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smoky red bean soup with avocado salsa

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!

Serves 4-6:


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

900mL water

sea salt or if you want to really bring out the smokiness, smoked sea salt

black pepper

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.

Print Version:

smoky red bean soup with avocado salsa
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