Taco Soup

7 Jan


This has got to be the world’s easiest “home made” soup recipe. If you can chop an onion and open a bunch of cans and packets, you’re done! I got it many years ago from a colleague who, like me, was in Weight Watchers, and I make it every winter. At the time I got the recipe, the soup was one WW point per cup; that WW system is long gone, so I can’t say what it is now. But it’s still very low in fat and high in fiber.


3 cans Great Northern beans (or use a combo of Great Northern and kidney beans)
2 14-oz. or 1 28-oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 cup water
2 cups canned or frozen corn
1 medium onion, chopped
1 packet dry taco seasoning mix
1 packet dry ranch dressing mix


Mix all ingredients in a 3-quart saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer about 1 hour.

Serves 6 to 8.


4 Responses to “Taco Soup”

  1. Andrea C January 7, 2013 at 11:34 pm #

    Sounds easy- but please translate for non Americans.
    What size cans?
    What are Northern Beans- what other types can be used
    What is Taco Seasoning Mix & Ranch Dressings- what can be subsituted.

    Otherwise sounds interesting
    PS- some of us also have to calcualte in metric measures 😉
    Looking forward to more receipes

    • bnlewis January 7, 2013 at 11:54 pm #

      Oy, I don’t know how easy some of these recipes will work for non-Yanks. I know when we first moved to the US from England, we had to have a chart of conversions in order to translate our English recipes. My big fat Joy of Cooking has a list of conversions in the back.

      The 1.45 and 14-16 ounce cans are the standard “tin” size, but the designation is for weight, not volume. By volume, the cans are about 2 cups, which works out to just under half a litre. If you want to go by grams, it’s about 425 grams. Since it’s soup, you can be approximate with no harm done. Now the taco seasoning is another matter! It’s Mexican (or more accurately, Tex-Mex), and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you probably won’t be able to make this dish, because the flavorings are essential. The mix contains corn flour (not cornstarch, which the Brits call corn flour), salt, maltodextrin, paprika, spices (not very helpful but that’s what it says in the ingredients list), modified cornstarch (so it’s got that too!), sugar, garlic powder, citric acid, autolyzed yeast extract, natural flavor (another totally unhelpful entry) and caramel color. Maybe you can find it easily enough but have just never looked!

      So, sorry, Andrea! I think some other recipes will be easier for you to translate. You’ll also have to translate oven temps, because we use Fahrenheit. (My old English recipes say “Preheat oven to gas mark 4” — try to translate that!!!)

      • Andrea C January 8, 2013 at 12:10 am #

        I wouldn’t worry about translating measures & temperatures as these are no real issue. Those of us outside US are used to doing these when we pick up US recipes. Also no problem with common ingredients like cornflour/starch, confectioners sugar/icing sugar etc.

        But we do have problems when US receipes come without specific measures even in US terms- like ‘a can’ or another I’ve seen elsewhere- stick of butter.

        Then there are specialist ingredients eg Taco Seasoning, as eg in Australia we do have, but is this a standard mix or are there different versions across the world? Likewise- what alterative to Ranch Dressing- which I’ve never seen dry/wet?

        Might be useful to include a brief general description for such ingredients, though not every ingredient off your pack eg TACO seasoning could be mexican style spices including chilie/ paprika. i’m stumped on Ranch Dressing.. of course we can look up defintions on line too.

        Looking forward to more receipes…. you Gnocci receipe is one of my Pesach basics.

    • bnlewis January 7, 2013 at 11:56 pm #

      Oops, forgot to answer your question about ranch dressing. This is buttermilk dressing, but interestingly enough, the dry mix (to which you add buttermilk) is parve. Again, the mix is mostly chemicals. See if you can find something online about it.

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