Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Easy Taco Soup Recipe from A Pinch of Salt Lake

Easy Taco Soup
This Easy Taco Soup was a big hit when I made it this year for my annual New Year's Day soup party!

(Updated with better photos and step-by-step instructions, February 2014.)  There are some recipes that become favorites just because they're simple and use ingredients you usually have on hand, and this Easy Taco Soup that I first made years ago is a family-friendly soup I've made over and over for parties.  I adapted the recipe from A Pinch of Salt Lake, a classic old cookbook published by the Junior League of Salt Lake, and this year when I made this soup again for my annual New Year's Day Soup party, I decided it was time to update this post with better photos.  

Almost as fun is eating the soup is the story of how I got the cookbook years ago as a gift from a third-grade student named Nathan.  I'd always wanted the book, so when he showed up at school with it one day, I was quite excited.  In the honest way kids have he said, "My mom didn't think she'd ever use it."  Recently I saw Nathan's mom in the grocery store and she told me he's now 17, which shows how long I've been making this soup!

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the ground beef, and cook until the meat is well-browned.  Put the meat in the soup pot.

Add the other teaspoon of olive oil to frying pan, add the onions and cook until they're soft and barely starting to brown.  Add the garlic, dried oregano, ground cumin, Ancho chile powder, and chile powder, and saute about a minute, until the spices are fragrant.  Add the onion mixture to the soup pot.  Rinse out the pan with one cup of beef broth and add that to the soup.

Add the rest of the beef broth, canned tomatoes, and beans to the soup.  (I used a mixture of pinto and kidney beans, but you can use either kind you prefer.)  Let soup simmer on low 45 minutes to an hour, adding a little water if needed.  (I don't know why I used such a deep pot!) 

You can puree some of the soup to thicken it if needed, but I thought mine was plenty thick after it had cooked for an hour.

Taco Soup
And just for fun, here's the original close-up photo of this soup!


Easy Taco Soup
(Makes 6-8 servings, recipe adapted from A Pinch of Salt Lake.)

Ingredients:
1 lb. lean ground beef (use beef with less than 10% fat for South Beach Diet)
1 tsp. + 1 tsp.  olive oil
1 onion, chopped small
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 T dried oregano (preferably Mexican oregano)
2 T ground cumin
1 T ground Ancho chile powder (I use ground ancho chile powder from Penzeys, if you don't have ancho chile powder just use more regular chile powder)
1 T chile powder
2 cans (14 oz.) beef broth, (or use 3 1/2 cups homemade beef stock)
2 cans (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes with juice
2 cans (15 oz.) pinto beans or kidney beans with juice

Toppings to add to the soup:
diced avocado
grated cheddar cheese (I used Mexican Cheese Blend from Costco which is a lower fat cheese blend)
corn chips (for the kids, but not for South Beach dieters)
sour cream (use light sour cream for South Beach diet)
chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions:
Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in frying pan, add ground beef and cook until well browned, breaking into small pieces with turner as you cook it. Remove beef to large soup pot.

In same frying pan heat second tsp. of olive oil, add onions and and saute until onions are starting to soften and brown, about 3 minutes.  Add garlic, oregano, cumin, Ancho chile powder, and chile powder and saute about 1 minute, or until the spices are fragrant.  Add onion mixture to the soup pot, then rinse out the frying pan with 1 cup beef broth and add that to the pot.

Add the rest of broth, canned tomatoes, and canned beans.  Let soup cook at very low simmer for 45 minutes to one hour, stirring occasionally and adding a bit more water if it cooks down too much. (If you want a thicker soup, cook 30 minutes, then remove a few cups of soup, puree with food processor or immersion blender and add back into the soup, then cook remaining time.) Serve hot, with toppings as desired.

Click Here for Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
With low fat ground beef, low fat cheese, light sour cream, and skipping the corn chips, this soup would be fine for any phase of the South Beach Diet. Many people don't know that beans are allowed, even for phase one, but they're considered a "good carb" on South Beach.  Beans are a limited food, so don't over-do it on the serving size.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Tasty Soups with Beans:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Slow Cooker (or stovetop) Black Bean and Rice Soup with Lime and Cilantro ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Paula Butturini's Zuppa di Fagioli ~ Farmgirl Fare
Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Soup with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Basil ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Adobo Black Bean Soup from Not Derby Pie
Chicken and Pinto Bean Soup with Lime and Cilantro ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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32 comments:

  1. Great recipe -- I think it would be pretty good without any beef at all, too.

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  2. do you know that I made a soup very similar to this last week and I loved it?! It needed some more working on it so I'll post it later on! Yours looks really delicious!

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  3. Kalyn, this looks outstanding, and so perfect for a snowy, chilly day. Particularly if it could be served with a margarita on the side.

    Ahem.

    Thanks for posting this!

    :-) Genie
    The Inadvertent Gardener

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  4. I love that cookbook! My mom has one and gave me one for Christmas one year. She also likes to give it as a wedding gift for out of state weddings. Good job Nathan. :)

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  5. Yum!! I love recipes like this. Of course, I would top it with lots of chopped cilantro! :):)

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  6. I make a taco soup with no meat and it is very tasty and super easy!

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  7. Lydia, yes I think it would be fine even without the beef, but Bill wants his beef!

    Ilva, fun that we're cooking the same things.

    Genie, it wasn't snowing when I made it, so it sounds even better today.

    Anonymous, fun that your mom has it. Nathan is pretty sharp.

    Sher, I'm slipping. I'm going to edit and add cilantro to the list of toppings.

    Maria, Lydia is with you on this.

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  8. this is just the kind of soup i love to eat. purrrfect!

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  9. Perfect soup for winter I must say !!!!!.... BTW, if you are longing for summer, come over to singapore..... I will be happy to have you over here :)

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  10. If you really want to go low card and healthy, use canned Black Soy Beans (I use Eden Organic brand and available in most health food sections of large supermarkets like Fred Meyers) in place of the kidney or chili beans. Black soy beans have only 8 grams of carbs and 7 grams of fiber for a net 1 carb per 1/2 cup serving. I use them as substitute beans in many recipes. You have to use a bit more spice than called for in the recipe, because the beans are somewhat flavorless and will absorb surrounding flavors. I usually try to make soups, chilies etc the day before so that all the flavors mix.

    The Taco Soup was perfect on this cold day in Alaska... pam

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  11. Pam, an interesting idea to use the black soy beans in soups. I haven't tried them.

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  13. Just wanted to let ya know that I gave this a try and it was great. Very easy to make and yet very yummy!

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  14. Naudee, thanks! I always love to get your feedback.

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  15. Comments before this were from November 2006 when I first posted this recipe (I can't believe it's been that long.)

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  16. Everything I love about tacos in soup form? Yes, please!!

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  17. Yum and yum again! That looks sooo good, Kalyn! By the way, love the new header on your page too. Despite being Summer, it's been raining a lot over the past couple of days, so I might just grab the chance to try this recipe out.

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  18. Now this is a soup that eats like a meal! It looks tasty and hearty.

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  19. I have to make two soups to take into school this Wednesday for a luncheon, so I just had to check out Kalyn's for at least one SBD friendly soup. Great ideas!

    I love your new header. It is beautiful. I liked the last one, too, but not being a real mushroom fan, I like this one lots better.

    Thanks again for all the great recipes.

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  20. This soup sounds perfect for these high teen temperatures we've been having. I am so ready for spring.

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  21. I just found your site. I started the Southbeach diet two weeks ago and I am nervous about moving on. Your recipes look wonderful and I plan on using them right away.

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  22. I haven't tried the recipe yet, but my husband & I received A Pinch of Salt Lake as a wedding present. It was my favorite cookbook for a long time. I knew that anything that I made from A Pinch would be a winner. I will have to try the Taco Soup now.

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  23. Kalyn, this looks like an awesome cold weather recipe!

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  24. What size cans of diced tomatoes do I use

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  25. The tomatoes are 14.5 oz sized cans. I'll edit to make that clear, thanks!

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  26. Wow! What a great soup! My oldest and youngest sons loved the "scoop" option. I bought the scoop brand of corn chips and they literally used the chips as their spoons. My middle son is still developing his palate. :-) Tonight is "Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup with Ham and Sherry Vinegar" currently in the crockpot. I knew I needed to use up the rest of the Easter ham and quickly! I was low on cannellini beans, so I threw in chickpeas too. We'll see how that turns out.

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  27. I'm restarting Phase 1 and this delectable dish is on the menu. I tried this last year and it made enough for leftovers for the week. Which is perfect for this full time student : )

    Thank you !!

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  28. I always LOVE your soup recipes, so after I stumbled upon this in the archives I made this tonight (even though using the stovetop this time of year makes the apartment crazy hot).

    Because I'm vegetarian, I substituted the MorningStar soy crumbles for the beef. Also, instead of chili powder, since I had a bunch of leftover canned chipotle chilis in adobo, I minced one chili and added a tablespoon of sauce to the mixture before adding the broth. Served it with a dollop of sour cream, and a big side of roasted zucchini. It was a crazy delicious weeknight meal - thanks for the recipe!

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  29. Dana, love the sound of your version!

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  30. I couldn't have received this recipe in my email on a better day. My husband's home for a couple of days after minor surgery and needs pampering :-) This soup definitely did the trick! Thanks Kalyn!

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  31. Hope the soup will make him feel a little better!

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