Shelley’s recipes

Healthy family favourites from the Purchon household

What I love about this recipe is all the different flavours and textures which it includes. It’s an unusual dish from vegetarian chef Anna Jones, who excels at making very moreish meat-free meals.

Here Anna Jones makes quite a simple soup and then jazzes it up with a range of tasty garnishes. The roast cherry tomatoes in this dish give a wonderful pop of flavor, and the silky avocados give a lovely texture. The part of the dish which the kids love most are the strips of toasted tortillas, which make an unusual topping for soup and are hard to stop eating.

The simplest and most appealing health advice I’ve heard is to eat the rainbow, and you certainly do that here. The reds greens and indigos of this recipe indicate that it has a wide range of phytonutrients, and the types of dietary fibre included here are very wide ranging too. That’s good news for your micro-biome, because there are so many strains of good bacteria down inside your gut, and they each have a preferred type of fibre which helps them to thrive.

Sweet tomato and black bean tortilla bowls

Serves 4

Time: one hour


1 medium sweet potato, washed and chopped into little pieces
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
a bunch of spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 × 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
750ml hot vegetable stock
1 × 400g tin of black beans, drained
6 corn tortillas
A few eggs, for poaching (optional)
1 avocado, peeled and cut into chunks (optional)
a small bunch of fresh coriander, leaves picked


Preheat your oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6.

Place the sweet potatoes on one side of a baking tray and the halved cherry tomatoes on the other, then sprinkle the whole lot with a good amount of salt and pepper, drizzle with a little oil and roast for 20–25 minutes.

Heat a little oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the spring onions and garlic and sizzle for a few minutes, until the garlic has just started to brown, then add all the spices and stir round a couple of times. Add the tinned tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes, until all the flavours have come together.

Add the stock and bring to the boil, then simmer for another 5 minutes.

You can blitz the broth at this stage, but feel free to skip this if you like it with more texture. After simmering, add the beans.

By now the tomatoes and sweet potatoes should be roasted. Take the tray out of the oven and add the sweet potatoes to the broth, then keep it ticking over on a low heat. Set the roasted tomatoes aside – they will go in later.

Cut the tortillas into 0.5cm wide strips and put them on another baking tray. Season with a little salt, drizzle over some oil, toss to coat and bake in the oven for 4–5 minutes until crisp and lightly golden.

While the tortilla strips are cooking, poach one egg per person. To read how I poach eggs, click here.

Once the tortilla strips are golden, take them out of the oven. Ladle the soup into bowls, top with the roasted tomatoes and crunchy tortilla strips, a poached egg, some chopped avocado, if you like, and a scattering of coriander.

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