We have taco Tuesday every Tuesday at our house and sometimes we have left over taco meat. One time when my husband were on a diet and actually measuring everything we were eating we had a lot of meat left over. So I had to think of a way to use it. I started out making a chili with it which I have done in the past but then decided to make a spicy taco inspired soup instead, so I kind of stumbled on this recipe but it is so good I actually make a double batch of taco meat on taco Tuesday. The taco meat is just ground up beef that is browned drained and seasoned with a packet of taco seasoning from the grocery store. 1 packet per pound. I don’t add any additional salt to the soup because there is already enough in the taco meat inself.
This recipe also calls for a 1/4 cup of cooked rice so this is a great recipe for using up left over take out rice as well. I chose to add already cooked rice because rice is tricky and has to be timed just right to cook properly and i didn’t want that to interfere with the cooking time of the soup so the cooked rice is just added in towards the end of the soup cooking time just long enough to heat it through but not get it mushy. If you don’t have left over rice start cooking the rice right before you start preparing the soup that way it will be cooked and ready and will have a couple of minutes to sit before it gets added to the soup.
This soup is thick like a chili so it is a meal all in itself. If you are a little over or under on the amount of meat it is no big deal, it will just make a thinner or thicker soup. My husband likes to dip tortilla chips in his.
Leftover Taco Meat Soup
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound left over ground beef taco meat (or just taco meat made with ground beef and a store bought taco seasoning mix)
1 cup yellow onion chopped
1 28 oz diced tomatoes un-drained
1 14 oz can corn kernels un-drained
1 14 oz can of chili beans
2 ½ cups beef broth
1 large or 3 medium jalapeño peppers seeded and diced
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ bunch cilantro leaves
¼ cup diced green onions
¼ cup cooked rice
Shredded Mexican Cheese for garnish
Add the oil to a large sauce pan and then add in the onions. Allow the onions to cook stirring occasionally until they are soft. Then add in the left over taco meat and stir for a couple of minutes. Add in the tomatoes, the corn, the broth the beans the jalapeno the cumin, chili powder, and the green onions,
Allow the soup to come to a simmer and keep it at a simmer for about 15 5o 20 minutes. Then add in the rice and cook for another couple of minutes, then remove from heat and add the chopped cilantro, allow the soup to sit for 10 minutes for the cilantro taste to blend in there and then pour in to individual bowls and garnish with the shredded Mexican Cheese.
If you like dip your tortilla chips in there like my husband does or even crumble up a few and sprinkle them on top of the soup. Sliced black olives also make a wonderful garnish for this soup if you like them.