Chipotle-spiced black bean soup
Pulse-based soups like this black bean soup are super-comforting and warming in chilly weather. I rustled it up to use a batch of black beans my neighbour Jenny Chandler had given me and wouldn’t claim for a moment it's authentic but it is good!
(Jenny has written an excellent book on pulses called, appropriately enough, Pulse and is known to us locally as the 'bean queen'!)
3 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
2 red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
1 chipotle pepper en adobo, chopped or 2 tsp chipotle paste
1 tsp sweet pimenton
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tin chopped tomatoes
2 x 400g cans black beans, drained and rinsed or, better still, 450-500g cooked black beans
750ml vegetable stock
For the topping
corn tortilla strips or chips
A small bunch of coriander
A small carton of sour cream
1-2 limes, quartered
Heat the oil in a casserole or heavy-bottomed saucepan and fry the onions, for 10 minutes. Add the crushed garlic, cook for a minute then stir in the chopped chipotle or chipotle paste, pimenton and cumin, Stir and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the tinned tomatoes, beans and 500ml stock bring up to boiling point and simmer for about 20 mins.
Remove half the beans and whizz in a blender (or use a hand-held blender to blitz the remaining soup in the pan - the idea being to retain some texture in the soup). Return the purée to the pan, heat through and adjust the seasoning.
Assemble the topping ingredients. Pour a shallow layer of vegetable oil into a frying pan and fry the tortilla strips for a minute or so until puffed up and crisp. Chop the avocado into chunks. Chop the coriander. Serve the soup with some crisp tortilla strips, sour cream, avocado a squeeze of lime and scatter some chopped coriander on top.
What to drink: I’d probably go for a beer - either a lager or a negro modelo with this but a robust red like a malbec or even a young rioja would work well too.
For other pairings with bean-based dishes see The Best Wine Pairings with Beans
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