Leftover Chicken Lentil Taco Soup

I know the obvious answer to “what to do with leftover taco ingredients?” is to make more tacos, but sometimes I like to switch it up. I’m a huge fan of challenging myself by trying to find something entirely different I can make up with whatever ingredients I have on hand.

I had made burrito/taco rice bowls last night and thought I would throw together an easy soup out of the leftovers. You can do this with a lot of different meals so feel free to get creative with it. (creative means throwing random things into a pot and hoping it works <_<) Feel free to sub any component with different vegetables, beans or grains. This can easily be made vegetarian or vegan. Fajitas? Shish kebabs? Roast Chicken? Shut up-Make a soup!

I had leftover cooked chicken and a homemade black bean and corn salsa, then I just filled in the other ingredients from the pantry.

  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup black bean & corn salsa
  • 1/2 cup green or puy lenils
  • 1 15oz can of tomato sauce (or diced/crushed tomato)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp taco spice (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 cup cooked, diced seasoned chicken
  • handfull of fresh parsley, minced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Begin by sautéing onion, carrot, celery and garlic in a soup pot in about 1 tbsp of oil until translucent. Be careful as the garlic is easy to burn. If you are adding raw protein now is the time to add it, since I have pre-cooked chicken breast, I’m going to save that until near the end so I don’t go overcooking it. Add salsa and lentils.
  2. Add can of tomato sauce and 1 1/2 cans of water to the pot. If you want things to be extra flavourful use chicken or vegetable stock.
  3. Add bay leaf and taco spice and stir. Do not season with salt and pepper yet.
  4. Lower heat to simmer and place a lid ontop, allow this to cook for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender. The soup will thicken significantly.
  5. Now is when you taste the soup for seasoning, since the lentils absorb so much liquid, seasoning too early can result in a salty soup.  If your soup seems too thick, add a small amount of water or stock to adjust to your liking. Be sure to taste and season again if needed.
  6. Stir in cooked chicken and parsley and cook for about 5 more minutes. Serve with some hearty bread or top with tortilla chips, cheddar and sour cream.

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Enjoy! 😀

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