Soups

Black bean soup

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Another recipe to celebrate the UN Year of Pulses, it’s king of a lighter version of a veggie chilli, but still makes a good hearty meal. This will serve 4.

So what do you need?

  • 250g dried black beans
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2- 3 large chillies
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper corns
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 40g / 3 or 4 chunks of plain chocolate (optional)
  • coriander leaves
  • plain yoghurt / sour cream / olive oil

So what do you do?

Start by soaking the beans overnight and then rinse them and put them in a medium-sized thick-bottomed saucepan and cover with fresh water and bring to the boil, you can add a couple of bay leaves to the water and simmer covered for about an hour until the beans begin to soften. (You could use a couple of cans of ready cooked beans if you prefer).

While the beans are cooking but the vegetables up into small pieces, reserve a bit of the onion and pepper / chillies to use to garnish the soup. Dry roast the cumin seeds in a pan and grind them with the peppercorns. Take out the bay leaves and add the vegetables, spices and salt and simmer for about 30 mins until everything is well cooked. The with a potato masher mask the beans up a bit, you want some to break down and thicken the soup and some to remain whole. Add the chocolate (optional) which gives the soup a richer flavor and  simmer for another 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with a dollop of yoghurt / sour cream or a swirl of olive oil and sprinkle on the remaining onion and pepper / chilli and a few coriander leaves. I served it with warm pitta bread.

If you have any leftover then you can reduce it and use it like refried beans.

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