Updated: Nov 14, 2020
This is a hearty Tex-Mex-inspired soup - filling, warming, satisfying AND refreshing, particularly with the addition of the tangy avocado salsa. It is a great meal for any season, and so healthy too! To make this in to a slightly more indulgent meal, I like to fry or grill wholemeal or corn tortillas to dip in to this rich, rust-red goodness! It's not really one for young kids as it's a little spicy, but if yours are used to that, go for it!
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
3 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp sweet smoked paprika/pimenton
2 Tbsp tomato paste (NZ)/purée (UK)
1 tsp dried oregano
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 x 400g cans red kidney beans, drained
sea salt or if you want to really bring out the smokiness, smoked sea salt
for the salsa:
2 avocados, diced finely
half a red onion, finely chopped
1 green chilli finely chopped (optional - I do it without when I'm serving guests!)
1 tomato, finely chopped
a handful of coriander leaves, chopped
Juice of 1 lime or lemon
Heat the oil in a decently large saucepan, add the onions and garlic and cook until the onion is soft (about 5 mins). Add the cumin, paprika, cayenne and cook for one minute to get those aromas going! Then add the tomato purée and oregano and stir for a few seconds. Add the chopped tomatoes, kidney beans and water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Using a stick blender (this is my preferred means!) directly in the saucepan or blender (when it's cooled down a bit), purée the soup until it's smooth. Then season with smoked sea salt/salt and pepper to taste.
Combine the salsa ingredients gently but thoroughly in a bowl, then serve the soup hot with a few spoonfuls of salsa in the middle (and a dollop of crème fraîche or sour cream if you so desire).
If avocados are scarce, either make the salsa without, using a few more tomatoes, or just serve with a generous dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche and a sprinkling of fresh coriander leaves. Scrummy.