Mexican Taco Soup

 

IMG_7876It’s funny how you suddenly feel like eating a certain dish. Spring has suddenly hit, but I just really fancied some soup. I didn’t really feel like a warming wintery root veg based concoction, or one that was totally summery. Difficult!

So spurred on by a half eaten pack of tortilla chips, here is my resulting Mexican bean soup. It managed to tick all the boxes, being quite light and refreshing with the lime and coriander; but also hearty and warming with the beans and spice.

I would say the topping of crushed up tortilla chips, fresh coriander and an extra squeeze of lime is absolutely essential to bring a basic mexican bean soup into the realms of deliciousness. A classic ‘meal in a bowl’ type dish.

Mexican Taco Soup (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

IMG_7877serves 4

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Splash of wine or water
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes or 1 small chilli, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tin mixed beans, drained
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tin of sweetcorn, or 1 cob shaved of its kernals
  • juice of 1/4 lime

To garnish:

  • Fresh coriander
  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • squeeze of fresh lime

– Saute the onions and peppers in the oil until soft and just starting to turn golden.

– Add the garlic and chill and cook until fragrant.

– Add the other spices and cook out for a minute or two.

– Pour in the splash of wine to deglaze the pan. Once the wine and reduced to almost nothing, stir in the tomato puree and again cook for a couple of minutes to get rid of any raw flavour.

– Pour in the beans, tinned tomatoes and stock. Season and cook for 10-15 minutes.

– Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add the sweetcorn and lime juice. Cook for another 5 minutes.

– Serve garnished with crushed tortilla chips, fresh coriander and an extra squeeze of lime.

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Mexican bean salad

Spring has arrived and the sun was shining – what better excuse to make some salads? You might have notice that I’m rather obsessed with salads – they’ll certainly be many more coming along if the sun keeps shining (it’s actually raining today, so you might get soup next!)

Beans are such a great protein boost for veggies that they make the ideal basis of a substantial salad. Since beans make me think of Mexican cuisine – here is my Mexican take on a classic marinated bean salad featuring lime, cumin, avocado and coriander. The sugary sweetness is key also. Add more chilli if you like it fiery.

Mexican Bean Salad (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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serves 4

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tins of beans, drained and rinsed (I used borlotti and kidney)
  • 1/4 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Large handful coriander leaves
  • 1 avocado, sliced

– Mix together the sugar, vinegar, lime juice and zest, olive oil, cumin and salt and pepper.

– Add the beans, onion and chilli to the marinade. Let sit in the fridge for as long as possible for the flavours to meld.
– Add the tomatoes, coriander and avocado
– Serve

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