Vegan Taco Bean Soup is a wholesome bowl of plant-based goodness. All the flavours and textures of yummy tacos but prepared in one pot for a quick, easy, convenient midweek meal.
Set up a mini taco bar and serve taco bean soup with crunchy tacos or corn chips, lime wedges, guacamole, salsa, grated vegan cheese and all your favourite taco toppings.
Perfect for game day, super bowl, Mother or Fathers day, or just a relaxing no-fuss serve-yourself meal for the weekend.
Vegan Taco Bean Soup fully loaded with plant-based tastiness!
Vegan Taco Bean Soup
This taco bean soup recipe is brimming full of plant goodness with three different types of beans (black beans, kidney beans, black-eyed beans), vegetables, rice, and the usual taco spices of cumin, chilli and paprika. Oregano makes an appearance as this herb compliments tomato flavours so well.
The addition of veggie mince, in the form of dried textured vegetable protein (TVP), provides additional taco textures as well as boosting the soups nutritional value even higher. Although any type of vegan mince dried or fresh can be added. Or even a can of green or brown lentils.
Wholegrain basmati rice provides tasty nuttiness and texture but any type of rice can be added.
All the ingredients are simply added to a large pot and simmered until cooked. That's all there is to it, as this is a no-oil taco soup recipe.
To finish the soup a variety of toppings can be offered, rather like a DIY home Taco Bar, and this is particularly fun for younger members of the family as they get to personalise their tasty taco soup.
My family loves oven-roasted tomatoes, crushed tortilla chips, a dollop of salsa, and a sprinkle of chopped chives and shredded vegan cheese. Although they do enjoy nutritional yeast flakes just as much as they just impart so much cheesy flavours.
A few wedges of fresh avocado simply seasoned with cracked black pepper and a squeeze of lime juice is utterly delicious. Whenever I find reduced price avocados at the local supermarket I love using them for this taco soup.
Origins of Taco Soup
Some sources claim that Taco Soup originated in the 1950s Southwestern United States however the origins of taco soup are not entirely clear, as it is a dish that has evolved over time and been adapted by various cultures and cuisines. However, it is generally believed that taco soup originated in the United States, where Mexican cuisine has had a significant influence on American cuisine.
The concept of combining taco ingredients like ground beef, beans, and vegetables into a soup is similar to the traditional Mexican dish of tortilla soup, which has been a popular dish in Mexico for centuries. However, taco soup typically includes ingredients like canned tomatoes, corn, and ranch seasoning, which are not typically found in traditional Mexican cuisine.
Taco soup became particularly popular in the 1980s and 1990s, when it was often served as a hearty and flavorful meal for families and large groups. Today, it is enjoyed all over the world and has been adapted to suit different tastes and cultural preferences, with variations that include vegetarian, vegan, and low-carb options.
What are the origins of Tacos?
The origins of tacos can be traced back to ancient Mexico, where they were a staple food for the indigenous people. The word "taco" is believed to have come from the Nahuatl language, which was spoken by the Aztecs and other indigenous groups in Mexico.
Tacos were originally made by filling a tortilla with small pieces of grilled or roasted meat, fish, or vegetables, and seasoning it with spices and herbs. The tortilla was then folded in half or rolled up to create a portable and convenient food that could be eaten on the go.
Tacos became more widely popular in Mexico during the 18th and 19th centuries, as street food vendors began selling them in markets and on street corners. They also spread to the United States during the 20th century, as Mexican immigrants brought their food and culture with them.
One source has researched the history of the Taco to the 18th and 19th Century Mexican Silver mines.
The word Taco translates into the material used to cover gunpowder. The covered gunpowder was used to blow the ores for excavation.Depending on how much chilli and hot sauce you add to your tacos, it could literally be compared to gunpowder! The Mexican miners enjoyed a meal of what was termed Miner's Tacos.
Today, tacos are enjoyed all over the world and have been adapted to suit different tastes and cultural preferences. There are countless variations of tacos, including hard shell tacos, soft shell tacos, fish tacos, vegetarian, vegan tacos, and more, with a wide range of fillings and toppings to choose from.
How to prepare Taco Bean Soup
There's only a few steps required to prepare the best bowl of meat-free loaded taco bean soup: simply add all the ingredients to a pot, cook, and then top each serving. So easy, and customizable as you can switch up the type of beans, veggies and toppings to suit your preferences.
Add all the ingredients to a large soup pan:
beans, rice, veggie mince [crumbles], bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, celery, sweetcorn, onions, garlic, tomato passata [sieved tomato sauce, or replace with canned diced tomatoes], tomato paste, oregano, paprika, chilli powder, cumin powder and vegetable broth.
Simmer for 30-45 minutes.
Ladle into bowls and top with preferred toppings. It's that simple!
Recipe notes and frequently asked questions
Storing taco soup
Leftover taco soup can be stored within a covered container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Of frozen for up to 2-3 months.
Reheating taco soup
To reheat vegan taco bean soup, you can follow these simple steps:
- Transfer the soup to a microwave-safe bowl or container. If the soup is frozen, thaw it first in the refrigerator overnight.
- Cover the bowl or container with a lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap to prevent splatters.
- Microwave the soup on high for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through. If the soup is still cold in the middle, stir it and microwave it for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until it reaches the desired temperature.
- Once heated through, remove the bowl or container from the microwave and allow the soup to cool for a minute or two before serving.
Alternatively, you can reheat the soup on the stove by following these steps:
- Pour the soup into a saucepan.
- Heat the soup over a medium heat giving it a stir now and again. This will take approximately 4-8 minutes depending on the amount of soup.
- Once heated through, remove the pot or saucepan from the heat and allow the soup to cool for a few minutes before serving.
Make sure to stir the soup occasionally while reheating to ensure that it heats evenly. Also if your taco soup has become very thick add a little extra water to loosen up the soup so that its easier to reheat.
Do consider that the exact reheating time may vary depending on the amount of soup and the power of your microwave or stove, so it's a good idea to check the soup frequently to avoid overheating.
Next day the taco bean soup may have absorbed most of its liquid so this is perfect for using the chilled leftovers as a tortilla or Burrito wrap filling. My son loves to take this type of sandwich wrap to school.
A few more ideas:
Taco Bean Grilled Cheese Toasties: Spread salsa or ketchup over the base of a tortilla or slice of bread and add some of the thick leftovers, finish with a sprinkling of vegan grated cheese. Top with a second slice of bread or parcel the tortilla wrap up and toast under a grill [broiler] or in a panini machine until the filling is bubbling and melted.
Make a soup and sandwich meal: Serve the leftover soup with a grilled cheese sandwich or a veggie burger for a quick and easy lunch or dinner.
Use it as a dip: Puree the leftover soup in a blender or food processor until smooth, and use it as a dip for tortilla chips or vegetable sticks.
Make tacos: Use the leftover thick soup as a filling for tacos. Warm up some tortillas, spoon the soup onto the tortillas, and add your favorite toppings like shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and avocado.
Add it to chilli: Use the leftover soup as a base for a homemade chili. Simply add some extra beans, vegetables, and spices to the soup, and simmer until thickened. Or add small amounts of leftover soup to a different chilli recipe, such as our tasty vegan Black Bean Chilli recipe.
Of course, feel free to switch out any veggies you dislike for those you prefer more. A few more suggestions:
1. chopped fresh chilli's or canned jalapenos either added to the soup at the beginning or sprinkled over the finished soup.
2. Instead of the individual spices add a packet of fajita/enchilada/chilli/ or taco seasoning mix.
3. Use whatever type of bean you have to hand.
4. Any kind of rice can be used but just keep in mind that different varieties of rice have different cooking times. Alternatively, if you have any leftover cooked rice this can be added 10 minutes before the end of cooking to ensure the rice is thoroughly reheated.
5. The rice can be substituted for orzo pasta, barley, wheat grains, quinoa, or similar, do refer to package instructions and add the chosen alternative at the correct time so that they cook properly.
6. Sub out the zucchini [courgette] for eggplant [aubergine] or an extra bell pepper.
7. Use canned diced tomatoes instead of tomato passata.
8. If you have a glut of fresh tomatoes or sourced a good amount in the reduced section of the supermarket, or have some needing used up, then replace the passata with those.
9. Any type of onion is fine such as shallots, red, brown, white or yellow.
Anything that usually goes on top of a taco can also garnish taco bean soup.
A few suggestions:
Vegan shredded Cheese: A sprinkle of shredded cheese can add extra creaminess and flavor to your soup.
Vegan sour Cream: A dollop of sour cream can add a tangy flavor that balances out the heat from the soup.
Avocado: Sliced or diced avocado can add a creamy and rich flavor to your soup. It can also provide a fresh contrast to the spicy flavors of the soup.
Crushed Tortilla Chips: A handful of crushed tortilla chips can add some crunch and texture to your soup. You can use any type of tortilla chips you prefer, such as plain, flavored, or multigrain.
Cilantro [coriander]: Chopped fresh cilantro can add a bright and fresh flavor to your soup. It can also provide a pop of color to the dish.
Jalapeños: Sliced or diced jalapeños can add some heat and spice to your soup. You can use fresh or pickled jalapeños, depending on your preference.
Roast tomatoes: (Roast in the oven at 160 Fan/ 180 Celsius/ 356 Fahrenheit /Gas 4, while the soup is simmering, for 20-30 minutes or until soft and juicy. Add a drizzle of olive oil over the tomatoes before cooking, if liked)
More ideas include lemon or lime wedges, salsa, guacamole, fresh tomatoes, sliced spring onions [scallions], fresh red onion rings, nutritional yeast flakes, and gherkins.
You can make your own tortilla chips at home using tortilla wraps by following these simple steps:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
2. Cut the tortilla wraps into triangles using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife. You can cut them into small or large triangles, depending on your preference.
3. Arrange the triangles on a baking sheet in a single layer, making sure they are not overlapping.
4. Brush the tortilla triangles lightly with oil, using a pastry brush or your hands.
5. This will help the tortilla chips to become crispy and golden brown.
6. Sprinkle the tortilla triangles with salt and any other desired seasonings, such as chili powder, paprika, or garlic powder.
7. Bake the tortilla chips in the preheated oven for 8-12 minutes, or until they are crispy and golden brown. Although do keep an eye on the chips as the cook just in case they over brown.
8. Remove the tortilla chips from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before serving.
Your homemade tortilla chips are now ready to enjoy! You can serve them with your favorite dips, such as guacamole, salsa, or hummus, or use them to make nachos, taco salad or as a taco soup topping. Any leftover chips can be popped into an airtight container for a couple of days.
Yes, I make this soup often in the slow cooker although the amount of veggie broth may need to be adjusted to fit your slow cooker.
For a 3.5 litre [3.5 quarts] slow cooker I add all the ingredients [except the rice], and enough veggie stock to cover the ingredients. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low-medium for 5-8 hours although exact times will depend on how thick your veggies are chopped and your slow cooker.
*For the high setting add your rice for the last 1 ½-2 hours of cooking.
*For the medium setting add for the last 2-3 hours of cooking.
*For low setting add 3-3 ½ hours before the end of cooking.
Please note: These times are not exact as slow cookers and crock-pots can vary in the time it takes to cook certain foods so do consult your slow cookers handbook for guidance. Alternatively cook your rice separately and then mix through the soup for the last 15-30 minutes. One of those microwave ready-cooked rice pouches is ideal and so convenient as it can just be added directly to the soup for the last 5-15 minutes without being microwaved.
More easy vegan Mexican inspired soup recipes and dinner recipes
***please note: for US measurements click the 'US customary button' within the recipe and the measurements will switch to tablespoons, cups, and ounces.***
Vegan Taco Bean Soup
- Large soup-pan
- 2 sticks celery [diced, can also add the celery inner leaves]
- 2 small-medium carrots [diced]
- 1 zucchini [courgette, diced]
- 1 medium onion [diced]
- 1 green bell pepper [diced, can sub for frozen mixed peppers]
- 1 yellow bell pepper [diced, can sub for another pepper colour or frozen mixed peppers]
- 4 whole garlic cloves [fine diced, use extra if liked]
- 240 grams black beans [400 gram (14oz) can drained]
- 240 grams kidney beans [400 gram (14oz) can drained]
- 240 grams black-eyed peas [400 gram (14oz) can drained]
- 150 grams frozen sweetcorn [or fresh/tinned]
- 35 grams Dried textured vegetable protein (TVP) [Or use any vegan mince dried, fresh or frozen. For fresh or frozen use about 1 cup]
- 100 grams rice [I used wholegrain basmati but any rice if fine]
- 500 grams tomato passata [or 2 x 400g/14oz cans diced tomatoes]
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree [tomato paste]
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika [or just ordinary paprika]
- 1 tablespoon cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon chilli powder [use more if you'd like it more spicy! I only used ¼tsp as my kids dislike too much spice.]
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1.2 litres vegetable stock
- Add all the ingredients to a large soup pan. Add a few pinches of salt and pepper.2 sticks celery, 2 small-medium carrots, 1 zucchini, 1 medium onion, 1 green bell pepper, 1 yellow bell pepper, 4 whole garlic cloves, 240 grams black beans, 240 grams kidney beans, 240 grams black-eyed peas, 150 grams frozen sweetcorn, 35 grams Dried textured vegetable protein (TVP), 100 grams rice, 500 grams tomato passata, 1 tablespoon tomato puree, 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon cumin powder, ¼ teaspoon chilli powder, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1.2 litres vegetable stock
- Give it all a good mix.
- Bring to the boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes depending on how long your chosen rice takes to cook, and how long it takes for the veggies to soften.Brown or wholegrain rice will need longer to cook compared with long-grain or basmati.
- While the soup is cooking prepare any toppings and garnishes.
- If you have kids they may enjoy adding their own toppings to create their own taco soup bowl.
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary.
- Store leftover soup in the fridge, within a covered container, for up to 3 days.
- Or place in a freezer-proof container and freeze for 2-3 months. Defrost before reheating.
- Reheat leftovers in a saucepan by gently reheating until simmering and cook for a few minutes. A little extra stock or water may be needed as the soup may be very thick.
- Check out the recipe notes and FAQ section above for advice on substitutions and useful ideas on repurposing leftovers.
Thank you for trying out our vegan Loaded Taco Soup! We hope you enjoyed making and savoring it as much as we do.
If you tried this recipe, please let us know in the comments below how it turned out for you, or if you made any modifications.
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Thank you, and happy cooking!
Love, Jacq x