Sweet tomato and black bean tortilla bowls

Sweet tomato and chilli soup

The husband’s a big fan of Mexican food, so I’m always on the lookout for something new to feed him, rather than dishing out the same old veggie chilli. Anna Jones’ book a modern way to eat has been a godsend, as it’s packed to the rafters with simple, yet incredibly tasty, Mexican feasts, and this sweet tomato and black bean tortilla bowls is one of them.

Anna describes the dish as a soupy stew, which essentially it is, but it was a lot soupier than I imagined it to be. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very hearty soup, and with the addition of avocado and a lightly poached egg, it was a more than satisfying mid-week dinner.

As with a lot of recipes from a modern way to eatit’s pretty easy to make with no complicated ingredients or processes – which is lucky, as half way through cooking this particular dish, the toddler insisted that I read him his bedtime story, so I left the husband in charge – a dangerous move. having already put the tomatoes and sweet potatoes in the oven to roast, and started the soup, I showed the husband where I was in the recipe and was confident nothing could go wrong.

Having read the toddler a couple of books and sung ‘She’ll be coming round the mountain’ numerous times, I returned to the kitchen to find a very runny soup like concoction bubbling on the stove, and blamed the husband for adding too much stock. He assured me that he’d followed the recipe, but I wasn’t convinced. After a slightly heated debate about the state of the soupy stew, I turned up the heat and reduced the it until it resembled the dish I thought I’d been making. However, I’ve since had to eat my words as I’ve read a number of reviews from people who, just like me, found the soup to be runnier than expected. Sorry husband!

Once finished, the not so runny, soupy stew was served with fresh chunks of avocado, crispy strips of baked tortilla and a lightly poached egg. While half an hour previous I’d almost given up on the dinner, it now looked rather nice, and I couldn’t wait to tuck into it.

The verdict from the husband: ‘I honestly did follow the recipe, exactly…and it’s not bad, is it?’

The verdict from the cook/bedtime story reader: ‘It’s definitely runnier than I thought it would be, but yeah, it’s delicious. The poached egg really finishes it off.’

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sweet potato, washed and chopped into little pieces
  • 20 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • salt and black pepper
  • olive oil
  • a bunch of spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp of sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 x 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 750ml vegetable stock
  • 1 x 400g tin of black beans, drained
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • optional: free-range eggs for poaching
  • optional: 1 avocado, peeled and cut into chunks
  • a small bunch of fresh coriander, leaves picked

Method

  1. Preheat the over to gas mark 6
  2. Place the sweet potatoes on one side of a baking tray and the tomatoes on the other. Sprinkle with a good amount of salt and black pepper, drizzle with oliver oil and roast for 20-25mins.
  3. Heat a little oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the spring onions and garlic and sizzle for a couple of minutes until the garlic has just started to brown, then add the spiced and stir a couple of times. Add the tinned tomatoes and simmer together for 5 minutes until all the flavours have come together.
  4. Add the stock and bring to the boil, then simmer for another 5 minutes. Blitz the broth, then add the beans.
  5. Take the tomatoes and sweet potato out of the oven and add the potatoes to the broth. Keep the tomatoes to one side as they will be used later.
  6. Cut the tortillas into 0.5cm strips and put them on another baking tray. Season with a little salt, drizzle with oilve oil, toss to coat and bake them in the oven for 4-5 minutes until crisp and lightly golden.
  7. If you are serving with eggs, lightly poach 1 egg per person.
  8. Once the tortilla strips are golden, take them out of the oven, ladle the soup into bowls, top with roasted tomatoes and crunchy tortilla strips, a poached egg, chopped avocado and a scattering of coriander.
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