I know the obvious answer to “what to do with leftover taco ingredients?” is to make more tacos, but sometimes I like to switch it up. I’m a huge fan of challenging myself by trying to find something entirely different I can make up with whatever ingredients I have on hand.
I had made burrito/taco rice bowls last night and thought I would throw together an easy soup out of the leftovers. You can do this with a lot of different meals so feel free to get creative with it. (creative means throwing random things into a pot and hoping it works <_<) Feel free to sub any component with different vegetables, beans or grains. This can easily be made vegetarian or vegan. Fajitas? Shish kebabs? Roast Chicken? Shut up-Make a soup!
I had leftover cooked chicken and a homemade black bean and corn salsa, then I just filled in the other ingredients from the pantry.
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1/2 cup diced carrot
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup black bean & corn salsa
- 1/2 cup green or puy lenils
- 1 15oz can of tomato sauce (or diced/crushed tomato)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp taco spice (I used Trader Joe’s)
- 1 cup cooked, diced seasoned chicken
- handfull of fresh parsley, minced
- salt & pepper to taste
- Begin by sautéing onion, carrot, celery and garlic in a soup pot in about 1 tbsp of oil until translucent. Be careful as the garlic is easy to burn. If you are adding raw protein now is the time to add it, since I have pre-cooked chicken breast, I’m going to save that until near the end so I don’t go overcooking it. Add salsa and lentils.
- Add can of tomato sauce and 1 1/2 cans of water to the pot. If you want things to be extra flavourful use chicken or vegetable stock.
- Add bay leaf and taco spice and stir. Do not season with salt and pepper yet.
- Lower heat to simmer and place a lid ontop, allow this to cook for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender. The soup will thicken significantly.
- Now is when you taste the soup for seasoning, since the lentils absorb so much liquid, seasoning too early can result in a salty soup. If your soup seems too thick, add a small amount of water or stock to adjust to your liking. Be sure to taste and season again if needed.
- Stir in cooked chicken and parsley and cook for about 5 more minutes. Serve with some hearty bread or top with tortilla chips, cheddar and sour cream.