Cheesy taco soup. Cheesy Taco Soup! CHEESY.TACO.SOUP!!!! I must tell you that I love this stuff. I know I say I love a lot of things but I SERIOUSLY love this stuff. Like this is at the top of the top of my lists of favorite things to eat. I’m pretty sure it’s the cheese. There are so many good things about the soup, but let’s face it…I’m a cheese-a-holic. Cheese makes everything better.
If you couldn’t tell by my enthusiasm, this was an instant classic in our household at first bite. I think as I was making this soup for the first time Travis gave me some quizzical looks as I started adding more and more spices and (planned) randomness to the soup. Luckily for him, and for me, the creation turned out top notch. No need for quizzical looks or uncertainty. You can be certain that you will be eating a delicious cheesy taco in a bowl before long.
If you haven’t noticed, Travis and I are huge fans of thick and creamy soups. Not convinced? Check out my creamy tomato basil soup or cheesy veggie chowder. It may not be possible for me to make a soup without the words “creamy” or “cheesy” in front of it. Challenge accepted. Just wait for it. It’ll come someday. But for now, I’m happy with my cheesy taco soup.
My husband and I are fans of thick, chunky, and creamy soups. I first made this recipe several years ago and it was *amazing* to begin with. It’s slowly evolved to be even thicker and even more full of chunky vegetables. Oh, so perfect for a hearty and satisfying dinner. Especially perfect on a night like tonight where I am huddled in my jacket because I’m too cold to take it off. It’s only been like an hour…or 2…or something along those lines since I got home from work. Maybe 3. Don’t judge.
I love this soup with the basics of carrots, celery, potatoes, and broccoli but you are certainly more than welcome to try it with your favorite vegetables! I’ve added onions in the past as well but didn’t when I made it this time because my husband and I aren’t huge fans of onions in general. We’re working on that one.
Did I mention how creamy and cheesy this soup is? Maybe I did. Doesn’t matter because I’ll tell you again. This is the most creamy and cheesy and delicious soup EVER. In the WHOLE WORLD. Travis says I can be overly dramatic sometimes. Maybe this is one of those times. But, mark my words, you will love this soup!
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded + more for garnish
Salt & pepper, to taste
Melt butter in large pot and sauté diced carrots and celery for 7-8 minutes, or until they start to soften, over medium heat.
Add in garlic and sauté 1 additional minute.
Add chicken broth and potatoes and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
Add 1 cup of milk and heat through.
Mix together flour and water in small bowl then add to soup. Stir until the soup comes up to a simmer and thickens.
Add broccoli and simmer until tender, about 5-10 minutes depending on the size of the florets.
Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheddar cheese until it is melted. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
Serve with cheddar cheese on top.
This is a very vegetable packed soup! If you like a certain vegetable more than another you can alter the proportions of vegetables easily. Cheddar cheese that you shred at home (not the pre-shredded stuff) seems to melt better in the soup, though it will be delicious either way!
Chili is one of my favorite quick and healthy meals that fills your belly on a cool day. It’s like comfort food but without the added fat that a lot of comfort foods have. Plus, *bonus* that turkey also tastes delicious in this dish. There are so many beautiful flavors that you will not miss the beef at all. Promise.
You can also take this recipe and run with it. I don’t mean literally. **Disclaimer: Do not run with chili. You are bound to get burnt.** No, I mean take this recipe and make it yours! Add your favorite beans, veggies, or spices. Have some red beans? No worries. Add those. Green beans…go for it! You love chocolate. Add some cocoa powder. Why not?? One time I even snuck some kale into the chili. I swear you couldn’t notice but I think my husband described it as “stringy.” It’s still up for debate.
This is one of those dishes that is good on day like today in Michigan where it is cold and drizzling and you don’t want to leave the couch. But it’s also Halloween today so I will probably leave the couch to pass out candy to those brave enough to venture out into the rainy cold. Maybe they’ll even get a few extra pieces of candy for being so brave.
Oh, I remember a few times my sister and I went trick-or-treating in ponchos and/or large jackets. It was so sad to cover up one of my favorite Minnie Mouse costumes with a poncho /sigh/ but you gotta do what you gotta do to get candy. It’s serious business out there.
Whether you are out in the cold and need something to warm your belly or it’s just a day to cuddle up and do nothing, this chili is the perfect solution to a “chilly” day. Get it?? Chilly. Chili. Yeah, I’m cool.
2 cans diced tomatoes (28 ounce cans), or approximately 6 cups of diced tomatoes
2 cans black beans (15 ounce cans)
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 dried bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
Brown the turkey in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once browned, remove any excess oil from the pan.
Add the onion, garlic, carrots, bell peppers, and jalapeño to the pot and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, beans, and spices (chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, cinnamon, bay leaves, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper). Simmer covered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the chili reaches your desired thickness.
Remove the bay leaves prior to serving.
You can reduce or increase how spicy this chili is by reducing or increasing the cayenne and jalapeño. This chili has a little kick to so try it with less first if you are unsure and add more to taste. I typically serve mine over mashed potatoes or french fries with a little cheddar cheese on top (yum!) but it's also delicious on its own!
Flavor From Scratch http://www.flavorfromscratch.com/
Tomato soup is the perfect pair for grilled cheese. It’s like peanut butter and jelly. They just go together. Or like ice cream and chocolate syrup. Bread and butter. Turkey and stuffing. Pancakes and syrup. Wow…apparently the only pairs I can come up with are food related. Such is life.
Note how since this is fancy tomato soup I cut my grilled cheese into fancy strips. Yeah, I felt cool about that. Don’t judge. Another favorite is the diagonal cut. If you want to be boring you can cut it straight down the middle. I’m *pretty* sure it tastes the same any way you cut it. And by pretty sure I mean 107% sure. So just cut it fancy for fun.
I had a boatload of tomatoes piling up from our backyard so I decided to make tomato soup! This recipe certainly does the trick. It’s a little sweet from the tomatoes, a little smoky from roasting the tomatoes, a little spicy from the red pepper flakes, a little creamy from the half and half, and a burst of freshness from the basil. YUM. YUM. YUM.
I tried a couple of ways of roasting the tomatoes. I found online that you can grill them after cutting them in half and tossing in olive oil. Everything you find online is a perfect solution, obviously. It was a beautiful thing…until I tried to flip them and they mostly ended up between the grates or stuck to the grates. I might have missed something there. Anyways, the oven roasted method worked MUCH better and was MUCH easier. Plus you don’t have to haul your grill out of hiding to complete this!
approximately 30 small tomatoes (or two 14.5-ounce cans of roasted tomatoes)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken stock (or other stock)
1/2 cup half and half
20 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
salt & pepper, to taste
Turn oven to broil. Cover baking sheet in foil. Toss tomatoes in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and place on baking sheet. Broil in oven for 5 minutes. Turn the tomatoes over and broil another 2-3 minutes. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until cooled. Remove the peel from the tomatoes (they should basically fall off) and cut tomatoes into large chunks. Set aside.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add 5 of the cloves of garlic and saute 1 more minute. Add the tomatoes, cover, and reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Add chicken stock and half and half. Simmer uncovered for another 10 minutes.
Add last garlic clove, basil, red pepper flakes, and salt & pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and use immersion blender to blend until smooth. You can also transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. If not to your desired consistency, return to stove to simmer another 5 minutes, or until thickened.
I used San Marzano tomatoes from our garden for this recipe. I would also recommend Roma tomatoes. If you use canned roasted tomatoes, you will only need 2 tablespoons of olive oil since the other half is for the roasting process.