finally, the flavors make it perfect for daydreaming that I’m on a Caribbean beach somewhere, far away from the cold, and without a sniffle in sight!

How to Make Caribbean Bean Soup

You’ll start by cooking up some onion in a little bit of oil. Once the onion begins to soften up, add some spices, garlic, ginger, and a hot pepper. Caribbean recipes usually include a Scotch bonnet pepper, but I can never find these, so I substitute with a habanero.

Next, add some broth, coconut milk, tomatoes, and beans. Let everything simmer for bit, to allow the beans to soften up.

If you’d like your soup to be extra thick, you can blend up a small amount using an immersion blender (or a regular blender, if that’s how you roll). Totally optional, but really nice!

Finally, add the collards and let them simmer until they’re fully wilted.

Season the soup with salt, some lime juice, and brown sugar. Ladle into bowls and enjoy!

FAQ & Tips for Making Simply Awesome Caribbean Bean Soup

  • Is this soup super spicy? It should be relatively mild if you stick with one or two peppers. If you’re concerned about the heat level, just omit the peppers and substitute cayenne pepper to taste, which you can add along with the lime juice when the soup is done cooking.
  • Be sure to wear gloves when handling hot peppers!
  • Can I use coconut milk from a carton? You can, but the soup will probably end up lacking a bit in flavor and richness — most coconut milk sold in cartons is actually watered down or a blend of coconut milk and other non-dairy milks.
  • Is this soup gluten-free? It is!
  • Feel free to switch up the beans and greens. If all you have on hand is black or red beans, use them! If you’ve got a can of pinto beans or black-eyed peas, you can use them too! Kale or chard would work well as alternatives to the collards, if you prefer.

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5 from 10 votes Print

Caribbean Bean Soup with Collard Greens

This hearty Caribbean inspired soup is just what you need on cold winter days! Made with red and black beans and collard greens, simmered in a coconut milk broth with lime juice and Jamaican spices, this meal-worthy soup is sure to warm you up.

CourseSoup CuisineCaribbean Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 35 minutes Total Time 45 minutes Servings 4 Calories 330 kcal Author Alissa


  • 1tablespooncoconut oil
  • 1onion,diced
  • 3garlic cloves,minced
  • 2teaspoonsfreshly grated ginger
  • 1-2habanero or Scotch bonnet peppers,minced
  • 1teaspoonallspice
  • 1teaspoondried thyme
  • ½teaspoonground cinnamon
  • ½teaspoonblack pepper
  • 2cupsvegetable broth
  • 1(14 ounce) canlight coconut milk
  • 1(14 ounce) canfire roasted tomatoes
  • 2(14 ounce) cansred kidney beans,drained and rinsed
  • 1(14 ounce) canblack beans,drained and rinsed
  • 2tablespoonslime juice
  • 1 ½tablespoonsorganic brown sugar
  • 1medium bunch of collard greens (about 1 pound),stems removed and torn into 1-2 inch pieces
  • Salt,to taste


  1. Melt the coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat.

  2. Give the oil a minute or two to heat up, then add the onion. Cook the onion for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it becomes soft and translucent.

  3. Add the garlic, ginger, and habanero or Scotch bonnet pepper, continue to cook for about 1 minute, until very fragrant.

  4. Stir in the allspice, thyme, cinnamon and black pepper, and cook for a few seconds, then stir in the broth, coconut milk, tomatoes, red beans, and black beans.

  5. Raise the heat and bring everything to a boil. 

  6. Lower the heat and allow it to simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, until the beans soften up a bit.

  7. At this point you can optionally blend a small amount of the soup with an immersion blender or a conventional blender, if you’d like it to be thicker.

  8. Stir in the collard greens. You may need to add them a bit at a time, letting each addition wilt a bit before adding more.

  9. Allow the soup to continue simmering for about 20 minutes, until the greens are soft and wilted.

  10. Remove the pot from heat and stir in the lime juice and brown sugar. Season with salt to taste.

  11. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Recipe Notes

Be sure to wear gloves when handling hot peppers. It’s up to you whether or not to include the seeds, just be aware that they will add a substantial amount of heat.

Nutrition FactsCaribbean Bean Soup with Collard GreensAmount Per Serving (1.5 cups)Calories 330Calories from Fat 62% Daily Value*Fat 6.9g11%Saturated Fat 4.2g21%Sodium 674mg28%Potassium 907mg26%Carbohydrates 63.2g21%Fiber 16.7g67%Sugar 6.7g7%Protein 18.5g37%Calcium 120mg12%Iron 5.2mg29%* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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This soup is amazing. Very hearty and flavorful. Thanks for sharing.


  • Fellow cooks, no need to wait for chilly weather for this delicious stew/soup. It was outstanding served on a sunny patio in Florida with lime wedges and rum drinks. As another suggested, I served with cornbread (Johnny cakes).
    My version was made with kale and the addition of a carrot from the crisper. Awesome!!
    Alissa, your recipes are winners. Thank you so much!


    • Yummmmm. This is one of my favorite soups. So so good. Thank you! We usually eat our beans Latin style so it was nice to have a different blend of flavors with them.


      • I just finished making this soup and it is fabulous!! We are not vegan so I made it with chicken broth and added store bought rotisserie chicken. I was searching for a way to use collard greens for the first time. This soup is packed with flavor and healthy. A win/win for us!! 😀


      • Delish, I used a jalapeño instead of habanero, just 1/2 tsp all spice and a can of white beans instead of two cans of kidney and black – the flavors were wonderful – best soup I’ve tasted in years


      • I was searching for a unique collard greens recipe and found this one- I made it and it is SO GOOD!!! Thank you for sharing it!


      • This recipe and soup is amazingly flavorful and rich. I’ve never found a good use for Allspice ! I did not have a can of light coconut milk, so I used half a can of regular and then added 1 more cup of broth. I followed all other directions and love the result. I will make this many more times! At first I was confused by small amount of broth added, but with the coconut milk and juice from the canned tomatoes, it worked out very well. Also I blended some with the immersion blender and I loved the thicker result.


      • This recipe is fantastic. I used two serrano peppers and added black-eyed peas. I love anything that involves collard greens, so I knew I would like this, but I had no idea it would be THIS great!


      • This recipe is great and has been a wintertime staple for me for the past several years. I also made it for my soup club. It got rave reviews!


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Hi, I’m Alissa! I’m a former attorney turned professional food blogger. I love creating vegan recipes with bold flavors!

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