Recipe

Squash, black bean & sweetcorn soup

by Jenny Chandler

A hearty, satisfying soup with vibrant fresh flavours

Serve the soup with sour cream, guacamole, simple corn tacos or toasted tortillas and you have a meal in a bowl.

Ingredients

1 onion, diced  
2 tbsp olive oil
450g pumpkin or squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 5 cm chunks
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
A pinch of salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sweet Spanish smoked paprika
½ tsp chilli flakes
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
290ml vegetable stock (a good cube or bouillon will do)
200g sweetcorn (tinned or from a fresh cob)
250g black beans, home cooked or 1 x 400g tin of black beans, drained
Juice of 1 lime
Handful of fresh coriander, chopped
150ml sour cream

Method

Take a large saucepan and fry off the onion in the olive oil until soft and beginning to colour. Add the squash and stir around for a couple of mins.

Toss in the garlic, salt, chilli and spices and, once you’re enveloped in fantastic smells, tip in the tomatoes and stock.

Simmer for about 15 mins or so, until the squash is just tender. Now scoop out about half of the squash with a little of the liquid, place in a small jug and purée with a handheld blender. Return to the soup. You could just use a potato masher or blitz the soup in the saucepan, but I like the contrast of the large, intact chunks of squash with the velvety soup.

Add the beans and the sweetcorn to the soup, with a little water if it seems very thick, and cook for 5 more mins.

Balance up the flavours with salt, pepper and lime juice. Serve with a scattering of fresh coriander and a large spoonful of sour cream.

If you make the soup in advance, the beans will soak up the flavours.

ALTERNATIVE: Crumble some wensleydale or cheshire cheese into the soup instead of the sour cream, or create a bit of table drama by grating over some dark chocolate as you serve.

Recipe: Jenny Chandler