By mere coincidence I’m posting a delightfully simple Mexican soup recipe, well loved in this house, because I’m putting it out there right now – it’s got chocolate in it. This is my take on what is still one of my very favourite cookbooks. Jack has published another book after this, which I still need to see, but I think that her first book deserves to be a classic. There is no need to write a second positive review because by now I’m sure you all know how much I like the recipes and Jack’s honest way of writing. She is a master at turning a few simple ingredients into something special, with the help of a little bit of chocolate. It does make a difference so don’t be afraid to add it.
When I make soup I usually make a big batch, enough to last me for a few days. Soup is never my lunch or dinner of choice, so to keep things more interesting, a.k.a. to make myself have it more often, I’m always on the hunt for something new. Switching things up a bit is the key I think. Also the less fuss, the better. So when I was preparing and testing the recipes for the book review, I wanted to make myself a batch of this one as soon as I saw the word chocolate. Comfort food. Granted, there’s not a whole lot of the stuff here, in fact I added an extra ten grams to the original recipe, taking nothing away from the author mind you. It’s just me. And chocolate. We have a thing. I know Jack will forgive me. Good luck.
- 100g dried black beans, or kidney beans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 30ml red wine or vermouth
- 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 30g dark chocolate
- 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- parsley, chopped for garnish
Soak the beans overnight in a bowl of cold water, making sure to cover them completely. Do this step during early morning before going about your day if you’re making the soup for dinner. Eight hours will do the trick. Do not discard the packaging.
When you’re ready to cook, drain and rinse the beans, and tip them in a saucepan with clean, cold, fresh water. Cook the beans according to packet instructions.
Place another saucepan over medium to low heat and pour in the olive oil. When the oil is hot enough add the onion, garlic and spices. Stir.
When the onions start to turn translucent, add the carrot, red wine or vermouth, pour in the tinned tomatoes, vegetable stock, dark chocolate, sugar and stock. Now add the cooked beans and give everything another good stir.
Bring the soup mixture to the boil, then let it simmer for around 15 to 20 minutes.
Serve hot, sprinkled with some fresh parsley. Serves 2-3.
(Recipe slightly adapted from Jack Monroe’s A Girl Called Jack, Michael Joseph, 2014.)
Browse C&T for more:
One year ago: Roasted Butternut Squash with Broccoli and Feta
Two years ago: Hands
Three years ago: Runner Beans
Four years ago: Lentils and Ham