Chipotle Black Bean Soup & Lime Pickled Onions


black bean 08/06/2017

A really simple recipe that uses store cupboard ingredients with a zingy tang from lightly pickled onions.

I have found that some vegan recipes are made up of a lot of specialist ingredients that I have never heard of, cost a fortune and would have to buy a huge quantity of to use one teaspoon of before placing at the back of the cupboard for the rest of eternity. However, I urge you to try these vegan offerings. They are made from simple ingredients, real food and taste delicious. This soup is a case in point.

Serves 2


  • juice 2limes
  • 2 small red onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp ground cumin
  • ½ tbsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tbsp chipotle paste, or to taste
  • 400g can black bean, drained and rinsed
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • soured cream, to serve (omit if vegan)
  • coriander leaves, to serve
  • tortilla crisps, to serve


  1. To make the lime-pickled onions, combine ½ the lime juice and ½ the onions in a small bowl, and season. Leave to pickle for 30 mins.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the garlic and remaining onions, and season. Cook for 8 mins or until the onions are translucent. Add the spices and chipotle purée, cook for 1 min, then add the beans, stock and remaining lime juice. Simmer for 15 mins, then purée in a blender.
  3. Pour the soup into a clean pan to reheat. Serve with a little of the drained pickled onions, topped with a small drizzle of soured cream and some coriander, and the tortillas on the side.

black beans black beanb


Spicy Chilli Meatballs


IMG_20150522_213309[1] 22/05/2015

A different take on a classic chilli with spiced meatballs in a smokey sauce with creamy, zingy avocado to top, this recipe is a real crowd pleaser.

Serves 4


  • 1 red onion, halved and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 large bell pepper, quartered, deseeded and diced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2-3 tsp chipotle chilli paste
  • 300ml reduced-salt chicken stock
  • 400g can cherry tomatoes
  • 400g can black beans or red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 avocado, stoned, peeled and chopped
  • juice ½ lime

For the meatballs:

  • 500g pack turkey breast mince
  • 50g porridge oats
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • small bunch coriander, chopped, stalks and leaves kept separate
  • 1 tsp rapeseed oil


  1. First make the meatballs. Tip the mince into a bowl, add the oats, spring onions, spices and the coriander stalks then lightly knead the ingredients together until well mixed. Shape into 12 ping-pong- sized balls. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the meatballs and cook, turning them frequently, until golden. Remove from the pan.
  2. Tip the onion and garlic into the pan with the pepper and stir-fry until softened. Stir in the cumin and chilli paste, then pour in the stock. Return the meatballs to the pan and cook, covered, over a low heat for 10 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and beans, and cook, uncovered, for a few minutes more. Toss the avocado chunks in the lime juice and serve the meatballs topped with the avocado and coriander leaves. Serve with rice.

Chilli Beef Nacho Stack


IMG_20150302_152519[1] 02/03/2015

Now what’s wrong with anything in that title? Answer: Nothing!

How much will be left when you serve this up for dinner? Answer: Nothing!

What should be stopping you from making and eating this? Answer: Nothing!

What did the melted cheese say to the unlucky tortilla? Man, it’s nacho day!

Anyway, apologies for the dad jokes but not for the recipe. This dish came about (as many of my creations do) because I needed to use up some vegetables from my fridge. You can use whatever you have. Chuck in some sweetcorn, black beans, tomatoes or whatever you fancy or have to hand.

The chilli is smoky and spicy, the cheese is oozing and the nachos are crisp and crunchy. Winner!

(Serves 2-3)


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 6 chestnut mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ green and ½ red bell pepper, chopped
  • 200g lean beef mince
  • 1 carton black beans
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • A few drops of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp chipotle paste
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 x 500g carton passata
  • 1 packet of slightly salted tortilla chips
  • 50-75g cheddar cheese, grated


  1. In a large frying pan over medium heat, add a little oil and fry the onion, celery, carrot and chilli for 5-6 minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic and peppers and fry for a further 5-6 minutes until the vegetables have begun to soften and brown. Empty them into a bowl to set aside.
  2. Turn the heat to high and in the same frying pan, add the beef and brown. Add the black beans, herbs, seasoning, Worcester sauce, tomato puree, paprika and chipotle paste and stir everything together to combine. Add the vegetables back to the pan and mix in.
  3. Add the passata to the pan and reduce the heat to medium low and let the chilli simmer away for 30-40 minutes. If the mixture looks quite thick, don’t be tempted to add any water. You want it quite thick so that it doesn’t make the nachos all soggy.
  4. To assemble, heat the oven to 180C. Add a packet of nachos to a deep baking tray and place in the oven for 10 minutes.
  5. When slightly browned, create a little well in the centre and pour the chilli over the tray. Top with the grated cheese and return to the oven for 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
  6. Serve with a green salad, guacamole and sour cream and dig in!