When it comes to soups I don’t think I’ve ever made the same one twice (except when developing a recipe for my blog or books of course).
The other day I was thinking about creating a soup that my both my 18-year-old son and myself would like. My son adores chillies and often has a chuckle at my idea of ‘hot and spicy’ compared to his. I do prefer mild spiciness in my cuisine, along with a dancing medley of the other flavours. My son tends to like things hot! I’ve tried to find a happy medium in this blend and am delighted with the outcome.
I wanted to come up with a soup that had the right balance of warmth and heat, so as well as the chilli I used ginger and black pepper, to wonderful effect.
This soup has a hearty amount of black beans in it. Ideal for those who want denser, high protein soup.
I began the whole thing by sauteeing the mushrooms and red onions to help bring out their flavours. This adds to the depth and creates one of the many playful layers in this soup.
I added sweet potato, chopped into tiny cubes. This helps to balance out the flavour with its gentle sweetness, along with soft texture.
Fresh, red, medium spiced chilli pepper works perfectly here. I bought one from my local health food store. They are available in any good food shop or market. It’s important also to include the seeds for an extra infusion of heat and spice.
Another spice that I used in this was black pepper (which is totally unrelated to the chilli pepper, even though it is believed that it took its name from it, owing to it’s hot and spicy properties). It’ very complimentary to the whole dish.
Aside from the chilli and black pepper, ginger was the only other spice I added. It’s ideal for its warming, nurturing depth and delightful health benefits. You can read all about ginger and its benefits here: http://www.trinityskitchen.com/10-reasons-why-is-ginger-is-good-for-us-with-recipes/
Coriander leaves (cilantro) and coconut milk finish this whole thing off nicely.
It’s pretty easy to make. Bear in mind that it’s also adaptable. If you don’t have black beans, then use different beans. If you don’t have sweet potato, use regular potato or squash. If you don’t like mushrooms, leave ’em out.
I am also using passata. This easy to find in England and Europe. It is essentially sieved or strained tomatoes. You can also use a tin/jar of what is called ‘tomato sauce’ in the USA (different to ketchup). You can also find sieved or strained tomatoes in the health food store in North America too. The other thing you can use is chopped tinned tomatoes. So you have options!
OK let’s make this together…
- 150g brown mushrooms (two large handfuls)
- 1 large onion (any colour)
- Dash of olive oil (or coconut oil)
- 1 large clove of garlic
- 1 fresh red chilli pepper (medium spiced, about two inches long)
- 500ml water (2 cups)
- 300ml (1¼ cups) passata (see text above for alternatives like tinned tomato/tomato sauce)
- 500g black beans (cooked) (equivalent to 2 tins worth)
- Inch fresh ginger
- Big twist black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 small sweet potato
- 200ml ( ¾ cup) coconut milk
- Big handful fresh coriander (cilantro)
- Chop the mushrooms into pieces.
- Chop the onion into tiny pieces.
- Saute the mushroom and onion in the soup pan with the oil for a couple of minutes.
- Crush the garlic clove and finely chop the chilli pepper (with seeds) and add to the pan.
- Add the water, passata and black beans to the pan and turn up the heat.
- Once it comes to the boil, turn down the heat to simmer and pop the lid on.
- Finely grate about an inch of fresh ginger and add to the pan along with a generous twist of black pepper and sea salt.
- Leave the skin on the sweet potato and chop into very small cubes before adding to the pan.
- Allow the contents to cook for at least 20 minutes.
- When ready add the coconut milk and heat through.
- If it's not spicy enough add extra black pepper (or a pinch of dried chilli powder perhaps).
- Chop the fresh coriander, add to the pan, mix in and then serve immediately.
Pin for later…