From south of the border comes this spicy and hearty soup ladled over crisp tortilla strips, and can be topped with an endless list of many fresh ingredients.
Tortilla soup or in this case my “Taco Soup encompasses all things I love in Mexican cooking. Do you love fresh salsa? sliced avocado? cilantro? fresh hot tortilla strips? Taco soup is a balance of flavors from enchilada sauce, seasoned taco meat, fresh peppers, corn, and of course beans. For me soup becomes a lot more interesting when it’s seasoned with Mexican spices and chili powders.
Taco soup is also one of those “go to dishes” and a great “help yourself” sort of meal. Everyone can jazz up their bowl of soup the way they want it. I love to make this during cool weather using my extra-large slow cooker, and then lay out a variety of fresh toppings, that no two bowls look or taste the same. For maximum flavors make it a day before serving so that the flavors have time to marry.
This is a quick and easy version of the traditional “chicken tortilla soup” Except instead of using chicken were using ground beef, or ground turkey for those wanting to cut back on red meats!
All you do is brown the ground beef, dice the bell peppers, open a few cans, rinse, drain then mix it all together put into the slow cooker, and turn it on.
As for the beans I used in this recipe can be omitted if you’re not a fan of kidney or black beans. It’s a very versatile dish, so put your own spin on it!
For a hearty meal that’s full of flavor and spice, you can’t go wrong with Mexican Taco Soup! As some may notice I snapped several pictures showing variations of toppings.
1-2 lbs ground beef or ground turkey
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground or dried crushed oregano
2 Tbsp New Mexico or California chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
1 medium sweet onion, chopped finely
1 green bell pepper, diced small
1 red bell pepper, diced small
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can whole white corn, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can whole yellow corn, drained and rinsed
1 small can diced green chillies
1 15 oz can tomato purée
Brown ground beef in a large pan, or in my die-hard favorite, cast iron skillet, drain fat completely and add to slow cooker.
Remove ribs and seeds from bell peppers and cut into small to medium size dice, and add to slow cooker.
Open all cans of beans if using more than one type, rinse, drain then add to slow cooker.
Repeat last step with corn.
Add in remaining ingredients along with Mexican spices and seasoning, stir until combined.
Remember to taste and adjust seasoning to your desired taste and/or heat level.
You can add a little water if it starts getting too thick, let the soup cook on low for several hours.
Crispy Tortilla Strips (prepare in advance)
12 – 20 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips.
Fried in small batches in vegetable oil. Drained and allow to dry on paper towels.
Queso Fresco cheese, crumbled
Shredded Mexican cheese
Avocados, sliced or cut into small chunks
Tomatoes, diced. ( If you can find some colorful Heirloom tomatoes to dice, they will add bright color to your soup.)
Green chillies, diced
1/2 head iceberg lettuce or cabbage, shredded
Mexican or regular sour cream
1 onion red or sweet, finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro rinsed & dried, then finely chopped
Roasted Pumpkin seeds