I feel like this soup’s a bit naughty. Not in a bad for you way but because it’s using a summery ingredient in a winter recipe. But you know what? Sometimes a girl just wants what a girl wants and sometimes she finds a whole lot of roma tomatoes that might come from another state but at least they’re from this country so leave me alone. This soup is worth my ethical guilt.
I sometimes feel like when you’re trying to do right by the world and your body it can almost be a little stressful. There’s so many things for you to feel bad about and I don’t want to feel bad about food or about myself. I had my time beating myself up for what I was eating as a teenager. I’ve got a decent relationship with my body now and a decent relationship with the Earth but neither is perfect and that’s okay. Sometimes I’m going to eat half a block of chocolate and sometimes I’m going to use out of season produce and eat meat. Sometimes I’m going to make less than perfect decisions about life. And that’s okay.
But the soup. It’s hearty and fresh and full of spice and flavour. You could totally used canned tomatoes but I like the texture better with fresh. The black beans add a depth of flavour and make it way more filling. The garnishes are where this guy shines. The avocado and lime salsa adds a creamy freshness that tempers the spice of the soup. And the tortilla strips are crispy little croutons in disguise. It’s all a bit special really.
I use a little of the black bean soaking water to give the soup a depth of flavour and that dark rich colour. If you prefer it less beany and more bright red you can replace this with water.
1 Tbs olive oil
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped spring onion
1 tbs finely diced coriander root
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp paprika
1 red chilli finely diced (birds eye or long)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp dried oregano
800g tomatoes (the best quality you can get, I used a mixture of roma and 1 green)
500ml stock (vegetable or chicken)
1.5 cup sdried black beans (soaked overnight)
1/2 cup coriander leaves
1 avocado, in 1 cm dice
1/4 cup spring onion, finely chopped
pepper and salt
juice of 1 lime
4 x corn tortillas
1 tsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Cut tortillas into strips, toss them in olive oil and place on a lined tray in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until golden and crisp. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
Put a large pot on medium to high heat, add olive oil and once hot add the celery, spring onion and coriander. Stir for 1-2 minutes then add the garlic, paprika, cumin and oregano. Stir until fragrant and the celery has softened. Add a little water if it’s sticking.
Drain the beans and reserve the soaking liquid.
Add the chopped tomatoes and stock to the pot. Bring to the boil and add the beans along with 1 cup of the soaking water. Simmer for 45 minutes- 1 hour or until the beans are tender. Check seasoning. Add water if it is getting to thick, you want there to be tomato broth as well as the chunks.
Combine salsa ingredients in a small bowl.
To serve, top each bowl of soup with the salsa and tortilla strips and dig in.