Black bean soup with avocado salsa topping and stuffed masa harina flatbreads

This is such a beautiful soup! To look at as well as to eat…

The black beans are flavoured with a Mexican slant, and the topping reflects that too with tomatoes, herbs, avocado, radish and sweetcorn. And when they’re combined for serving the gorgeous black of the soup looks amazing with the brightly coloured topping!

But just as good as the soup are the stuffed masa harina flatbreads, with their crisped outer and soft herby potato centre.

The masa harina is combined with tapioca flour to give a lovely springy dough, which is really easy to work with and has a lovely flavour. We’ll be making them again, trying out lots of different fillings!



Black bean soup with avocado salsa topping and stuffed masa harina flatbreads


Serves 4

for the soup

300 g dried black beans

2 tbsp mexican oregano or regular italian oregano

¼ tsp dried thyme

½ tsp cumin seeds

¼ tsp ground allspice berries

¼ tsp smoke powder, or 2 tsp smoked paprika

1.2 litres hot water

a large pinch of salt

for the avocado salsa topping

250 g tomatoes, roughly chopped. We used a mixture of different coloured cherry tomatoes

juice of half a small lemon

15 g fresh coriander, chopped

15 g fresh parsley, chopped

a pinch of salt

2 avocados, diced

4 radishes, sliced

50 g sweetcorn. We used tinned

for the stuffed masa harina flatbreads

200 g masa harina

100 g tapioca flour

a large pinch of salt

380 ml hot water

6 tbsp nicely flavoured oil, 2 for the dough and 4 for cooking. We used cold pressed rapeseed oil

200 g potatoes, diced

1 tbsp unsweetened soy yoghurt

juice of half a small lemon, start with half of it and taste before adding the rest

10 g fresh coriander, chopped

10 g fresh parsley, chopped

salt and pepper

To make the soup, put all of the ingredients apart from the salt in a large ovenproof casserole dish. Stir, put the lid on and cook in the oven at 160 degrees c for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the beans are tender. Blend until smooth (we used an immersion blender), and add salt to taste. We did this the day before, which helps with timing if you have one oven as the flatbreads cook at a higher temperature.

Next make the dough. In a large bowl mix together the masa harina, tapioca flour and salt. Add the oil, reserving ½ a tsp. Pour in the water and mix to a soft dough. Tip it out onto a board and knead, just until it comes together smoothly. Form into a ball and pop it back in the bowl. Rub over the ½ tsp of oil (this will stop it drying out), and loosely cover. Rest for at least 30 minutes.

For the masa harina flatbread filling, cook the potatoes (we used the microwave), roughly mash with the salt and pepper and leave to cool. Fold through the yoghurt, lemon juice and herbs.

To make the flatbreads, first divide the dough into 4. Roll each piece out into a round about 2 mm thick, take a quarter of the potato filling and place it in the middle. Fold the dough around the potato and carefully roll it out again, flipping every 3 or 4 rolls until it’s about 20 cm in diameter. The dough likely won’t stick together, but this is fine. Repeat with the other three pieces of dough. Rub ½ tbsp of oil into each side of the flatbreads and transfer to baking sheets. We needed to use two. Bake at 200 degrees c for 30 minutes, turning half way through.

While the flatbreads are cooking make the avocado salsa topping. Combine the tomatoes, herbs, salt and lemon juice and mix well. You can either mix the avocado, radish and sweetcorn into the tomatoes at this point, or keep them separate for layering.

Warm the black bean soup through if needed and then either top the soup with the salsa in the pan as we did, or ladle it into individual bowls and then add the topping. Serve with the masa harina flatbreads, cut into quarters.

By A and E.


Corn, spinach and sweet potato cakes with parsley mushrooms and avocado

This has got to be a contender for our favourite breakfast, we made it this morning and considering it was a bit off the cuff, were ever so pleased with how it came out!
It was one of those mornings when you start off with no inspiration, but a desultory (initially) trawl through the vegetable rack, freezer and store cupboard perked us up no end and we made this lovely, colourful and satisfying meal. Hooray!



Corn, spinach and sweet potato cakes with parsley mushrooms and avocado

serves 2

for the corn, spinach and sweet potato cakes
1 medium sweet potato, cooked and skinned (we baked ours, but microwaved or boiled would be good too)
140 g sweetcorn, we used tinned
75 g frozen spinach, defrosted
a pinch of salt and black pepper
30 g rice flour, plus a little extra for coating
4 tbsp polenta
3 tbsp oil for frying
for the parsley mushrooms
150 g button mushrooms
1 tbsp oil
a pinch of salt
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 avocado, halved and sliced

Heat the oil for the mushrooms in a frying pan and saute the mushrooms, stirring often, for 6 – 8 minutes until cooked through and juicy. Season with salt and stir through the parsley. Keep warm. Roughly mash the cooked sweet potato with a fork and then stir through the corn, spinach, seasoning and rice flour. The mixture will be quite loose.
Mix the remaining rice flour and polenta together on a plate.
Heat the 3 tbsp oil in a frying pan (use the same one that you cooked the mushrooms in).
Divide the corn mixture into 4 and form each one into a patty. Set carefully into the polenta mixture and then turn to coat both sides. Transfer to the hot pan and cook for around 4 minutes per side, on a medium heat, until golden and crispy. Serve with the parsley mushrooms, and sliced avocado.

By A. and E.


Sweet potato and avocado salad

This is a nice simple little version of a potato salad, but using sweet potato and creamy avocado instead of the usual regular potatoes.
It’s so easy to make, and goes really well with lots of things!


Sweet potato and avocado salad

serves 2

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
1 lime, juiced
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
a pinch of salt
1 avocado, diced
2 tbsp soy yoghurt (or vegan mayo, or coconut milk)

Bring a pan of water to the boil and simmer the sweet potato for 5 or so minutes until tender. Drain and cool.
Mix the avocado with the lime juice and then fold through the rest of the ingredients.

By E.


Carrot, cabbage, avocado and millet salad

I had some cooked millet left over from burger making earlier, and really fancied using it in a salad for my lunch. A quick recce showed I had red cabbage, a carrot, and a very ripe avocado .. I can certainly do something with that!

so pretty, and rather yummy too

I’ve used the vegetable peeler to get long thin strips of the carrot, but grating it would work just as well.

When dressing the vegetables do remember to keep a teaspoon of the dressing in reserve to drizzle artfully over the avocado!

Serves 2.


For the salad:

150g cooked millet

1 medium carrot (mine weighed 130g)

75g red cabbage, shredded. (This was about a quarter of a small cabbage)

1 ripe avocado

For the dressing:

2tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2tbsp apple cider vinegar

Juice of half a lime (about 2tbsp)

Half a tsp dried tarragon (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients for the dressing together.

the dressing

Peel the carrot then use the vegetable peeler to slice it into long strips

Toss the carrot and cabbage together in a bowl with all but a teaspoon of the dressing and leave to sit for 10 minutes to macerate slightly.

Add the millet to the veg and mix through.

Arrange daintily on a plate and top with half a sliced avocado per portion, finish with the last drizzle of dressing.
By A


Avocado polenta with mushrooms

I was fancying a really creamy yummy polenta for lunch, and was about to reach for the soya milk when I spotted a couple of avocados lurking in the fridge. Hmm, thought I, avocados are creamy.. So this quick, tasty and very easy lunch was born.


For 2 lunch portions, you’ll need:

2 ripe avocados (mine weighed 150g in total after peeling)

75g quick cook polenta

150g mushrooms

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp caraway seeds

1/2 tsp fennel seeds

Small handful of fresh herbs ( I used oregano, but mint would be lovely)


Cold water


Start off by adding the oil to a pan let it warm up whilst you clean the mushrooms, add them to a pan on a low-ish heat. I’ve left mine whole, but feel free to slice! After a few minutes when the mushrooms start to brown add the balsamic vinegar, cook for another minute then turn the heat off and leave the mushrooms to rest.

mushrooms starting to cook

Peel and weigh the avocados, we’re going to make a simple avocado cream to cook our polenta in. You’ll need the same weight of water as avocado. In my case 150g of avocado and 150g of water. This ratio makes a thick cream that will still work with the polenta.

Blend the avocado and water together, if the avocados are really ripe you can just smush them together.

Add the avocado cream to another pan on a low heat, then quickly add the polenta, salt, caraway and fennel. Cook for a minute or two until the polenta mix thickens to a purée texture. Turn off the heat, rip up the herbs and stir them through.

Plate up and eat ..!

By A