New Years’ Mexican Black Bean Soup with Lime Salsa and Yogurt

The last day of the year has come round fast! It’s been a whirlwind of a year to say least. For me, it has been a year of changes and transformation. As already mentioned in my last post, I had some big changes within my professional field. Having moved into a full-time role as culinary manager meant I had to cut down on working as a therapist and coach. It wasn’t an easy decision to take, but since it is only temporary I am enjoying the time. It also meant I had to cut back on blogging and writing. However, I would like to expand my horizon in the field of culinary arts , so I am excited to see what the near year will bring.

I created this recipe for Love East Magazine, so some of you may already know it. For those who don’t: This simple, but delicious and nutritious Mexican black bean soup can be prepared in advance and even tastes better the next day.

I did quite a bit of research and found that there are many variations of this recipe. What I learned was, that the trick lies in the sofrito and the spices being used. There are various combinations of spices, so if you feel you are missing some oregano or anything else you usually like in your black bean soup, please feel free to add it. I even made a burrito style one, as my first version, which was pretty yummy. However, using smoked paprika did not work for me too much, as I wanted a more traditional soup. A burrito dish will follow soon though as it was too good, not to share.

Black beans have a higher plant protein content than any other bean, so they make a great post workout choice. Furthermore, like other beans, they are packed with gut health-promoting fibre, minerals phytonutrients. Black beans are in fact up there with blueberries and red cabbage when it comes to antioxidants and although black beans are quite high in starch, it mainly is the resistant type. It is not converted into sugars, but rather passes the digestive tract undigested, helping us to get trim and fit again after the Christmas party season.

Fresh coriander, garlic, chili, and lime, plus natural yogurt are a great combination to support your immune system and gut bacteria. They particularly love the garlic, fibre from the beans and the natural yogurt. Black beans also count to the top three foods for zinc, a mineral that is particularly needed for immune function, so you might want to cook a bigger batch.

Mexican black bean soup

Ingredients: ideally organic – serves 2

1x red chilli

1x red pepper – cut into 1-2 cm cubes

1x red onion – finely chopped

1x 150g cherry tomatoes – cut in half

2x  clove of garlic – finely chopped

1x bay leaf 

2x sprigs of thyme

2x TSP Mexican spice or chilli con carne spice mix (pls extra for seasoning)

1/2 TSP of cinnamon

3x sprigs of coriander

2x fresh limes (unwaxed)- zest of one, juice of two

2x 400g black beans (canned) – drained

400 ml vegetable stock

2-3 TBS of organic, natural yogurt

1x ripe avocado-cut in slices

Freshly ground pepper and sea salt to taste

1. De-seed and finely slice half the chilli for the salsa, the other half is for the soup. Mix the spice mix with cinnamon.

2. Heat up 1 TBS of olive oil over medium heat in a medium-sized pot. Keep 1/2 TBS of the onions for the salsa, fry the rest together with the red pepper for 4-5 min. 

3. Add the tomatoes, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, spice mix and chilli and simmer covered at low heat for 10 min. 

4. In the meantime set aside a few coriander leaves for garnish, and finely chop the rest including the stems. Mix the lime juice, zest, chopped coriander, red onion, sliced chilli, and a pinch of salt into the salsa. 

5. After 10 min, add beans and vegetable stock to the pot and simmer at medium heat for 15-20 min. Season to taste with 1-2 TSP of lime salsa, spice mix, salt and pepper. 

6. Remove thyme sprigs, before blending the soup with a handheld blender, so that it is creamy but still chunky. If you do not like it spicy, remove the chilli before blending. 

7. Then cut the avocado in half, remove the stone with a teaspoon, then using a tablespoon scoop out the flesh and cut into thin slices. Place in a bowl and drizzle with some lime salsa. This will add flavour and prevent them going brown.

Serve the soup topped with 1 TBS of natural yoghurt, avocado slices, lime salsa and fresh coriander leaves.

Enjoy and wishing everyone a very Happy and exciting New Year 2019 full of adventures