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Mexican bean soup

A quick dinner tonight. Erika and I have been busy recently, so it’s nice to have something which tastes good but doesn’t take too long to cook. I’d also had a tasteless, watery chicken fajita for lunch from the work canteen which didn’t satisfy my craving for mexican food so was delighted when Erika suggested having this!

I used the same Mexican bean soup recipe as before, but used some leftover cooking chorizo instead of the bacon and left out the roasted pepper.

Once again it tasted lovely, although it did need a pinch of chilli flakes as the red chilli I used didn’t pack enough heat. There was spice from the chilli, paprika-y saltiness from the chorizo and heartiness from the beans and spaghetti. Next time I’d like to make a huge pot and take it for lunch at work to have instead of the awful canteen food!

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Mexican Bean Soup

Erika and I went out for lunch today so when dinnertime came we weren’t very hungry. We went to the supermarket for inspiration and I found myself craving a thick, spicy, tomatoey soup. Attempting to remember what we already had at home, I put a can of mixed beans, a pack of lardons and some mixed chillis into my basket and walked back thinking of a recipe.

A quick google didn’t come up with anything useful so I decided in my head what I wanted the finished dish to look and taste like and set to work.

Mexican bean soup

Mexican Bean Soup (Serves 2)

100g bacon lardons/pancetta
1 onion, half sliced, the other half diced
1 red chilli, seeds removed, minced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tin of mixed beans
1 romano pepper, roasted, skin removed then sliced (optional)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
250ml vegetable stock
25gr spaghetti, snapped into small pieces
1/2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp cumin seed
1/2 tsp coriander seed
salt & pepper

Start by toasting the cumin and coriander in a non-stick frying pan. Once nicely toasted, crush with a pestle and mortar and set aside.

Next, fry the lardons in a saucepan with a little olive oil until browned then remove from the pan and set aside. Put the onion, garlic and chilli into the pan then cook over a low heat until the onion has softened. Add the spices, salt and pepper and cook for a minute before adding the beans, the cooked bacon and the pepper. Stir in the tomato puree, then leave for a few seconds before adding the tinned tomatoes, stock and spaghetti. Bring to the boil then leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes until the spaghetti has cooked and the beans are soft. Check the seasoning just before serving.

If you like your soup smooth, blend it all. If you like it chunky, do nothing. If you don’t care too much (like me), blend half and stir through the remainder of the soup. Blending will change the colour from red to orange.

Considering this was made up as I went along it tasted delicious. It turned out more like a stew than a soup so a little extra stock would have made it a bit more soupy. Even Erika, who wasn’t going to have any, loved it (after picking out the bacon). The bacon didn’t really add too much to the dish so I’d be happy to make it without next time. I only added the pepper as we’d bought some earlier in the day and I think some thinly sliced carrot would be a good alternative.

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