Lunch Box Idea Day 2 – Heart Warming Beef and Chilli Bean Soup

Beef And Chilli Bean Soup - Lunch Box Winter Warmer

A perfectly heart warming soup

Doesn’t this just look delicious? Being my favourite colour, purple, this image just has to be in the 365 lunch box ideas. Now it may look complicated, but once you get all the ingredients browned and into the pot, you pretty much leave it for the times specified and the hob does the rest! You’ll find it’s worth it and you can easily do this one evening, and chill overnight in the fridge…

So to the recipe…


  • 200g (7oz) finely ground steak mince
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder*
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 400g (14oz) canned chopped tomatoes + juice
  • 1 1/3 litres (6 cups) beef stock
  • 1 small aubergine ½ cm (¼ inch) small diced
  • 1 small red pepper ½ cm (¼ inch) small diced
  • 1 small green pepper ½ cm (¼ inch) small diced
  • 400g (14oz) can kidney beans drained
  • 2-3 teaspoons cornflour in a little water
  • 3 tablespoons chopped coriander
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream


1.       Heat the olive oil in the casserole.

2.       Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes until softened. Stir in the ground beef and sear until lightly browned.

3.       Stir in the chilli powder, paprika, cumin, ground coriander, black pepper and continue to cook for a couple of minutes more.

4.       Add the tomato puree, canned tomatoes and beef stock. Bring the contents to a simmer, stir well and place the lid on. Continue to cook over a low heat for 45 minutes.

5.       Stir in the chopped vegetables and kidney beans and continue cooking for 20-25 minutes.

6.       Stir in enough of the cornflour and water mix to thicken slightly. Add two tablespoons of the chopped coriander. Check and adjust the seasoning to taste.

7.       Ladle the soup into the soup bowls to serve and top with a spoon of soured cream and a sprinkle of the remaining freshly chopped coriander.

8.       Serve with warm garlic, herb or corn bread, crackers or simply with a handful of corn chips.

Top Tips

1.       *A standard strength chilli powder has been used in this recipe. Chilli powders can vary greatly in heat strength and flavour. Mild chilli powders are more aromatic than hot often containing other spices and hot chilli powders can be extremely hot.  So if you’re preparing this for the family, perhaps the mild version might be the better choice.

2.       This recipe can be made the day before and can often improve the flavours. Cook to the end of instruction 5. Cool and chill. Reheat to piping hot and continue the recipe at instruction 6. Then pop in a wide neck flask and take for lunch, or pop a portion cool in a lunch box with strong seal and if the office has one, microwave at work.

3.        The bread, corn chips or other goodies can all be packed in separate lunch box containers so they’re kept at their best until lunch time.

So what is your favourite heart warming lunch box recipe for a dreary winter’s day?

Let us know how you get on.

Back soon!

The Lunch Box Lady x


4 responses to “Lunch Box Idea Day 2 – Heart Warming Beef and Chilli Bean Soup

  1. I agree with the comment above, the recipe sounds wonderful, I’m definitely going to try this one, just what you need when the weather turns cold.

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