One-Pot Taco Soup

If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s still definitely soup season. It’s cold and dreary where I am, and my mom was telling me yesterday about some of the misadventures that came to Denver with a 10-inch snowstorm two nights ago. If you ask me, that’s a perfect time to stay in with a bowl of something hot!

Taco soup is one delicious way to warm up on a cold day. This soup first started appearing in cookbooks in the 1950s in the Southwestern US, with clear ties to traditional Mexican tortilla soup. Unlike traditional tortilla soup, though, taco soup utilizes both kernel corn and a pre-mixed taco seasoning. If you don’t have taco seasoning packets on hand, you can make your own in a couple of minutes. Here’s what I use:

  • 1 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (although sweet paprika will work as well)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp coriander

You can easily mix and match this recipe to your own tastes, as well. Sometimes, I like mixing in a little bit of cayenne for an extra kick.

If you’re in the mood for a little bit of extra heat to warm you up, whip up a batch of this soup!


One-Pot Taco Soup

1 lb ground beef

1 medium yellow onion, diced

4 stalks celery, diced

1 Anaheim pepper, seeded and diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

6 cups beef stock

1 bay leaf

2 TBSP celery leaves

2 tsp black peppercorns

2 tsp oregano

2 TBSP taco seasoning

1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

1 16-oz can black beans, drained

1 15-oz can whole kernel corn, drained

2 TBSP cilantro, chopped

Place a Dutch oven or large stockpot on medium-high heat, and cook the ground beef until evenly browned. Remove the beef from the pot to a bowl lined with paper towels to drain, and drain out all but 2 TBSP of the beef fat from the pot.

Reduce the heat to medium, and return the pot to the heat. Put the onion and celery in the pot, and stir and cook until the onions begin to caramelize. Add in the Anaheim pepper and garlic, and cook until fragrant. Add the beef back to the pot, and pour in the beef stock. Make a sachet bag with the bay leaf, celery leaves, black peppercorns, and oregano, and place it in the soup. Add the taco seasoning, tomatoes, black beans, and corn; cover the pot, and simmer on low for at least 40 minutes.

Add the cilantro during the last few minutes of cooking, and remove the sachet bag before serving. Serve with tortilla strips, avocado, raw diced onions, shredded cheese, and sour cream.

Serves up to 10.

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