Chilli con carne soup

1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil
500g/1lb 2oz shin of beef, cubed
410g can pinto or red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
700ml/11/4pints hot chicken stock
Large pinch of crushed dried chillies
2 squares of dark chocolate
Fresh coriander or parsley leaves and some grated gruyere, to serve


  1. Using the food processor chop the onions and garlic.
  2. Mince the beef using the mincer with the coarse screen. Gently fry the onion and garlic in the oil for a couple of minutes until beginning to soften, then add the mince. Raise the heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the meat is no longer pink.
  3. Stir in the beans, tomatoes, stock, chillies, chocolate and plenty of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer very gently for 1 hour, or longer if you have the time. (You can make it up to a day ahead to this point, then cool and chill.)
  4. Ladle into mugs or large cups and scatter with herbs, cheese and black pepper. You’ll need spoons to eat it.