Tuesday, March 27, 2012

black bean and kumara soup

Recently, in amongst all the unpacking and boxing and sifting and sorting and the discovering of old high school essays and mismatched socks and forgotten trinkets - I somehow made a surprisingly good soup. Kristian dubbed it nacho soup and was very keen to have it become a regular staple (it has since been made a few more times). For my part I was pretty happy to oblige because it's tasty as all get out and very nourishing in these cold again, warm again Autumnal days.

The key to this stewy soup in my opinion is a good walloping of spice and a decent quantity of black beans, which you can get most places but not Coles in Leichhardt. Let that be a lesson to me. Anyway, we've been eating a lot of black beans lately. During the move when we were trying to clear out our cupboards it was those tins that got a lot of attention. This soup is a great way to clear out tinned tomatoes, chickpeas and black beans all in one fell swoop - it's a pantry buster.

Black Bean and Kumara Soup
Inspired by Sprouted Kitchen

The great thing about this soup is that really it's more a matter of ingredient assembly rather than sticking to strict measurements. In fact I encourage you to go off the beaten path a little and add some more spice or less tomatoes, or whatever floats your boat.  Taste often as you make it and you won't go wrong.

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 a small head of cabbage, chopped
1 medium sized kumara (sweet potato) chopped into smallish cubes
2 cups low salt vegetable stock
1 tin whole peeled tomatoes
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp of chilli powder/ flakes (or more if you're daring)
1 tin of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tin chickpeas (optional)
salt to taste
lime juice
avocado, more lime, coriander and sour cream to garnish
flatbread to serve

Warm the oil in a large pot over medium heat then add the onion and cook well until it begins to brown a little. Add the garlic, cabbage, kumara, tomatoes and vegetable stock. Simmer with the lid on for about 15 minutes, or until the kumara is tender.

Then the fun part. Add the spices and beans, with a big squeeze of lime and let it all swirl around in there together for another 5-10 minutes.

Whilst this is happening you can pop some flatbread or wholemeal tortillas into a medium oven to crisp up for about 5-10 minutes, depending on your oven.

Once the soup has had enough flavour melding time, add salt to taste, blend about half the soup in the pot (I used what my friend Sarah fondly refers to as my 'stab-blender' to achieve this) and you're almost ready to go.

Remember to take your tortillas out of the oven. Serve up big hearty bowls of the soup and garnish them with some chopped avocado, a good handful of chopped coriander and a dollop of sour cream. I think you'll know what to do with the tortillas... dunk them in and enjoy!


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