Chili Pepper Madness

January 15, 2016

Zesty Taco Soup

Zesty Taco Soup - Recipe Zesty Taco Soup - Recipe

A zesty, spicy soup recipe with loads of tomato, chili peppers, black beans, and all the fixings. It's a taco in a bowl.

Is it wrong to file this recipe under "Tacos"? I think not. I mean, fine, we're not wrapping tongue-pleasing deliciousness in a tortilla this time around, but what we ARE doing is taking all of those outstanding taco ingredients and turning it into a soup. Oh baby! Yes. Taco soup. Allow me to say that again. TACO SOUP! Yum.

I'm in such a good mood today because I recently sold a movie script (did you know I'm a screenwriter?) and they're signing some truly AMAZING cast members, but also because I made this soup last night and I have leftovers! Yes. Patty and I get to eat this soup again for lunch. How awesome is that?

Like most soups, this is a simple one-pot meal and quite easy to put together. I used my brand new Dutch Oven and cooked everything there. Just let the whole thing simmer as long as you want. Let those flavors develop a bit. Let the whole house fill up with the smell of that simmering soup. Drive everyone batty with anticipation.

Zesty Taco Soup - Recipe

See? One big pot filled with everything a taco wants, everything a taco needs. There is no one SECRET ingredient to making taco soup. The seasonings are highly important. You can use ground beef, ground turkey, chicken, even pork, though this time around I used ground turkey. Hey, watching the waistline. However! It is extremely important that you DO include chili peppers. And not just because we're Chili Pepper Madness. Chili peppers carry in an outstanding layer of flavor, but also that zesty spiciness so many of us crave. I used both jalapeno peppers and serrano peppers to bring up the level of heat, but if that is too spicy for you, you can omit them. Or, just lose the serranos and up the jalapeno count. Bell peppers are good, too! I have some in there.

The soup alone is brimming with flavor, but half the fun is in the fixings. If I had an avocado in the house, I would have topped each bowl with some of it. Curse me for not having avocados! Still, some lime, jalapeno slices, chips and cheese will go a long way, but consider anything you'd put on a taco, like crema/sour cream, crumbly white cheese, extra hot sauce, you name it! Enjoy!

Zesty Taco Soup - Recipe

Patty’s Perspective: These flavors are the epitome of Chili Pepper Madness. Talk about perfect. This recipe is mouthwatering and truly is a taco in a bowl of soup. Amazing.

Zesty Taco Soup - Recipe


  • 1 pound ground beef (use ground turkey for a healthier, lower calorie option)
  • Olive oil as needed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 2 serrano peppers, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped (use red or orange for a nice color)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup corn (frozen works great here)
  • 6 tablespoons taco seasoning (Yes! I love the extra flavor, but you can dial it back to your preference)
  • 28 ounce can whole tomatoes
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 12-ounce can black beans
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lime wedges
  • Chopped green onions, Chopped cilantro, Jalapeno slices, Lime wedges, Tortilla chips, Shredded cheddar cheese, Sour cream, avocado – anything you might put on a taco

Cooking Directions

  1. Heat a large pot to medium heat and add a couple tablespoons olive oil. Add ground beef or turkey along with onion and peppers. Cook about 8-10 minutes to brown the meat and soften the onion and peppers.
  2. Add garlic and stir. Cook another minute or so.
  3. Add taco seasoning and stir to incorporate.
  4. Add whole tomatoes, tomato sauce, black beans, corn and chicken stock. Stir. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to a quick boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 20-30 minutes. The flavors will develop more the longer you leave it. It will smell so good in the house!
  6. Serve into bowls and squeeze a bit of lime juice over the top, then swirl it in. Just a bit, about ¼ to ½ a lime.
  7. Top with your desired ingredients. We used some cilantro, green onions, jalapeno slices, tortilla chips, cheddar cheese and lime wedges. So good!

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Mike Hultquist of Chili Pepper Madness

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Hi, Everyone! It is nice to meet you. Welcome to Chili Pepper Madness, the food blog run by Mike and Patty Hultquist, a couple of spicy food lovers. Chili Pepper Madness is a special tribute to all things chili peppers, including chili pepper recipes... LEARN MORE ABOUT US



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