Mexican Chocolate, Chilli & Black Bean Soup

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!

Serves 2

100g dried black beans
1 onion
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
1 carrot
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?

Photography by Susan Bell

Photography by Susan Bell

‘Mexican Chocolate, Chilli And Black Bean Soup’ recipe from A Girl Called Jack by Jack Monroe.

Twitter: @MsJackMonroe Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/agirlcalledjack

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10 Comments »

  1. I will be making a start on this recipe tonight by soaking my beans :-).

    Don’t know if i should put my comment on here but i discovered this blog a month ago and i love it.
    With having to fund two lots of nursery (which costs the same as our mortgage) and living costs becoming high we’ve had to cut back. It’s so nice to find that we are not the only family that work with what we’ve got. Making a “cheese” sauce from cheese slices. Bad times.
    I find this blog so re-freshing and helpful for those days where I have a fridge full of nothing but a cupboard full of random tins, jars, and packets.
    Despite what the critics say it’s nice to have a voice for the normal people who make do with what they’ve got.
    Love it, love it.

    • I agree! This blog can help so many people, because loving costs are so expensive!! If you haven’t tried them already, the murgh aloo curry and the kidney bean burger are favourites in my house!!! Xxx

      • I agree! This blog can help so many people, because living costs are so expensive!! If you haven’t tried them already, the murgh aloo curry and the kidney bean burger are favourites in my house!!! Xxx

  2. This sounds amazing. Similar to a Mexican bean soup in Hugh’s Veg Everyday book I made this weekend (well, similar in that it’s Mexican and uses black beans!). I’m going to try this out – maybe adding a squeeze of lime at the end. Sounds delicious!

  3. If you have no dark chocolate, mix 3 tablespoons of cocoa with 1 tablespoon neutral flavour oil such as sunflower. Put 2/3rds of the mixture in the soup, and go by taste from there. Also don’t make the mistake I did, chop your carrots finely!

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