In a medium saucepan, heat the oil and add the bay leaf, green bell pepper and chopped onion. Cook on medium heat till the vegetables have softened.
2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 bay leaf, 1 green (bell) pepper, 1 medium onion
Add garlic and cumin and cook for a further minute.
2 cloves garlic, ½ teaspoon cumin powder
Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, chilli powder, smoked paprika and simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
400 grams tomato sauce, 1 teaspoon chilli powder, ½ teaspoon oregano, ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
Mix in the vegetable stock, black beans with their liquid* and taste for salt, adding more if required**. Cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally till the stew has thickened. For best results use a potato masher to mash some of the beans for a thicker and creamier consistency.
500 millilitres vegetable stock, 800 grams black beans, 1 teaspoon salt
Stir in the lime juice and garnish with sour cream, jalapeños and chopped cilantro. Serve warm on its own or with steamed rice.