Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Cosy Pinto Bean Soup

It is cold and wet outside so I really couldn't have planned this evening's dinner any better: spicy pinto bean soup. It does take a bit of planning as you need to soak the pinto beans over night, but surely you can manage to do so.  I will in fact be posting plenty of bean recipes over the coming weeks as beans are terribly underutilised if you ignore (and please do) Britain's favourite food aka. beans on toast.  This despite the fact that beans are unbelievably tasty and healthy not to mention cheap!

To warm up 4 friends:
200g dried pinto beans
olive oil
3 chopped carrots
1 chopped red onion
2-3 chopped garlic cloves
ground cumin
1 sliced and deseeded fresh chilli
1 chopped and deseeded pepper
1.5 litres of vegetable stock
1 can of tomatos
2 bay leaves
salt & pepper

1. Soak the beans in cold water over night.

2. Heat a bit of oil in a big pot. Add the onion and garlic.  Fry for a few minutes.  Add the carrots, pepper, chilli.  Fry until all the vegetables have softened ( 7-8 minutes).

3. Add 2 teaspoonfuls of cumin and the bay leaves. Stir and cook for a minute.

4. Drain the beans and add them together with the tomatos and vegetable stock.   Add salt and pepper.  Bring the soap to a boil before turning down the heat.  Put the lid on and let it simmer for about an hour.

Goes well with fresh bread.  You could also heat some taco shells in the oven, break them into pieces and sprinkle them on top of the soup.

My boyfriend (who considers himself quite a gourmet) added a bit of chorizo to the soup and was very happy with the result.  If you can't live without your meat then that might be worth looking in to! You could even add the chorizo between step 2 and 3 to really draw out the chorizo flavour.

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