Spiced butter bean and pepper soup

butterbean soup

butterbean soup

Spiced butter bean and pepper soup with tortilla and feta

Recipe tip: this recipe involves no more than 15 minutes preparation and 30 minutes cooking time so a total of 45 minutes from start to finish.

On a winter’s evening this Mexican inspired, chunky soup with crispy tortillas and zingy lime and feta will go down a treat.

It’s made using tinned butter beans and a jar of roasted peppers so preparation and cooking time are kept to a minimum. Other possible additions, for a more Mexican feel, would be to add some chopped avocado or jalapeño chilies to the garnish.

2 tbsp olive oil
3 red onions, approx 240g, peeled & thinly sliced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika (smoked if you can get it)
3 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed
1x approx 280g jar roasted red peppers, drained and roughly sliced
2 x approx 400g tins butter beans, drained and rinsed
1 lt carton mixed vegetable juice or tomato juice
1 vegetable stock cube
100g feta, crumbled
100g pepper or feta stuffed olives (optional), roughly chopped
1 x 200g bag tortilla chips
1 lime, zested and juiced
Small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped

  • Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based pan with a lid. Add the onions, stir once or twice, turn down the heat, put the lid on and allow to soften for about 7 minutes.
  • When the onions are softened, turn up the heat and add the spices. Stir them for about a minute until they start to roast and turn brown.
  • Boil a kettle of water and add the red peppers and garlic to the pan with the onions and spices. Cook and stir for a few minutes then add the butter beans, vegetable juice, crumbled stock cube and ½ litre of boiling water. Stir once again, then replace the lid and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Drop about two thirds of the tortillas into the soup and leave them disintegrate for a few minutes.
  • Put the grill on a low setting and tip the remaining 1/3rd of the tortilla chips out onto a large grill tray. Place under the grill until they are hot – watch them carefully to make sure they don’t burn.
  • Mix the lime zest with the crumbled feta, chopped olives and coriander. Taste the soup and add the lime juice and salt and pepper as required.
  • To serve, ladle into bowls and top with the feta mixture and the warm tortilla chips.