Looking for a beautifully thick and chunky soup? Try Becca's tomato-based soup with beans and vegetables which is perfect for cold and rainy days.
If calories didn't exist, my diet would be entirely different. Salad would definitely not exist in my house. There are several things that I would eat on a daily basis - pizza (obviously), chocolate, and nachos are definitely my top three choices. And by 'nachos' I don't just mean tortilla chips dipped in salsa, which can actually be pretty good for you, depending on the preparation. Oh, no - I mean huge piles of crisps, topped with heaps of melted cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and all sorts of other very yummy bits.
However, unfortunately in the real world, calories do exist, and if I were to eat those nachos every day, I'd end up looking like the back of a bus - so instead, I try to find slightly healthier ways to get my nacho fix. Since the toppings are obviously what make a plateful of nachos really great, you just need to choose a couple of your favourites to get that nacho flavour into anything you fancy - in this case, nacho soup!
The soup itself is actually quite simple - a tomato-based soup with beans and vegetables. Just like with normal nachos, it's the toppings that take this soup to the next level. I tried to be fairly restrained with my toppings - after all, this is meant to be a healthier
version of nachos - but you can definitely be more generous if you're so inclined. You can use whatever toppings you fancy - think about what you like on your nachos, and go crazy. I went for a little grated cheese, some chopped coriander (highly recommended), and a dollop of sour cream. I also served a few homemade baked tortilla chips on the side for an added crunch, and because I like having something to dip! You could plump for guacamole, salsa, chopped spring onions - whatever tickles your palate.
This soup is beautifully thick and chunky, so it's the perfect warming lunch for the cold, rainy days we tend to get at this time of year (speaking of which, I hope no Great British Chefs readers were too affected by the storm we had the other day!). We try to avoid putting our heating on too often, so soup is a cheap alternative way to get warm! It's also a great fridge-clearer - feel free to add more vegetables if you have things that need using up!
After all this talk of calories not existing, I'm now imagining all sorts of healthified junk food soups. Pizza soup could definitely work. Believe it or not I've actually already made pie soup
. How about chocolate soup? I'd love to hear your suggestions!
Veggie nacho soup
1 small onion, thinly sliced or diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 yellow pepper
1/2 tsp chilli powder (I used hot)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
400g tin chopped tomatoes
435g tin refried beans
For the baked tortilla chips:
3 mini tortillas
Your choice of toppings, to serve: grated cheese, chopped fresh coriander, sour cream, guacamole, chopped spring onions, etc.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan, and cook the onion, garlic and pepper quite slowly over a medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add the spices and seasonings, and cook for a further 1-2 minutes, stirring regularly, until fragrant.
Add the tins of tomatoes and refried beans, and mix well. Cook over a low heat for several more minutes, until it has all come together and the soup has reached your desired consistency (if you'd like it to be thinner, just add a dash of water). Make sure you stir fairly regularly to stop the beans from sticking to the pan.
If making the baked tortilla chips, cut the tortillas into triangles, and lay out in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet. Spray lightly with oil, and bake for around 10 minutes at 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F) - keep an eye on them to make sure they don't burn.
When the soup and tortilla chips are ready, serve the soup with your preferred toppings, with the tortilla chips at the side.
Inspired? For more delicious soup recipes visit Great British Chefs collection.