Black Bean Soup

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This recipe was inspired by, not a trip to Mexico, but when we visited the states of Arizona and Texas in the USA! These states are not far from South America and have strong Mexican influences in their culture as well as food. We tasted various dishes with black beans and I find these legumes in soup so comforting at any time of the year. I have added my own favourite ingredients and usually serve this soup with a garnish of spring onions, coriander leaves, no fry tortilla chips, grated cheese and a nice dollop of yoghurt (or sour cream if it’s around!). I also like this with some freshly made bread if it’s around and use the soup for a big bowl of dip 🙂

To “Veganize” this recipe, you can leave out the butter altogether and just add an extra teaspoon of oil to ensure the veg doesn’t burn. You can also replace the yoghurt with cashew cream  or coconut yoghurt for a lovely, rich garnish.

Serves about 6 bowls

What you need:

  • 1 knob of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of any flavourless oil
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, grated of finely chopped
  • 2 green/red chillies (add according to your spice tolerance), finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper/capsicum (any colour), finely chopped
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups of frozen sweetcorn
  • 2 cups – dehydrated Black beans (the tinned variety can also be used and you’ll need about 2 tins)
  • 2 pints of vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons, smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon, ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Juice of half a lemon

To garnish:

  • Baked Tortilla Chips
  • Spring onions, finely sliced
  • Coriander leaves, finely sliced
  • Grated cheese (I use cheddar)
  • Natural plain yoghurt or Sour cream

How to make it:

  1. If using dehydrated black beans, cook according to packet instructions. I usually do a quick soak by boiling in water for about 3 mins and then leave to soak in the same pan for an hour.
  2. Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan and then add the onions. On a low flame, cook the onions until softened, stirring occasionally so they don’t burn.
  3. Then add the garlic, chillies, celery, carrot and peppers/capsicum. Cook for a further 5 minutes utnil the veg are cooked through and then add the tomatoes.
  4. After the tomatoes are broken down with the veg (this should take about 5 mins) , add veg stock, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, cumin, 3/4 of the defrosted sweetcorn and  and 3/4 of the cooked black beans. Cook for about 8 minutes to allow the stock and veg to combine well then take off the heat.
  5. Use a hand blender or food processor so the soup is chunky and not fully pureed. Put the soup back on a low flame, add the remaining black beans and sweetcorn and heat through. Add more hot water if you think the soup is too thick.
  6. Before serving, add the lime juice and stir well. Ladle out the soup in bowls, add your desired garnish and sluuuurp! 🙂

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