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6 August 2015

Mexican Bean Soup with Avocado Cream


Mexican Bean Soup with Avocado Cream
This soup is richly infused with sweet tomatoes, spicy chili, tangy lime juice & fragrant coriander for that authentic Mexican flavour; a soup perfectly balanced in taste with black beans and sweetcorn, topped with avocado cream and crispy baked tortilla chips, for a hearty and healthy every-day meal, with a taste of sunshine. It may seem bizarre that I'm making spicy soup in the middle of summer, but the weather hasn't improved over the past few weeks and apart from a few bouts of sunshine, it has mostly been cloudy and miserable, so soup seems kind of fitting!
Mexican Bean Soup with Avocado Cream
It's no secret that I like big flavours, so most of my recipes have a wide array of herbs and spices, just like this one, there may look like a lot of ingredients but the majority of these are dried spices that you'll probably have lurking in the back of your cupboard. Seasoning dishes not only adds flavour, but there are so many health benefits of herbs and spices; cumin and oregano for example both have anti microbial properties, along with aiding digestion, coriander is known in large quantities to aid skin inflammation, as well as help to lower high cholesterol levels and blood pressure (though probably not an issue with a vegan diet), as well as being rich in vitamins, minerals and essential oils & acids. Basically, herbs and spices are your best friends in cooking - include them :).
Mexican Bean Soup with Avocado Cream
This soup is absolutely over-loaded with good stuff - the black beans are a great source of protein, iron and fibre, tomatoes are high in a number of micro nutrients (vitamins & minerals) including vitamin C, vitamin H and anti-oxidants, sweetcorn is high in fibre, potassium and vitamin A, which also means the avocado not only tastes great swirled into the soup but the good fats it contains act as a carrier for the fat soluble vitamins, allowing them to be absorbed within the body. Because the laws of eating soup say you have to dip something into it (I completely made that up, if you hadn't already guessed) I baked some wholegrain tortillas until crisp to eat with the soup - they're so crunchy and delicious and don't have all the excess oil and salt that shop bought crisps have added to them. 

Mexican Bean Soup w/ Avocado Cream | Serves: 2-3 | Time: 30 mins

You'll need:

  • Large Pot
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Food processor
  • Baking Tray 
  • Grease-proof paper

Ingredients:

  • 1 red onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1.5 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 cup sweetcorn
  • 1 can good quality tomatoes
  • 2 cups (500ml) veggie stock
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste/ketchup
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried coriander
  • 3/4 tsp dried chili
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • oil
  • 2 wholegrain tortillas

Avocado Cream:
  • 1 small avocado
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • pinch salt

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180℃ and line a baking tray with grease-proof paper.
  2. Dice the onion and add to a large pan with a splash of oil, saute for a few minutes on a medium heat, then mince the garlic and also add this to the pan, along with beans, bay leaves, dried oregano, cumin, dried coriander, cayenne, paprika, cocoa powder, salt and the juice of half a lime. Stir around for a minute or so to awaken the spices and then add the tomatoes, tomato paste and stock. Reduce the heat slightly and leave to simmer for 20 minutes, a few minutes before the end stir in the sweetcorn.
  3. To make the crisps, cut the tortillas into smaller triangles and place on the baking tray, cook in the oven for 6 minutes on the first side, then turn them over and bake for a further 4 minutes, until crisp and golden brown.
  4. Place the avocado, water, lime juice, garlic powder, onion powder and a pinch of salt in the blender and blend until completely smooth. 
  5. Remove the bay leaves from the soup, finely chop the fresh coriander, stir into the soup, then serve up with a swirl of avocado cream and crunchy tortilla chips & enjoy! 
Cassidy xx