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Black Bean Tortilla Soup with Avocado

by Heather Thomas from The Avocado Cookbook

This Mexican-inspired Black Bean Soup with Avocado will warm you up on a cold winter's night. Quick to prepare, it also makes a great dinner party starter.


This spicy colourful soup looks and tastes sensational. It freezes well, so you can make it well in advance if you’re entertaining – just prepare the topping and garnishes at the last minute.

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3 ripe beef tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 hot red chilli, finely diced
good pinch of smoked sweet paprika
small bunch of coriander, chopped
1 x 400g can black beans, rinsed and drained
900ml vegetable stock (broth)
pinch of brown sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp sour cream
lime wedges, to serve
Tortilla topping:
1 ripe avocado
75g tortilla chips, roughly crushed
1 hot red chilli, finely diced
50g grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
few sprigs of coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped

Essential kit

You will need: a blender or food processor.


Preheat the grill (broiler), line the grill pan with foil and place the tomatoes in it. Cook under the hot grill (broiler) for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until softened and the skins blacken all over. Once cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skins.

Heat the oil in a pan over a low–medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden.

Add the chilli, smoked paprika, whole tomatoes, coriander and black beans. Cook for 1 minute and add the stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15–20 minutes. Season to taste with brown sugar and salt and pepper.

Pour the soup into a blender or food processor and blitz until thick and smooth. Return to the pan and heat through gently.

Ladle the hot soup into 4 shallow bowls and swirl in the sour cream. Cut the avocado in half, remove the stone (pit), peel and cut the flesh into slices. Top with the tortilla chips, avocado, chilli, grated cheese and coriander. Serve with lime wedges.


– As an alternative topping, add a spoonful of guacamole with the crushed tortilla chips.

– If you’re in a hurry, add a 400g/14oz can of chopped tomatoes instead of grilling (broiling) fresh ones.

– Reserve some of the black beans to add to the garnish.

– Make the soup into a more substantial ‘meal in a bowl’ by adding some cooked shredded chicken at the end.

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