Mexican Bean Soup

Written by Karen Coakley

Serves 6

So there was huge excitement in our house this morning!!! Curtains were flung open, beds were bounced upon and 2 little boys squealed with delight. They even wanted the Christmas decorations brought down from the attic because with all their singing Christmas Carols about it…. today was the first day that it actually snowed. I heard Conor exclaim “this is the BEST day ever!!!” Who thought a little snow could bring such joy to two little boys and one not so little 15 year old brother but it did and with it brought a need in me to wrap my family in warmth and cosiness and this we did.

vincent and the boys

A morning spent outside making ‘Pirate’ snowmen and throwing snowballs was rewarded with comforting homemade hot chocolate where I melted 100g of chocolate with milk in a saucepan and topped it with cream and marshamallows. Somehow as with all children they end up wiggling their tongues around trying to lick the last morsels of chocolate off their cheeks and chin, I guess it’s almost a case of waste not want not!!!


Vincent came home from work early and we left the kids at home and headed up to The Windy Gap high above Kenmare. It was beautiful…like being on top of the world and when we stopped and listened there wasn’t a sound, not even a bird just that still snowy quietness.

snow on the gap

Tonight I am totally whacked after our two hour hike but in my last attempt to feed my family and comfort them I have pulled out a recipe from a gorgeous little book which I recently bought. Unfortunately the cafe in question has closed last week. It was one of my favourites serving exceptional food in Bantry called ‘The Stuffed Olive’ but I am so glad to have my little treasure of their best recipes. This is for their Mexican Bean Soup, it’s hearty, warm and wholesome with a lovely blend of spice and ultimately….easy to make.




  1. Saute the onions, garlic and chilli for a few moments until golden.
  2. Add in the spices, cook stirring for 1 minute.
  3. Add the stock, tomato juice and the beans. ( I rinse them in a colander first ).
  4. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 mins. Puree until smooth.
  5. Season, stir through the coriander and garnish with the tortilla chips and sour cream.
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