For this Vegetarian Taco Soup Recipe, Ranch Dressing helps give the mixture a fresh and bright flavor. This taco soup recipe is also easy to make, and can be assembled very quickly using a handful of ingredients most of us keep in our cupboards: Ranch Dressing Mix Packet, Taco Seasoning, beans and tomatoes. The only wild card here is Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), which can be found in most grocery stores either in the aisle where baking goods are kept, in the organic foods section and online. The Rotel tomatoes with chilies give it some extra bite, and I use Penzeys Bold Taco Seasoning instead of a packet mix. If you don’t like spicy taco soup, use a can of regular crushed tomatoes and a packet of mild taco seasoning. Bottom line: this meatless taco soup is very flavorful and adaptable.
What is Textured Vegetable Protein?
Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) is a dried soy product that looks like bulgur wheat, except the individual protein “grains” of TVP have a more ragged and crunchy appearance (see the photo below for comparison). TVP is convenient because you can keep it in the cupboard and bring it out when needed. You don’t have to refrigerate it or defrost it before using. TVP can be rehydrated easily with water or your favorite broth, generally in a 1:1 ratio: 1 cup of TVP to 1 cup of liquid.
TVP (left) and Bulgur Wheat (right) look similar, but TVP has a crunchier texture and more jagged appearance.
What does TVP taste like?
TVP doesn’t really taste like much when it is reconstituted using water. The flavor is that of a neutral grain, something like bulgur wheat. However, TVP is like a flavor sponge and quickly takes on the essence of its surrounding ingredients, making it perfect to use in well-seasoned soups. It also has a crumbly texture that is similar to ground meat, so it is a natural veggie substitute for recipes calling for ground beef or ground turkey.
How much TVP is equal to a pound of ground beef?
For recipes that call for 1 pound of ground beef, the equivalent amount of dried Textured Vegetable Protein would be 1 cup. Once the TVP is rehydrated with an equal amount of liquid (1 cup dry TVP to 1 cup liquid), the grains swell and increase in volume.
This Lentil Chorizo Soup Recipe was born like many of my soups – by opening the refrigerator door and seeing what’s available to throw in the soup pot. From there, it’s a matter of matching up ingredients that work well together. This should not be a complicated affair. You should choose things that you like and go with it. Do not look back! Part of the fun of making soup is cooking without a written recipe, just winging it. This Lentil Chorizo Soup is one of those recipes from the wing. And you know what? It turned out great. This is what I did.
Avocados were on sale at the grocery this week. There were two loaded bins with hundreds of not-quite-ripe avocados marked at 77 cents each, so I grabbed four with plans to use two of them for a Hot Avocado Soup Recipe. The majority of avocado soup recipes suggest serving the dish very cold, and the soup is undeniably delicious and refreshing when served in that manner. But in northern Wisconsin in January, my mind is on hot soups – anything to take the chill off – so I researched dozens of recipes to come up with what I believe is the Best Hot Avocado Soup. It is rich and creamy but also extremely fresh tasting, thanks to the tangy flavors of lime juice and cilantro. Make sure you use perfectly ripe avocados, with bright greenish-yellow flesh and no mushy or dark spots. With a pair of perfect avocados, there’s little more to making this soup than blending some ingredients together and whisking them into hot broth.