Spiced bean and tomato soup

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Who doesn’t welcome a splash of colour for lunch at this grey and freezing time of year?  I know I do.  This spiced bean and tomato soup is on high rotation in my kitchen at the moment.  When it gets to Sunday night and I need to think about making lunch for the working week, my main thought is ‘get me to the sofa with some chocolate.’

So you can understand the appeal of a hearty, warming soup that is quick to prepare and does not involve leaving the house to fetch fancy-pants ingredients. If you have tinned tomatoes and tinned beans, you are halfway there, my friends.  Don’t be put off by what looks like a long ingredients list…I promise most of this will already be in your cupboard.  I enjoy the cayenne and turmeric in this as I find it gives it a nice, comforting heat without assaulting one’s delicate winter-tinged senses.  However the brave amongst you may wish to add a little more.

To make this soup, which yields 4-5 serves, you will need:

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  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 t ground coriander
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1 t paprika
  • 1/2 t tumeric
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper
  • 3 tins tomatoes
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 2 cups water or chicken stock
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 tin kidney beans
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh coriander if you have it

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the garlic, celery and carrot and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add all the spices and stir to combine with the oil.  Add the tomatoes, tomato past, stock or water and sugar.  Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.

Drain and rinse the beans and add half to the pot, reserving the other half.  Simmer the soup another 5 minutes then remove from the heat and blend until as smooth as suits your fancy, if you wish to blend at all (I like a smooth soup, but appreciate that preferences vary widely).

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Add the remaining half tin of beans and season as fit, including the chopped fresh coriander if you have it to hand.  Return soup to the heat and bring to a simmer again.

It’s lovely served with a pita or tortilla heated in a fry pan with a little olive oil.  I also recommend it with a dollop of plain yoghurt or a generous sprinkle of my beloved tasty cheese.

This soup freezes well and keeps well for a good 5 days.  Stay warm, readers!

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