Vegan Main Dishes/ Vegan Recipes/ Vegan Soups, Stews, and Chilis

Taco Soup

Taco soup recipe

The presentation of this easy, offbeat soup, filled with spiced beans and grain (quinoa or bulgur) is like a taco turned inside out, is fun and dramatic. It’s perfect for a chilly weeknight meal, served with a colorful salad and a green veggie. Adapted from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons. Photo by Theresa Raffetto.

Taco soup recipe

Taco Soup

The presentation of this easy, offbeat soup, filled with spiced beans and grain (quinoa or bulgur) is like a taco turned inside out, is fun and dramatic.
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Course: Soup / Chili
Cuisine: Southwestern
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: Veg Kitchen


  • 1/2 cup raw quinoa or bulgur
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper finely diced
  • 4 cups cooked or canned pinto beans from 1 1/2 cups raw beans or two 15- to 16-ounce cans, drained and rinsed
  • 28- ounce can salt-free crushed tomatoes
  • 1 to 2 fresh hot jalapeño or serrano chilis, or 1 mild chili (poblano), or one 4-ounce can chopped mild green chilies
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro optional
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality chili powder or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt to taste


  • Grated cheddar-style nondairy cheese Daiya cheddar or pepperjack are particularly good in this
  • Thinly shredded romaine or green leaf lettuce
  • Finely diced firm ripe tomatoes (about 1 cup)
  • Large triangular stone-ground tortilla chips
  • Picante sauce or other hot seasoning


  • Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the grain of choice and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.
  • Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and bell pepper and continue to sauté, stirring frequently, until all are golden.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, except the garnishes, plus the cooked grain and 3 cups water. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove from the heat. This should have the texture of a thick chili, but if too thick, stir it a little more water.
  • Assemble each serving as follows: Fill each bowl about 2/3 full with soup. Top with some grated cheese, shredded lettuce, and diced tomatoes. Line the perimeter of each bowl with several tortilla chips, points facing upward, for a kind of star-shaped effect. The tortilla chips can be used to scoop up the solid parts of the soup or just nibbled along with the soup.
  • Pass around a bowl of extra tortilla chips and hot seasoning for embellishing individual portions.


Nutrition information
Per serving: Calories: 405;  Total fat: 12g;  Protein: 16g;  Fiber: 20g;  Carbs: 64g;  Sodium: 228mg

Taco soup from vegan soups and hearty stews for all seasons

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  • Reply
    June 13, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Hi, Can you use fresh tomatoes instaed of tinned ones, and do you have to skin them and take out all the tomato seeds to use them? This looks like a great recipe, thank you. Lots of Love Misscpb xxx

    • Reply
      June 13, 2012 at 3:15 pm

      Hello — you can definitely use fresh tomatoes, and they need not be skinned or seeded.

  • Reply
    January 3, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    I just made the Taco soup! It is delicious! I had some left over cherry tomatoes and added it instead of a second can of crushed tomatoes. Also instead of plain can of pinto beans I have used Worthington Chili beans.

    • Reply
      January 3, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      So glad you enjoyed this, Ella! And as I always say, a good recipe is one that you can alter, and it will still come out well. I love to hear about reader’s tweaks and changes.

  • Reply
    Sue Sharpe
    January 4, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    I’m making this right now! I can’t wait to eat, it smells very good!!

    • Reply
      January 7, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      Sue, I’m so sorry, your comment somehow went under my radar. And after all that, I’m afraid I can’t help you on the calorie count!

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