Thursday, November 15, 2012

From the Books Thursday: Taco Soup

I have really gotten into soups lately as you can see here and I'm making a tomato soup (similar to this one) this weekend. They don't take a ton of time to prepare and they can feed you for a few days (or a week). Plus, you can freeze the leftovers and then just pull out a container when you need it and it thaws nicely.

I found a recipe for Chicken Taco Soup in my mom's Taste of Home Favorite Brands 2005 cookbook (yes we have a lot of these books) and it sounded like it would warm me through and through now that the temps are dropping. I had almost all the ingredients at home, so it was a no-brainer to proceed in making this. I decided to add a few things of my own to this to really amp up the flavor and make the soup go a little farther.

Thinly sliced chicken?
I started by chopping the chicken into thin strips as the book suggested and added it with some EVOO, cumin and cilantro to the pan and started cooking it through. I had a little over what the recipe called for of chicken, but I think you could use 1.5 lbs. and have a lot of lean protein in the soup. I realized right away that I either didn't cut the strips thin enough or the recipe wanted us to have huge pieces of meat in the soup. Once it was cooked through, I put the chicken on the cutting board and chopped it into smaller, more manageable bites.

Cumin & Cilantro chicken
This recipe was then as easy as adding the rest of the ingredients (corn, salsa, beans, taco seasoning), bringing to a light boil and simmering for a bit. Supposedly, after the simmer it was to be ready to eat, but when I tasted it, the flavors were very bland and the soup was extremely watery.

I added some cumin and dried cilantro to amp up the flavor, and my mom had some tiny noodles in stock that I added to help make the soup a bit thicker. This really helped as I am one that really likes a stewp!

Itty, bitty noodles to thicken soup
Then I went for my special ingredient, green Tabasco sauce. I added some shakes and let it sit on the stove on low for about an hour and when I came back to taste, it was delicious. It warmed me up for sure but didn't overpower my buds so I could taste all the flavors.
Special ingredient to turn up the heat!

Chicken Taco Soup
I brought some with me to work the next day. The book suggested putting tortilla strips and cheese over the top to serve, and I decided Frito's would work for me. I didn't have shredded cheese available to me, but luckily Walgreen's pulled through with a $.39 cheddar cheese stick that I chopped up and added to the cheese. That extra 20 hours of the soup resting really infused the flavors even more. And the crunch of the Frito's was a perfect touch. I could probably do without the cheese as it wasn't a creamy soup and wasn't chili so the cheese was just sort of there. But definitely add some chips for crunch!
Chicken Taco soup w/ Fritos & sliced cheese

So although I didn't alter the recipe much, I think that if I wouldn't have added my additional ingredients, it would have been pretty bland.

So now that the weather is cooler, are you planning to make any soups? I would love to hear your favorite kinds!


  1. Your Taco soup looks so delicious! We would love to have you share this on our Strut Your Stuff Saturday link party at We love you fun blog! -The Six Sisters

  2. The soup is excellent and the longer it sits, the more flavorful it becomes. I'll definitely try to post on Saturday - thanks for the invite :)