Don’t you just love it when the temperatures start to fall and you know that all the holidays are around the corner? I do, and I also love fall for the homemade soups that I feel like putting together. For some reason, to me, Autumn = Soup. This recipe for taco chicken 15 bean soup is so hearty and delicious. It makes a filling lunch or a first course before dinner.
Welcome Fall with this Taco Chicken 15 Bean Soup.
Dried beans and peas are the perfect ingredients to use in soups. (Check out my split pea soup for another cold weather crockpot soup.)
The inspiration for this soup came from a visit to the grocery store and a special on a whole cut up chicken for $3.68. At first I was just going to freeze individual portions, and I did do that for some of the pieces.
But when the grocery store said “cut up chicken,” they really did mean cut up chicken as in take a chicken and a meat cleaver and chop in it pieces and wrap it all in cling wrap. Not quite what I expected.
I had visions of nicely trimmed drumsticks, breasts and thighs. The butcher and I are not in sync it seems!So I packaged what I could in Glad Freezer bags and then looked at what was left.
Wings, carcass pieces with some meat, a neck and some unknown part of the chicken that would do nothing more than make a great chicken stock. And so the soup was born!
Normally, I just make a savory chicken stew like my mother has always made. Chicken, onions, salt, potatoes and dumplings. But since I am try hard not to eat any flour or potatoes right now (see my new found weight loss attitude here), I decided to go a different route.
I cooked my chicken like I always do for my normal soup and got rid of the skin and bones. It was ready to get jazzed up. So I went pantry raiding.
I found a package of 15 bean soup mix, and the soup started coming together in my mind.Now, this soup mix has a flavoring packet right in it, but since I don’t like people telling me how to cook, ( I am so independent that way…) I decided to use my own flavorings.
I wanted a Mexican flavor, so I decided on using my homemade taco seasoning, as well cumin, since cumin and I are best friends. I cooked the beans first and added them to my chicken stock and onions and then added a can of diced tomatoes and some lemon juice.
If your family is fond of Mexican flavors, they will love this soup. The taco seasoning is just perfect to go with the 15 types of beans. I had mine for lunch with a side salad. So low in calories but you won’t know that when you taste all that hearty goodness.
My homemade Southern Cornbread makes a great side for this soup.
- 1/2 pound of chicken pieces (I used necks and wings and backs of the thighs - the part of the chicken you would not normally cook for dinner)
- 1 cup 15-bean soup mix
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, diced into very small pieces.
- 2 carrots, diced into very small pieces.
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp home made taco seasoning
- 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 cups water
- 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- fresh fennel and chives to garnish
- Cook the chicken pieces in boiling salted water with the chopped onion, until they are very tender. Remove from the pan, but reserve the cooking liquid. Cover the chicken with cold water until you can work with it. Remove the excess skin and all the bones and return the chicken and onions to the cooking liquid.
- While the chicken is cooking, sort the beans and rinse with cold water. Place beans in pot; add enough water to cover by 2 in. Bring to a rapid boil and boiling for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Drain and rinse beans, discarding the cooking liquid.
- Return beans to the pan with the chicken. Add the cumin, taco seasoning and cracked black pepper as well as the bay leaf.
- Reduce the heat; cover and simmer for about 2 - 2 1/2 or until beans are tender. Add the diced tomatoes and lemon juice. Simmer, uncovered, until heated through. Discard bay leaf.
- Garnish with fresh a sprig of fennel leaf and some chopped chives.
- Makes about 8 servings.
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