I view my job here on foodiecure as a curator of healthy recipes. My favourite healthy recipes are based on what people have been eating for centuries. Our forebearers ate seasonal, simple and local. Laden with fresh, health promoting herbs achieves more than faddish superfood diets will. The clincher? Taste. Traditional cuisine never scrimps on taste.
To me, a bland diet is just going to create bland people. Look at how passionate the Italians are! And those Mexicans, well aren’t they just the happiest people living off the happiest food? Which brings me to the recipe of the moment.
You’d be forgiven for thinking a black bean soup is a bit humble. Actually, it happens to be one helluva tasty soup. It’s party in a bowl, make me feel good type of food. The trick is all in the preparation. The likes of Heston and Ferran also used common foods, to which they applied fancy preparation techniques that resulted in outstanding cuisine. Here, we downgrade the fancy a few notches and use the Mexican age old trick of charring and flavour layering, totally changing the flavour – and the joy – of the soup.
This recipe has been reproduced from the gorgeous Thomasina Miers‘ cookbook Wahaca Mexican Food at Home. Enjoy!
Mexican Black Bean Soup
3 cloves garlic, skin on
knob of butter
dash of olive oil
1/2 white onion, finely diced
1.5 tsp dried oregano or marjoram (or combination of both). If fresh, use 2 Tblsp
2 fresh bay leaves
1 – 2 Tsp Chipotles in adobo sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 can cooked black beans, rinsed
600ml vegetable stock
juice of 1 lime
Crumbled feta cheese
Tomato salsa: Finely dice 2 tomatoes after removing seeds, add small handful of roughly chopped corriander, very finely diced red onion, dash of olive oil, pinch salt and 1/2 tsp brown sugar
- Heat a heavy bottomed frying pan and dry roast the whole tomatoes and garlic with skin on until charred all over, approx 15 mins for the tomatoes and 10 mins for the garlic.
- Meanwhile heat butter and olive oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan and when it is gently foaming, sweat the onions with herbs for about 8 minutes until the onion is soft.
- Add the peeled garlic and cook for another few minutes then add the chipotles in adobo, tomatoes and season with salt and pepper and cook gently for about 5 minutes.
- Add the beans and simmer a little longer then add the stock and lime juice, simmering gently for 15 minutes to develop the flavours.
- Once cooked, blitz with a stick blender; a little for a textured soup or thoroughly for a smooth consistency.
- Serve topped with crumbled feta and salsa.