Vegan Taco Soup

Special note: 

This recipe is made with Soy Curls. Soy Curls are a food that is made from boiled, mashed, and puffed soy bean.  The whole bean is used and the soy curls are therefore full of nutrition.  You can find Soy Curls at your local grocery in the health food section if they carry it.  

I have used these Soy Curls to fake Sloppy Joes, Fajitas, Tacos, Sweet & Sour Chicken, BBQ Ribs, and more.  I’ve not made anything bad with it yet.  It makes a great and healthful meat substitute.  It gives the dish a body similar to if it were real meat, and so makes the dishes made with it great transition foods for those like me who are trying to be vegan but were raised on meat and potatoes.

I have to admit, I doubt much that Soy Curls is a transition food for me.  For me, it’s permanently in my diet.  One little story.  A couple years ago (2017?) we had an overly energetic snow storm that dumped quite a bit on us considering where we live. Most of us living in the area were without power.  The kids actually asked for Taco Soup because it really warms people up.  I made a double batch on top of a Coleman camp stove.  It lasted us a couple of days, and helped our very cold house be just a tad bit warmer!

For this recipe specifically, I make this just about once a month.  My two youngest kids love it.  And they are dedicated carnivores.  In fact, they ask for it!  This is a hardy soup.  It is very filling, and healthy.  You can nearly eat as much as you want without ruining your diet because it is vegan (if you follow the rules). 

The recipe is really good just as it is.  But, here are some things I like to do.  

When I soak my Soy Curls. I warm the water in the microwave to get it it hot.
I put a tsp of bullion powder in the water for the curls to soak in.  Having said that, I think the recipe would work even if you used NO bullion.  

  • I have used different types of tomatoes: tomatoes with jalapeno, fire roasted tomatoes, and home made salsa.  The jalapeno tomatoes made great but spicy hot soup.  The other two just made the soup really good.  Which it is anyhow!
  • I often double the amount of olives.  I love olives.
  • I never break the Soy Curls up. 
  • I probably shouldn’t admit it, but I’ve used Knorr’s bullion.  Its not vegan though!
  • Draining the beans and rinsing them are solely for the purpose of ridding them of the salt and preservatives in the product.  Yes, I’ve been lazy.  I actually like the soup better if the beans are not drained.
  • I have used mixes of beans, or just one kind.  I have used pintos, black, small red, and kidneys.  It’s all really good!

UC-VEG Umpqua Community Veg Education Group
PO Box 89 | Umpqua, OR 97486 | 541-378-6359 |


TACO SOUP Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ C Butler Soy Curls
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 packet taco seasoning or use your own version
  • 2 T Butler chik-style seasoning
  • ½ t. onion powder
  • 1 t. chili powder
  • 1 – 16 oz can tomatoes, diced
  • 1- 16 oz can pinto beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1- 15.25 oz corn drained or use frozen
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup sliced olives

  1. You may wish to break up the soy curls as they can be chewy if left in big pieces.
  2. Soak soy curls in warm water for 10 minutes.
  3. Drain soy curls and sauté with onion and seasonings in a kettle.
  4. Add all other ingredients.
  5. Simmer for 20-30 minutes

Serves 3-4

Nutrition Facts for Soy Curls Only (½ cup dry or ¾ cups rehydrated):
Calories 70; 3 grams carbs; 2 grams fiber; 7 grams Protein 0 fat; 0 sodium; 11% iron; 2% calcium. High in Omega 3

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