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Wednesday 8 January 2014

Sluttishly Savoury: Spicy Bean Soup

Soup: the official food of January. It's cold, we're skint, we have a post-Christmas Stilton addiction to battle. A piping-hot bowl of something nutritious and cheap is just what the doctor ordered.

Start the new year QUITE LITERALLY full of beans with this simple spicy soup. Canned beans mean we don't have to faff about soaking them and worrying about poisoning ourselves or whatever it is dried beans are meant to do to us. There is an element of healthy-fresh in the form of peppers - these can be substituted by anything, really, but I do like a pepper. If you'd rather stay inside the store cupboard for reasons of laziness or finance, some sweetcorn added near the end of cooking would add a similar texture and sweetness to the soup.

Sara's already found you the best lunch boxes, so get one of those, fill it with this, and feel smug.

Spicy Bean Soup (serves 4-6)
You will need:
  • A glug of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 peppers (any colour but green), roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp mild chilli powder
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped (smoked garlic is even better if you can get it)
  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 500ml chicken or vegetable stock (a cube or stockpot thingy is fine)
  • 2 x 400g tins of beans, for example kidney beans, pinto beans or black-eyed beans (I used kidney and pinto)
  • Small square of dark chocolate (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp bottled lime juice, or the juice of half a small fresh lime
Make it!
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Fry the onion and peppers until soft, then add the cumin, coriander, paprika, and chilli powder and stir around in the pan for a minute or two to release the flavour SENSATION. Add the chilli flakes and garlic and fry for another minute. 
  2. Add the tinned tomatoes, stock, and beans and stir well. Simmer over a low heat for about half an hour, giving it a stir every once and a while. It may need a bit longer - keep an eye on it and stop simmering once it's the consistency you want.
  3. At the end of cooking, throw in the dark chocolate, if you're using it, and stir until it's melted away. Taste the soup, season to taste, and just before serving add the lime juice.
  4. Drink it down and WARM THOSE BONES. 


  1. Thank you, you have just solved my dinner dilemma for this evening! Very much a fan of the amount of chilli in here.

  2. I am 300% making this tonight.

  3. Why not green peppers? What have you got against the green ones?


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