We love this simple taco soup. It and it variations are a staple here. I used ground beef in this one, but have also used ground turkey, ground chicken, made veggies versions with just the black beans and lentils. Anyway you choose to make it, this soup is awesome!
Start by browning ground beef. You know I am a huge proponent of supporting local. Our beef came from Cunningham Meats. This is not an ad, we found and paid for the beef on our own, and love it!I think it is so important to source as much food as you cannot produce on your own locally. So, check around. I bet you will find some in your area as well.
How familiar are you with Ro-tel? I was not at all until I married my Southern man. Now, it is pantry staple in our home. We use it ALL the time! It is perfect in this taco soup. Plus, it really simplifies things! My husband loves the hot version, but we all like the original.
My beans were already cooked. I like to batch cook them, then they are ready to throw in to whatever I need. Canned would work great too, as this is supposed to be a simple soup. Throw the beans, rotel and water into pan with ground beef. By the way, this is my favorite enameled cast iron, I just love Lodge pans.
Here is my spice collection for taco soups. Well, it is missing the salt and pepper. Have you ever tried Mexene chili powder? I was introduced to it by some stranger in the grocery store in Texas (although, are there any strangers in Texas? I don't think so, I loved how people would chat with anyone anywhere!). Anyway, it was a good recommendation and I have using it for YEARS.
Throw spices in the mix and boil rapidly until the soup has reduced. The lines on the side of the dutch oven show this really well. Even if you are tempted to cover your pot, don't do it! You want the reduction. It will intensify the flavors and thicken your soup. I even threw in a little corn. I prefer hominy, but didn't have any.
We served our's topped with fresh cilantro, red onion and charred tortillas. Pino Blue Tortillas has a special pink tortilla they are selling in collaboration with Susan G Komen. The photo is a little blown out, but they are really a pretty tortilla. They are a really cool company, if you haven't heard of them, definitely check them out.
The cheese is a lovely grated cotija from Rizo Bros cheese. Let me tell you, it is fabulous! The bowls came from Jefferson Street Ceramics. A small pottery company out of Salt Lake I am just loving.
I also love to throw fresh tomatoes on top as well. It just felt right for this simple taco soup.
So, if you are looking for a FAIRLY quick dinner, check out this simple taco soup. I also made this in big batch as I was taking dinner to a friend, but it would be great for meal prep too.
Simple Taco Soup
- 2-3 pounds ground beef you can easily sub in ground turkey or chicken.
- 6 cups cooked black beans If you are making a veggie version, use 8 cups black beans and 3 cups lentils.
- 2 cans Ro-tel I used original, but there is a mild or hot. Both are awesome, depending on your preference.
- 9-10 cups water You can also use beef stock if you prefer. I think there are already of flavors in the soup, so I used water.
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1-2 tablespoons chili powder Mexene is my chili powder of choice. You can add in more or less, this will be a variable depending on taste.
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- salt and pepper to taste I started with 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons ground black pepper. As the soup is nearing the end of it's reduction, check for flavors again. You don't want to add too much to begin and the flavors will intensify as they reduce.
- 3 cups corn you can use frozen or canned. You can also sub in hominy if you prefer.
- cilantro for topping
- red onion topping
- tortilla chips or charred tortillas optional. We love our soup served with these.
- cheese of choice for topping I love plenty of different kinds of cheeses for this- cotija, Monterrey, Monterrey jack, cheddar, etc.
- Brown ground beef in large pot. I love my enameled cast iron, but you can use any heavy bottom pot you prefer. If you need to, drain the grease after it has cooked. Add beans, water, and spices. Turn cooktop on medium high and boil rapidly for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally . Add the corn and continue to cook, stirring occasionally for another 15 minutes. Serve warm with with topping of choice. If you have leftovers and are storing the fridge, make sure soup is cool first. Then store in an airtight container for up to 10 days. Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it. This can also be done in a crockpot as well. Brown ground beef, add it and rest of ingredients to pot. Turn on high for 4 hours, or low for 8. I like to remove the lid for the last 1 or 2 if you are home and can do that. It gives it a reduction you are looking for. If you would prefer using a pressure cooker, brown meat on saute. Add remaining ingredients and turn on high for 10 minutes with a quick release. Unless you have a big pot, you may need to either cut recipe in half or even do 2 batches. I like to turn it back on saute after it is done and let it reduce for a bit.