Is it just me, or do you feel a bit sad for your kids that they’re back to school after a long break? I mean, I feel kinda good for me that I have the house to myself for at least a few hours to get as much work done as possible without having to be answer someone’s burning question every 5 seconds. But I do feel their pain. Our 3 dogs are always sad and confused, too, when the kids and Brian march out the door bright and early and they’re left with … me. But since I’m the one who cooks and bakes all day and occasionally (okay often) drops food on the floor that they can eat: silver lining! Apart from putting some thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies in their lunch boxes today, since it’s freezing cold outside this time of year, I’ll make it allllll better with some serious comfort food. Gluten free taco soup—all the flavors and textures of tacos, in a warm bowl of soup—it is!
I usually make taco soup with shredded chicken (and since you cook the chicken breasts in the soup itself right on the stove, it’s quick, easy and packed with flavor), but ground beef does seem more like traditional taco fare. I leave that choice to you!
And if you’ve got any sort of New Year/New You sort of resolution going on, the roux that thickens this hearty soup is made entirely with heart-healthy olive oil.
Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients, as almost all of them are straight off the supermarket shelf and into your saucepan. But with just the right mix of herbs and spices, this gluten free taco soup tastes like home. Stay warm, friends!
Gluten Free Taco Soup
4 tablespoons (56 g) extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, peeled and diced
5 tablespoons (45 g) basic gum-free gluten free flour blend (30 grams superfine white rice flour + 10 grams potato starch + 5 grams tapioca starch/flour)
1 28-ounce can tomato puree (or whole, peeled tomatoes, pureed with their juices until smooth)
3 ounces (1/2 small can) tomato paste
1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes, with their juices
2 ounces (1/2 can) diced (mild) green chiles
1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces) chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground chili powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, pressed between your fingers and palm to release oils
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts*
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
10 ounces frozen whole kernel corn
1 15-ounce can refried beans**
1/2 cup sour cream, for serving
4 ounces shredded cheese (a combination of sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses is nice), for serving
Crushed gluten free tortilla chips,*** for serving
*In place of chicken, you can serve the soup with 1 pound of lean ground beef, browned in a clean, heavy-bottom skillet until no pink remains.
**If you don’t have refried beans, you can use another 15-ounce can of canned black beans, drained (not rinsed) and pureed.
***I made my own tortilla chips by slicing packaged gluten free corn tortillas into 3-inch x 1 1/2-inch strips, tossing them generously with extra-virgin olive oil and kosher salt, spreading into an even layer on a lined baking sheet and baking them at 375°F for about 10 minute or until lightly golden brown all over. They crisp as they cool.
In a large, heavy-bottom saucepan with a lid, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until translucent (about 6 minutes). Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and stir to combine. Add the flour blend, and stir frequently until the oil is thickened and the mixture starts to become fragrant, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low, and add the tomato puree, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, green chiles, stock, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, chili powder, oregano, salt and pepper, stir to combine well. Raise the heat to medium, and bring the mixture to a simmer.
Place the chicken breasts in the soup and press them down to submerge them completely in the liquid. Cover the saucepan with the lid, and cook until the chicken is opaque throughout (about 8 minutes, depending upon the thickness of the chicken breasts). Uncover the saucepan, transfer the cooked chicken to a plate or cutting board and shred the chicken with two forks while it’s still warm. If you are serving with ground beef instead of chicken, skip this step and proceed immediately to Step 3.
Add the black beans, corn and refried beans to the soup, and stir to combine, making sure the refried beans are incorporated fully. Ladle the soup into bowls, top with shredded chicken (or ground beef), sour cream, shredded cheese and crushed tortilla chips.