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Mexican Bean Soup with Wholemeal Spelt Soda Bread

Smoky Mexican Bean Soup with Spelt Soda Bread

In cold weather, there is nothing more warming and comforting than a big bowl of steaming soup. Or do I mean stew? I’m not entirely sure whether this Mexican bean soup is actually a soup or stew, but with a generous amount of vegetables, beans and spicy Mexican flavours, it certainly makes for a satisfying meal. It’s especially good when served with some hearty wholemeal soda bread spiked with a little smoked chilli honey.

After months of grey and damp weather down here in Cornwall, we finally got a bit of winter. A couple of clear and crisp days with blue skies and sight of the sun has really recharged our batteries. This Mexican bean soup, however, is equally good on miserable wet days as it is on clear cold ones.

Wholemeal Spelt Soda Bread

Having enjoyed the blackberry and apple spelt soda bread I made back along, I decided to add an apple to this wholemeal spelt soda bread. Not an authentic Mexican flavour, but hey! A little Mexican smoked chilli honey did the trick though and gave just a hint of sweet warmth and smokiness.

Spelt Soda Bread

With a load of kefir knocking around, I used that rather than buttermilk. In my experience the two are interchangeable for baking purposes. I went with 100% wholemeal spelt flour this time and it worked beautifully. No need for white flour at all it seems.

Chunky Mexican Bean Soup

For the soup I just fried an onion, then added some Mexican spice, black-eyed peas and a load of vegetables I had to hand. I finished it off with some of the smoked chilli honey I’d used in the bread.

It was so good, I made the Mexican bean soup again yesterday and this time I replaced the cabbage with some sea beet greens. omitted the mushrooms and added chunks of squash and a red pepper. It was even better than the first time around. Luckily we have plenty of leftovers, so guess what we’re having for supper tonight?

Smoky Mexican Bean Soup.

Easy to prepare, both Mexican bean soup and spelt soda bread combine to make a wholesome meal quicker than you can say Speedy Gonzales. Eat it for lunch or supper, it’ll be sure to cheer you up and fill you up, whatever the weather. For a vegan version, swap the honey for some smoked chilli paste or sauce.

Other Chunky Soup Recipes You Might Like

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Smoky Mexican Bean Soup with Spelt Soda Bread. PIN IT.

Smoky Mexican Bean Soup with Spelt Soda Bread

Smoky Mexican Bean Soup – The Recipe

Smoky Mexican Bean Soup with Spelt Soda Bread
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5 from 1 vote

Smoky Mexican Bean Soup with Spelt Soda Bread

A hearty and warming soup come stew packed with tasty vegetables and beans and flavoured with Mexican spices. Serve with a quick to make soda bread for a filling and delicious meal.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: bread, honey, soup, stew, wholemeal spelt flour
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 392kcal
Author: Choclette


Soda Bread

  • 225 g wholemeal spelt flour
  • ½ tsp sea salt I use Cornish sea salt for my bread
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 small cooking apple - peeled cored and chopped
  • 1 tsp Mexican smoked chilli honey optional
  • 180 ml kefir or buttermilk

Mexican Soup

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion - chopped
  • 2 carrots - roughly diced
  • 1 stick celery - sliced
  • 2 tsp Mexican spice mix
  • 2 cloves garlic - finely chopped
  • ¼ green cabbage - roughly shredded
  • 500 ml water
  • ½ can chopped tomatoes
  • 4 chestnut mushrooms - roughly chopped
  • 75 g frozen sweetcorn
  • 1 can black-eyed peas or your beans of choice - drained and rinsed
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp Mexican smoked chilli honey



  • Place the dry ingredients into a large bowl and stir in the apple.
  • Make a well in the centre and pour in the kefir and honey if using.
  • Stir with a flat bladed knife until everything is just mixed and starts to come together. Gently bind the mixture with your hands and form into a ball.
  • Place on a greased or lined baking tin and flatten to about 5 cm (2") in depth. Make a deep cross in the top with a large knife and bake in a preheated oven at 220C for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 200C and bake for a further 15 to 20 minutes or until the bread looks done and sounds hollow when the bottom is tapped.


  • In a large pan, fry the onion in the olive oil over a medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add the carrots and celery and fry for a further 5 minutes or so.
  • Add the spice mix and stir followed by the garlic and cabbage. Stir again and fry for a further 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the water and tomatoes. Cover and bring to a slow simmer.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for a further 10 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender, but not mushy.


You can use whatever vegetables you like or have to hand. Adding chunks of squash and slices of red pepper, instead of the mushrooms, works very well and gives lots of cheerful colour.
For a vegan version, swap the honey for some smoked chilli paste or sauce.
Please note: calories and other nutritional information are per serving. They're approximate and will depend on exact ingredients used.


Calories: 392kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 886mg | Potassium: 740mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 5422IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 154mg | Iron: 3mg


I’m sending this smoky Mexican bean soup off to Jac at Tinned Tomatoes for Meat Free Mondays

Packed with vegetables as this is, I’m also sending it off to Michelle at Utterly Scrummy for Extra Veg.


  1. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    17th February 2016 at 7:36 pm

    I eat soup almost everyday! Your bean soup with my favourite spelt bread…heavenly!

    • Choclette

      18th February 2016 at 1:41 pm

      Soup is such a delicious, healthy and relatively quick meal to prepare, we eat it quite a lot too 😉

  2. Natalie Tamara

    17th February 2016 at 8:43 pm

    This looks delicious! It’s exactly the kind of thing I love to have for weekday lunches – I imagine it’s absolutely perfect with the bread too. Thanks for the mention of my leek and potato soup too 🙂

    • Choclette

      18th February 2016 at 5:37 pm

      Thanks Natalie. If I ate this for lunch, I don’t think I’d need anything else that day. Twas very filling.

  3. Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours

    17th February 2016 at 8:50 pm

    That sounds delicious and very comforting too for this cold damp days. I am intrigued by the honey.

    Thanks for sharing with #ExtraVeg

    • Choclette

      18th February 2016 at 5:41 pm

      Wish I had a bowl of it waiting for me now. The honey is Gran Luchito.

  4. Kate | The Veg Space

    17th February 2016 at 9:05 pm

    What a lovely, colourful bowl of soup Choclette, and I LOVE spelt bread, haven’t tried Mexican Chilli Honey but it sounds right up my street – delicious!

    • Choclette

      18th February 2016 at 5:46 pm

      Thanks Kate. The honey took a bit of getting used too, but now I’m loving it.

  5. Jenn

    17th February 2016 at 9:20 pm

    There is truly nothing better than a hearty cozy bowl of soup! Especially with homemade bread on the side. This sounds so delicious! Perfect for these cold winter days. Thanks so much for suggesting a couple of my soup recipes as well!! Sharing!

    • Choclette

      18th February 2016 at 8:27 pm

      You’re very welcome Jenn and I do agree, a good soup is one of my favourite meals.

    • Lili J

      26th September 2019 at 1:07 pm

      Except that there are no Mexican beans in this, it’s very good. I’m guessing it’s the seasoning instead of the beans (peas)? I’m going to make this again using pinto, Anasazi or black beans instead of black eyed peas (I’m from Texas, so enjoy hearty bean soups). I’m betting it will be good with slightly different flavors. Thank you for the recipe!

      • Choclette

        26th September 2019 at 6:12 pm

        You have me bang to rights Lili. There are no Mexican beans in this soup, though I could have easily used some. It’s the Mexican spices and inspiration rather than authenticity. I’m glad you liked it, despite its failings and thank you for letting me know you liked it.

  6. nazima

    17th February 2016 at 10:17 pm

    this looks wonderful. I love chunky soups like this and perfect with some fresh warm bread. Delicious

    • Choclette

      18th February 2016 at 8:25 pm

      Thanks Nazima. I’m not quite sure what the difference between a chunky soup and a vegetable stew is, but either way, this was delicious.

  7. Jacqueline Meldrum

    17th February 2016 at 10:49 pm

    The soup and the bread both look gorgeous and I love the colourful cloth too. This is my kind of meal. Love it! Thanks for submitting it to Meat Free Mondays. I was going suggest do that very thing as I’d love to feature it.

    • Choclette

      18th February 2016 at 8:24 pm

      Oh good, thanks Jac. I’ve had the cloth for years and it’s a firm favourite.

  8. Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry

    18th February 2016 at 9:44 am

    OH is the one who makes soda bread in this house so I am going to ask him to try your spelt version.

    • Choclette

      18th February 2016 at 8:22 pm

      Spelt gives it a really nice crumb structure, plus as it’s a quick bread spelt is more digestible.

  9. Nayna Kanabar

    18th February 2016 at 2:09 pm

    The soup looks hearty and delicious. I do like my soup chunky as you have made it instead of pureed.

    • Choclette

      18th February 2016 at 8:19 pm

      Ah, that’s interesting Nayna. I sort of see a chunky soup as a main meal and a pureed one as a lighter lunch, so I like them both, but at different times.

  10. shaheen

    18th February 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Need to find some Mexican smoked chilli honey! I adore Black eyed peas too. I love soda brad, but have never made it with spelt flour, must give it a go.

    • Choclette

      18th February 2016 at 8:15 pm

      I like spelt and use it in many of my bakes. I’d use it all the time if it wasn’t so expensive.

  11. Kirsty Hijacked By Twins

    19th February 2016 at 9:41 am

    I always enjoy a good chunky soup, it is a real comfort food. This looks and sounds delicious x #meatfreemonday

    • Choclette

      19th February 2016 at 9:19 pm

      Thanks Kirsty. I so need comfort food this winter, it’s done nothing but rain down here for months.

  12. Dom

    19th February 2016 at 2:25 pm

    smoked chilli honey… er, hello!!!!!! This looks lovely.. and soup or stew it really doesn’t matter does it, it’s all about the comfort food. x

    • Choclette

      20th February 2016 at 7:36 pm

      Definitely need comfort food, it’s been such a horridly grey and damp winter here. Smoked chilli honey helps.

  13. the caked crusader

    21st February 2016 at 3:09 pm

    Soup looks lovely, the spelt bread looks amazing! Love these more rustic loaves, particularly to accompany soups/stews

    • Choclette

      21st February 2016 at 8:13 pm

      Thanks CC. I find homemade bread is very hard to beat.

  14. Chris @thinlyspread

    23rd February 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Well that’s tonight’s supper sorted!

    • Choclette

      23rd February 2016 at 5:52 pm

      Glad to have helped Chris 😉 It’s been our supper quite a lot lately.

  15. Heidi Roberts

    23rd February 2016 at 9:06 pm

    This looks like the perfect weekend lunch for this time of year – really nourishing

    • Choclette

      24th February 2016 at 1:59 pm

      Thanks Heidi. Perfect for both lunch or supper, it’s a real winter warmer.

  16. Kate - gluten free alchemist

    23rd February 2016 at 11:03 pm

    That soup looks so good….. Perfect for the colder weather we are getting this week!

    • Choclette

      24th February 2016 at 1:57 pm

      Thanks Kate. We’ve been eating it quite a lot recently 🙂

  17. Janice

    24th February 2016 at 7:24 pm

    You had me at Mexican and sold me at Smoked Chilli Honey – oh my, where do you get that? Super delicious looking soup and beautiful loaf.

    • Choclette

      25th February 2016 at 9:07 am

      Thanks Janice. The honey is by Gran Luchito and according to them you can get it @BoothsCountry @Ocado @WFMLondon @SelfridgesFood @HarveyNichols @AmazonUK.

  18. Janie

    26th February 2016 at 8:42 am

    The perfect bowl of comfort food! Loving the look of that little loaf to, but still trying to abstain… ;'(
    Janie x

    • Choclette

      26th February 2016 at 1:55 pm

      Oh well done on resisting Janie, you are a determined soul. Thank you, the soup was so good, I made it twice in one week and as each batch made enough for two nights …

  19. Roxana

    18th April 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe!

    • Choclette

      18th April 2016 at 5:45 pm

      Mexican flavours are wonderful Roxana. Your soup sounds very tasty too.


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