Warming Mexican Taco Soup

Continuing on our theme of pantry meals, we’ve got another killer recipe for you! Just in time for an at home Cinco de Mayo themed dinner!

Using ingredients that are most likely already in your pantry and freezer, this recipe is so easy it’s almost hard to believe.

This Chicken Taco Soup is full of warming spices that have many benefits for the body.

For millennia, cultures world-wide have used herbs and spices therapeutically, and as a way of preserving food, particularly in hot climates. Mexico is not exception! Common spices used in Mexican cooking are cumin and chili peppers!

Did you know that cumin is a good source of iron, manganese, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus, plus vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6, C, E, and K. It also contains minerals such as copper, zinc, and potassium. It also holds antifungal/antimicrobial properties and antioxidants, including flavonoids!

There are many health benefits of cumin, among these:

• Helps to regulate digestion,
• Improves hemoglobin levels, blood flow and promote health a menstrual cycle (due     to the high iron content),
• Boosts immunity (because of vitamins A, C, E plus zinc),
• Promotes skin health (due to its antimicrobial properties),
• Helps promote sleep and reduce stress and anxiety,
• Balance blood sugar
• Boosts bone health (because of the calcium and magnesium).

Let’s turn our attention now to chili peppers!!

The heat and health benefits of chili peppers come from a chemical called capsaicin.

Capsaicin has immense antimicrobial properties, which is why people living in hot climates have used chili peppers in food as a preservative. Consuming chili peppers can:

• Help benefit the digestive tract,
• Promote good circulation and a healthy heart,
• Help reduce the risk of migraine headaches,
• Relieve joint pain,
• Promotes weight loss by improving metabolism,
• Reduces cancer risk, and
• Fight colds and flu!

Now that you know why these spices are so beneficial, let’s get to the recipe! You’ll need your trusty crock pot for this one to make the recipe easy.

Mexican Taco Soup Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken breast, boneless, skinless (frozen or fresh)
  • 16 oz jar of mild salsa (I use homemade)
  • 5 cups chicken broth or water
  • 3 TBSP Homemade Taco Seasoning (recipe below)
  • 1/2 TSP salt to taste
  • 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 oz can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 3 TBSP lime juice

Optional Toppings:

  • Tortilla chips
  • Cilantro
  • Green Onions
  • Avocado

Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe:

  • 3 TBSP Cumin
  • 2 TSP Paprika
  • 2 TSP Chili powder
  • 1 TSP Garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 TSP Salt
  • 1 TSP Black pepper

Combine all spices, store in airtight container.

Directions for Soup:

  1. Place chicken breasts on the bottom of slow cooker.
  2. Pour salsa and chicken broth into the slow cooker and make sure some liquid gets under the chicken.
  3. Add beans, corn, seasoning and lime juice. Give liquid a good stir, cover and cook for 4 hours on high, or depending on your crock pot- until chicken is cooked.
  4. Towards the last 30 minutes of cooking, remove the chicken and place on cutting board. Shred chicken with two forks, place back in crock pot.
  5. Serve chicken taco soup with tortilla chips, green onions, cilantro and fresh avocado.
  6. Store in airtight container.