This recipe is easy, delicious, and you can use basically whatever you have in your fridge to make it! It can be made vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian and modified for any diet.
-- Taco Soup
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced red/yellow/orange pepper (optional)
1 tsp chili powder or dried spice of choice
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp paprika (smoked works nicely)
Half to one full brick smoked/extra-firm tofu OR 2 cups cooked chicken breast, pulled apart
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 cups canned crushed tomatoes (or if you have diced tomatoes, you can blend them for a minute)
1-2 diced fresh tomato(es)
2 tbsp salsa (optional)
2 cups broth of choice
1/2 tbsp sugar of choice
1 cup black beans, pre-cooked or canned
1 cup corn, frozen or canned
2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
-- Topping options
Sour cream (vegan or dairy works great)
Crushed tortilla chips
Diced green onion
-- Cheese Taquitos
1-2 cups vegetable oil for frying
8 tortillas of choice* (*corn tortillas need to be pre-warmed before frying)
1 package of cheese OR 2 cups shredded cheese
1. The Soup: start with your largest stock pot. It's best if it holds six to eight cups of liquid. Sauté onion and garlic in vegetable oil until fragrant. Add your red/whatever-colour-you-want pepper and all the spices and sauce for five minutes on medium-high heat.
2. If using tofu, break the tofu into pieces with (freshly washed!) hands to resemble pulled chicken.
If using cooked chicken, roughly break apart cooked chicken with hands or a knife, pulled-pork style. Stir in your protein with the minced garlic and sauté for two to three minutes.
3. Add your canned tomatoes, fresh tomatoes and your salsa. Stir it all together until browned, then add the broth.
4. Bring soup to a simmer. Add your sugar, black beans, corn, lime juice, salt and pepper.
5. Simmer for 20 minutes.
6. The Taquitos: Heat up vegetable oil in large frying pan to 375°. If you do not have a thermometer, you can use a wooden spoon/chop stick and place in the oil at med-high heat. Once bubbles form around the tip of the spoon, it should be the right temperature.
7. If using corn tortillas, warm them up in a separate pan with a bit of oil just enough to soften them. You do not need to do this if using flour tortillas.
8. Sprinkle a good amount of cheese on your tortilla - I put a bit of cilantro-lime mayo on mine to let the cheese stick - and roll it tightly. You may need to place a toothpick in it to keep it together. I usually place the end of the rolled wrap on the bottom of the pan to seal it shut.
9. After about one to one-and-a-half minutes, you can flip the taquitos. Fry for another minute and remove from the oil with metal tongs onto a paper towel or cloth to absorb excess oil.
10. Serve soup in bowls with your desired toppings and the taquitos on the side!
Make sure you dip the taquitos into the soup for maximum deliciousness.
-- Talia Steele
Published in Volume 74, Number 23 of The Uniter (March 26, 2020)