I knock up this soup whenever I find myself in the grips of a piteous cold, or just generally need a bit of a kick in the cookies. It combines onions and garlic for detoxifying goodness, with chillies to fire your engine back up, tomatoes and carrots for essential vitamin C, beans for protein and chocolate because it’s a solution to almost everything. Plus dark chocolate and red wine are good for you, don’t you know? But putting all the science to one side, this is delicious, filling and surprising – so even if you don’t have a cold, make it anyway!

Serves 2 from 64p each . This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any ingredients. All prices correct at the time of printing and are subject to change.

400g tinned black beans or kidney beans, 55p

1 onion, 5p (54p/1kg)

2 cloves of garlic, 4p (69p/4 bulbs)

1 small red chilli or a pinch of chilli flakes, 2p (85p/50g)

a generous shake of paprika, 2p (43p/20g)

a generous shake of ground cumin, 2p (£1.15/100g)

a splash of oil, 2p (£1.10/1l)

1 carrot, 4p (43p/1kg)

30ml red wine – optional but delicious, 10p (£2.50/750ml)

1 x 400g carton or tin of chopped tomatoes, 29p

1 vegetable stock cube, 3p

3 squares dark chocolate (approximately 20g), 6p (30p/100g)

fresh parsley, to garnish, 7p (£1.25/100g)

Drain and thoroughly rinse your beans. Put them into a saucepan with fresh water and bring to the boil for approximately 10 minutes, then turn down to a simmer.

Meanwhile, peel and slice the onion and garlic, and chop the chilli (reserving a couple of slices for a garnish), then put them all into a saucepan along with the paprika and cumin. Add the oil and cook over a low heat until the onions and garlic soften.

Wash and chop the carrot, and add to the saucepan. Pour the red wine and tomatoes in, and stir through.

Crumble in the stock cube, then add the dark chocolate and 400ml boiling water. Drain the beans and tip into the pan. Stir and leave to simmer for 20 minutes, or until the carrot is tender.

If you like, pulse the soup in a blender until smooth. (I prefer to leave mine just slightly chunky, but if pulsed thoroughly, this makes a deliciously silky texture.)

Serve hot, garnished with a sprig of fresh parsley and a slice of red chilli in each bowl.

From ‘A Girl Called Jack’ by Jack Monroe. Photography by Susan Bell.

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