Even though I have a lot of cookbooks I don’t generally use recipes. Rather, I read recipes then make things up as I go along based on the basic ingredients. The quantities in this are not exact but the ingredients are. I promise I haven’t left anything out just so yours won’t taste as good! Well, not deliberately anyway.
Let the soup cook for at least an hour before you decide if it needs more spices, the flavour comes out more as the soup cooks. The slower and longer you cook it the better.
I also don’t cook with salt, so if you like salt add some in.
Mexican bean soup
¾ cup dried kidney beans
¾ cup dried borlotti beans
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic (or depending on taste, I like lots of garlic)
1 large can tomatoes
2 medium carrots
1 large parsnip
2 sticks celery
1 tspn ground coriander
½ tspn cumin
Pinch of fennel seeds
Black pepper to taste
Chilli to taste (either fresh or ground)
2 squares of dark cooking chocolate (use a good one)
1 bunch fresh coriander
Water (around 4 tomato cans)
Soak beans overnight
In a large saucepan (I use a dutch oven) lightly fry chopped onion and garlic for a couple of minutes. Add ground coriander, cumin, fennel & pepper. Cook for a couple more minutes. Add soaked beans and stir to cover with spices.
Add tinned tomatoes, chopped carrot, parsnip & celery, and water to cover (around 4 tomato tins worth – if you use the water you soaked the beans in it will add to the flavour), chilli and the squares of chocolate. Bring to the boil and simmer slowly for 2 hours or so. Add chopped coriander and simmer for another 30-60 minutes.
It’s soup, so you can’t really overcook it. The slower and longer you cook it, the better.
This soup is easy to make while out camping, just chop everything up and put it in the one pot. Cooking in the camp oven on the coals gives it that extra smoky taste you only get cooking directly on a fire.