Modern-day Mexican food is rooted in Indigenous and European ingredients. This recipe is a tribute to the traditional flavors we have grown to love. Best served on cold winter nights, this nourishing and warming soup comes to life with spices, heat, and vibrant cilantro.
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 small white onion, chopped
- 1/2 small carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 stalk celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 tsp ground paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
- 1 3/4 cups canned diced tomatoes
- 1 (19-oz) can black beans or any type of bean, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup dried lentils
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
- 1 ripened avocado, pitted and peeled
- 1 cup blue corn tortilla chips, crumbled
- Pulled BBQ pork or chicken, to serve (optional)
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onions, carrots, and celery and sauté for 5 minutes, until onions are softened and translucent. Add garlic and cook for 2–3 minutes, until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in paprika, cumin, cayenne, and red pepper flakes and cook for 3–5 minutes, until onions have started to brown and spices are fragrant.
Add tomatoes, black beans (or other type of beans), lentils, and vegetable stock and bring. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30–40 minutes.
Remove soup from the heat. Using a hand blender, carefully blitz soup until smooth. (Alternatively, leave it as is for a chunky soup.) Season with more salt and pepper, if desired, then stir in cilantro.
Scoop avocado into a small bowl, smash with a fork, and set aside. Ladle soup into 4 bowls. Garnish with tortilla chips and avocado and serve hot with pulled BBQ pork or chicken, if using.
Variation 1: Black Bean, Lentil, and Beef Soup with Cheddar and Corn Tortillas
Add 1/2 lb ground beef to the onion mixture and cook thoroughly. Replace the avocado with 1 cup grated cheddar cheese