Mexican pinto bean soup with avocado salsa recipe

Spice things up with an authentic Mexican soup with a hint of rich dark chocolate

Serves 4


  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400g can pinto beans, drained
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 35ml red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 30g good-quality dark chocolate, such as Menier
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Large pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • ½ red onion, finely diced
  • ½ red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Large pinch of salt


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Once hot, add the onions, garlic and red and yellow peppers, stir and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until the onion and peppers start to colour and soften. Add the fresh red chilli and all the ground spices - cayenne pepper, cumin, coriander and smoked paprika – then gently cook for approximately 15-20 minutes. If it starts to catch on the bottom, add a little water.

  2. Add the red wine vinegar, sugar and tomato purée, stir and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the pinto beans, chopped tomatoes and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil then lower the heat, cover and gently simmer for about 30 – 40 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, to make the avocado salsa, peel, stone and finely dice the avocado. Place in a bowl and combine with the red onion, chilli, coriander, extra virgin olive oil and lime juice. Season with the salt, and set to one side.

  4. Ladle the soup into 4 warmed bowls and top with a good spoonful of the avocado salsa, a dollop of sour cream, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. The soup should be served piping hot.


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Wednesday 11 January 2012
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