I knocked up this soup when I had a piteous cold last winter. It combines onions and garlic for detoxifying goodness with chillies to fire me up, tomatoes and carrots for essential vitamin C, beans for protein and chocolate because it’s a solution to almost everything. Plus dark chocolate and red wine are good for you, don’t you know? But putting all the science to one side, this is delicious, filling and surprising – so even if you don’t have a cold, make this soup!
100g dried black beans
1 fat clove of garlic
1 small red chilli or a pinch of chilli flakes
a generous shake of paprika
a generous shake of ground cumin
a splash of oil
30ml red wine
1 x 400g carton or tin of chopped tomatoes
1 vegetable stock cube
3 squares dark chocolate (approximately 20g)
fresh parsley, to garnish
Put your beans in to soak the night before, or early in the morning if you’re going to be cooking that evening. Place them in a bowl, cover with fresh cold water and then some, and cover the bowl with cling film. Leave for a minimum of 8 hours to soak.
When soaked, drain and thoroughly rinse your beans. Put them into a saucepan with fresh water and bring to the boil for approximately 10 minutes, then turn down to a simmer.
Meanwhile, peel and slice the onion and garlic, and chop the chilli (reserving a couple of slices for a garnish), then put them all into a saucepan along with the paprika and cumin. Add the oil and cook over a low heat until the onions and garlic soften.
Wash and chop the carrot, and add to the saucepan. Pour the red wine and tomatoes in, and stir through. Crumble in the stock cube, then add the dark chocolate and 400ml boiling water. Drain the beans and tip into the pan. Stir and leave to simmer for 20 minutes, or until the carrot is tender.
If you like, pulse the soup in a blender until smooth. (I prefer to leave mine just slightly chunky, but if pulsed thoroughly, this makes a deliciously silky texture.) Serve hot, garnished with a sprig of fresh parsley and a slice of red chilli in each bowl.
Tips: Grill pitta breads with cheese inside – until it melts –and serve these dunked in the soup for a seriously tasty treat!
Swirl cream, natural yoghurt or crème fraîche on top before serving.
This recipe uses almost identical ingredients to Mumma Jack’s Best Ever Chilli, so why not make them together?
‘Mexican Chocolate, Chilli And Black Bean Soup’ recipe from A Girl Called Jack by Jack Monroe.