On the menu

Recipe of the week: tomato and chipotle chilli soup

The dollop of hot sauce is a particularly good addition in this Claire Thomson creation

Adding tomatoes to this bean soup brings a velvety, fruity acidity to the creamy weight of the black beans, says Claire Thomson. My serving suggestion creates a bit of extra work, but in my mind it is absolutely worth it. The dollop of hot sauce is a particularly good addition.

Serves four people

Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely diced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 7 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chipotle paste (or 1 tsp smoked paprika and chilli powder or flakes), to taste
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400g tomatoes, peeled (or 400g can of plum tomatoes )
  • 3 bay leaves, scrunched
  • 1 x 400g can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 800ml chicken stock or water, plus extra if needed
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve:

  • avocado, peeled, stoned and diced
  • 100g sour cream
  • 100g feta cheese, crumbled
  • ½ small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
  • 80g corn tortilla chips, crushed
  • 1-2 habanero or jalapeño chillies, thinly sliced
  • hot sauce of choice
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
Method
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan over a moderate heat. Add the onions, celery and salt and cook for about 10-12 minutes, until the onions are soft and just beginning to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more, to soften.
  • Add the chipotle paste or spices, the tomato purée, tomatoes and bay leaves and cook for 10-15 minutes, until rich and thick.
  • Add the beans and stock and bring the liquid to a boil. You can add a splash more stock if you think it needs it, depending on how thick you’d like the soup to be when you come to serve it. Check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper as necessary.
  • Remove the soup from the heat. I like to partially blend the soup at this point – about one-third blended is ideal. Remove the bay leaves, then use a stick blender in the pan or remove a portion and blend that before adding it back to the pan.
  • Serve the warm soup in bowls and top each bowl with chopped avocado, sour cream, feta, coriander, corn chips and chillies, and with hot sauce and lime wedges for helping yourselves to.
Book cover

Taken from Tomato by Claire Thomson, published by Quadrille at £22, photography by Sam Folan. To buy from The Week Bookshop for £17.99, call 020-3176 3835 or visit theweekbookshop.co.uk.

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