Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Slow Cooker Taco Soup {Vegan}

Day 292.

Stephanie O'Dea's yummy Slow Cooker Taco Soup was one of the very first recipes I veggie-converted for my family back before I was writing the blog and even before Bug or Goose were eating the same meals we were eating. For whatever reason, after making the regular rotation several times, this one slipped my mind and I had to rediscover its deliciousness. It's a pretty simple conversion as far as the meat, use 2 cups of lentil-rice "beef" instead of ground beef. 

As for veganizing, it's not much different than I'd normally do, because I never buy those little packets of "ranch dressing mix." Instead I mix up the herbs myself and, instead of the dry buttermilk, I mix soy milk into the soup itself. The recipe ends up looking like a ton of ingredients, but for me it's better than spending extra money on a seasoning packet even if I didn't want the recipe to be vegan and MSG-free. And, if you use them regularly enough, mixing up large batches of the Ranch mix as well as the taco seasoning mix to be used in recipes is definitely the way to go.

Slow Cooker Taco Soup
Adapted from Taco Soup.
  • 2 cups black beans, cooked
  • 14.5 ounces corn, undrained
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 7 ounces green chiles
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix
  • Mock ranch dressing mix (about 1 tablespoon)
    • 1/2 tablespoon parsley 
    • 1/2 teaspoon dill
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried onion flakes
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups Lentil and Rice Ground Beef Substitute
Optional mix-ins:
Place all ingredients, in order, in the bottom of your crock. It is especially important with the homemade "beef" to place it on top so the mixture doesn't get soggy. Cook on low 3 to 5 hours. At this point you have a thick, nearly refried bean consistency taco soup.

I make it in this thick consistency because I can use the leftovers for tacos, burritos and quesadillas and whatever else I can dream up. Once it's done cooking, if you're going to eat the whole thing as soup, mix in 1 to 2 cups of soy milk or vegetable broth to soupify it to your desired consistency. If you use canned tomatoes with juice, you may not need to add much or any liquid at all. Otherwise, soupify your bowls individually and top with cilantro, sour cream and cheese, if desired.

The Results
I had forgotten how much I love this soup and how versatile the leftovers can be. Not to mention the fact that you can really make each bowl individualized with various amounts and varieties of mix-ins. We all loved this soup (it was Goose's first time eating it and she went crazy for it). I was a little concerned about the homemade beef blend holding up in the slow cooker soup (when I made it before I used pre-packaged "ground beef"), but putting it on top out of the bulk of the liquids really kept the beef together. I can't wait to craft a new leftover creation out of this one.


  1. This looks fantastic! I can't wait to try it.

  2. This soup looks hearty and delicious. Perfect for the cool fall nights we're getting at home these days. Lovely creation Kristi!

  3. This looks and sounds like such a wonderful, warming soup. Slow cooker recipes are so handy this time of year too. Thank you for sharing this post with Let's Do Brunch.