Black bean and bacon soup with fresh tomato salsa

This warming soup from Thomasina Miers is made extra appetising with it's touch of chilli and a Wensleydale cheese topping
By Thomasina Miers
Black bean and bacon soup with fresh tomato salsa
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes plus 20 minutes resting time
  • Effort: easy


For the fresh tomato salsa

  • 12 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • ½ small red onions, very finely diced
  • 1 small handful coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chilli, very finely diced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp soft brown sugar, or demerara sugar
  • 1-2 limes, juice only, to taste

For the black bean and bacon soup

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 50 g butter, or lard
  • ½ white onions, finely chopped
  • 6 rashers streaky bacon, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 generous pinch dried red chilli flakes
  • 600 g canned or pre-cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp tarragon leaves, chopped
  • 500 ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • 100 g wensleydale cheese, crumbled


1. For the fresh tomato salsa: mix together all of the salsa ingredients and season with sea salt and black pepper. Adjust the amount of lime juice and seasoning, to taste. Set aside for 20 minutes to allow the flavours to develop.

2. For the black bean and bacon soup: heat the oil and half of the butter together in a large saucepan over a medium heat. When the butter starts foaming, stir in the onion and bacon. Fry for 5 minutes, or until the onion is softened and translucent and lightly golden-brown.

3. Stir in the garlic and chilli flakes. Season with sea salt and black pepper and fry for a further 5 minutes.

4. Add the black beans, bay leaves, tarragon and stock and simmer for about 5 minutes. Blend the soup briefly with a stick blender, leaving some texture, then stir in the lime juice and heat through.

5. When ready to serve, stir the remaining butter into the soup to give a glossy finish. Ladle into warm dishes and top with the Wensleydale cheese and fresh tomato salsa.

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