Mexican Beef Soup is a quick and easy soup packed with a ton of vegetables and juicy beef. The whole family will love this loaded soup which has taste, texture and delicious flavor. It is perfect any night of the week! With twists on a traditional caldo de res recipe this version gets dinner sorted with less time, minimal effort and maximum yum!
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about the recipe in the points below:
- Non traditional: a traditional Mexican beef soup (caldo de res) uses beef shank and takes around 3 hours to cook. This recipe takes inspiration, maintains Mexican flavours, works along a similar vegetable combination but has a much shorter cook time.
- Simple ingredients: everything you need to make this delicious soup can be sought from your local grocery store. They are year round ingredients that are easy to get your hands on.
- Cost effective: there is nothing in this budget-friendly soup recipe that will set you back too much in terms of the grocery bill. The beef mince is often on special and you can purchase it and keep it in the freezer till ready to make the recipe if you wish too.
- Freezer friendly: most soup recipes freeze well and this one is no exception. Simply allow it to cool then portion into airtight containers for night's when you don't have time to start from scratch.
- Suitable for beginner's: if you are just starting out in the kitchen and want to get some recipes under your belt that you can turn to over and over this is one of those recipes! The process for making the soup is very straight forward and the best part is that there is not a lot that you could do to ruin it. It is perfect for all skill levels in the kitchen 👍.
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make this hearty Mexican beef soup. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific ingredient measurements as well as detailed instructions.
As you can see the recipe calls for:
- Olive oil: we use olive oil to kick things off when we cook the beef and onion.
- Salt and pepper: we use kosher salt and a little bit of black pepper to season the beef mince as we cook it.
- Garlic powder: a fantastic dried version of garlic that is convenient and handy to have. It does have a tendency to dry out in the bottle (even when closed) if you haven't used it for a while. So check it if unsure before (not after 😭) heading to the shops 👍.
- Onion powder: as above. Handy and convenient! This saves time peeling and chopping an onion.
- Cilantro: also known as coriander: we use this dried herb for flavour in the soup.
- Paprika: vibrant in colour yet deceptively mild in taste, this is a great dried spice to cook with.
- Chilli powder: also known as chili powder. I intentionally reduce the amount of this spice as well as the cumin powder and cayenne pepper in the recipe as a little of each goes a long way. Plus we don't want to dish to be so hot or spicy that you can't stomach more than a spoonful.
- Cumin powder: I mention this above...that is we only need a small amount of this yet the flavor but not so much that it overwhelms the dish.
- Zucchini: a robust vegetable that hold its own in soups and stews. We cook it so that it softens, but stop before it mushens 🤣👌.
- Butter beans: large white and soft beans that add a sense of oomph to the soup. We need to drain and rinse these from the tin they came in.
- Cayenne pepper: as with the chilli powder and cumin, we only need a small amount of this. It is a hot spice 🌶. Yet we don't want the soup to be 'too hot'. There is no yum in that right 😉👍.
- Black beans: excellent to use for nachos, tacos and enchiladas. These small beans are full of robust softness.
- Corn cobs: we need 4 mini corn cobs and then we cut each of those in half. The kernels literally burst in your mouth. They also give us chunks of vegetables that honour the variety of textures in the dish.
- Vegetable stock: this is the main liquid in our soup.
- Diced tomatoes: try and get the ones that are plain ie not 'Italian style' as they have extra herbs and spices that we don't need as we are adding plenty of our own and then some 😁.
- Red onion: as much as earlier I was praising the dried onion powder for reducing the effort we go to, sauteing this with the beef is a complimentary and much appreciated soft texture in the soup.
- Beef mince: also known as ground beef. This is an excellent cut of beef for a wide variety of recipes. We use this in place of the traditional beef shanks used for the recipe to significantly reduce the cook time of the soup.
Tasty Tip: I like to provide you with a number of substitutions and variations giving you an array of options when making my recipes. If in doubt of any of the above ingredients, or wanting alternatives, read this section (further below) before jumping into the instructions on how to make the recipe which are coming next 😉👌.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by cooking the beef.
- Add oil, beef, garlic and onion powder to pan (Photo 1)
- Then add diced red onion and cook (Photo 2)
- Next add the remaining herb and spices (Photo 3)
- Pour in vegetable stock (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Mexican Beef Soup
We start by cooking the beef mince. To do so place a Dutch oven or large soup pot on the stove top and turn the heat to high.
Then add the olive oil, diced onion, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Cook the beef, using a wooden spoon to break up any clumps of meat as you go. It will take 8-10 minutes to cook.
Once the beef is cooked, add the paprika, cilantro, chilli powder, cumin and cayenne pepper. Give these a stir to combine them with the beef.
Next, pour in the vegetable stock, then add the diced tomatoes.
- Add the diced tomatoes (Photo 5)
- Then add the black beans (Photo 6)
- Add the butter beans (Photo 7)
- Then add the sliced zucchini (Photo 8)
Once the liquids have been added to the pot, we can start to add the vegetables and beans to the mix.
Pour in the black beans, followed by the butter beans, then add the sliced zucchini followed by the mini corn cobs.
- Add the corn cobs (Photo 9)
Once you have added the mini corn cobs, we want to bring the soup to the boil. If you are using a pot with a lid, you can pop that on temporarily to speed things up a little.
- Cook soup for 20 minutes (Photo 10)
Then once the soup has been brought to the boil, we want to turn the heat down to medium-high heat and let it simmer and bubble away for a further 20 minutes cooking time. This will allow the vegetables to cook through so that they melt in your mouth when it comes to the eating! 👍😉.
Then we can get ready to call everyone to the dinner table, grab some small bowls and get ready dive in!!
🍽 Serving Suggestions
I could try and convince you to pair this soup with a Garlic Bread or Pizza Bread but you might find (totally ok with me) that with the whole the taste and texture party we have going on, its already a full meal and you won't need it.
You could try using warm corn tortillas for dunking. They are bread like but not full crusty bread and fit the theme.
You don't need a salad, you won't need more sides, you might like the Duck Fat Potatoes somewhere on the plate or bowl but otherwise you are pretty sorted.
Some sliced lime wedges won't go astray and add to the overall theme of the soup.
Fresh cilantro leaves (stems removed) also work as a way to present and finish the dish.
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Next day leftovers take even better than the day that the soup was cooked!
Allow the soup to cool down then portion into an airtight container and place into the fridge. They can be kept for 3-4 days and need to be reheated before being consumed.
How to Reheat
Add left over soup to a bowl and cover with cling wrap.
Place in the microwave and heat on high for around 2 minutes. Then taste, stir and heat for a further minute if needed.
How to Freeze
Allow the soup to fully cool before portioning into sealed, air tight containers.
Stack the containers in the freezer. Frozen portions of the soup can be in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Thaw completely before reheating in the microwave or a stock pot on the stove till warmed through.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my sub ins and outs that you might be thinking about as you read the post and I will tell you if I think they will work or why they won't:
- You can use red kidney beans in place of the black beans if you wish too.
- You can use cannelloni beans in place of the butter beans.
- If you want to use beef stir fry strips you can.
- Or if you want to make a chicken version (caldo de pollo) you can, I recommend dicing chicken thighs in place of using ground chicken.
- You can use 4 cups of water in place of the vegetable stock to reduce the calorie count if that is one of your personal preferences.
- If you want a speedier spice mix, use a packet of taco seasoning or burrito seasoning (I won't judge you!).
- You can use or add other fresh vegetables if you wish too. Chunks of hearty vegetables such as peeled carrot , peeled potatoes or thinly sliced jalapenos will work.
- You can use a white onion in place of the red one if you have it in the fruit basket and need to find a use for it.
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share with you so that you master the recipe from the get go:
- You need a stock pot or large Dutch oven for this recipe to hold the volume of the soup.
- Use oven mits when grabbing the sides of the Dutch oven or crock pot as they get very hot as the soup cooks!
- When you are heading into the bring to the boil then simmer for 20 minute steps, use a silicon utensil to lift the ingredients at the base of the Dutch oven and give them a stir. This will help mix them into the soup as opposed to have them sit in a layer at the base of the soup.
- If using limes for garnish, add these after reheating the soup as they will have a tart flavor if cooked or heated.
- If wanting to add avocado as a garnish, do this as the very last step when presenting the dish to avoid it softening and browning too much.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
What is Mexican soup made of?
It is common to find chilli powder, potatoes, carrots and beef in Mexican soup. There is however, a wide variety of soup recipes that fit this category. Chicken can also be used and other vegetables such are zucchini and corn are popular choices.
What cut of beef is good for soup?
Chunk roast, beef shanks or ground beef are all good cuts of beef to use when making soup.
What does caldo mean in Mexico?
Caldo in Spanish means 'broth'. Which makes sense as most soup recipes use a large quantity of broth of stock as one of the main liquid components to the dish.
😍 More Easy Dinner Recipes
Soup is great for dinner but every other night of the week calls for something different. If you have variety up your sleeve through the use of different proteins, cook times and methods you are all set.
Here are some recipes that I offer you to keep that sleeve full so that dinner becomes the easiest meal of the day (not always the quickest to cook) as long cooking recipes will tick the dinner sorted box too (especially on weekends 😉👍).
- Crumbed Lamb Cutlets
- Lamb Ribs
- Slow Cooker Lamb Stew
- Tofu Teriyaki Noodles
- BBQ Lamb Ribs
- White Wine Sauce With Chicken
- Panko Pork Chops
- Meatballs With Alfredo Sauce
- Crispy Fried Mushrooms
- Marinated Chicken Thighs
It is time to get your soup spoon ready my friend! You can find all of my dinner recipes in the one spot.
Mexican Beef Soup
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 500 grams/16 oz beef mince Note 1
- ½ large red onion peeled and finely diced
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder Note 2
- 1 teaspoon onion powder Note 3
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried coriander (cilantro)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 cups/1 litre vegetable stock
- 400 grams/ 14.5 oz diced tomatoes the whole contents of the tin ie tomatoes and juice, Note 5
- 400 grams/ 14.5 oz butter beans drained and rinsed
- 400 grams/ 14.5 oz black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 large zucchini top and tail trimmed, thinly sliced
- 4 mini corn cobs cut in half (you will have 8 portions), Note 4
- coriander (cilantro)
- limes sliced into wedges
- Cook beef: place a large saute pan or Dutch oven on the stove top. Turn the heat to high and add the olive oil, beef, onion, salt and pepper. Cook the beef using a wooden spoon to break up any clumps of meat as you go. The meat will take 8-10 minutes to cook.
- Aromatics: add the paprika, dried cilantro, chilli powder, cumin and cayenne pepper to the cooked beef and give it a stir to combine.
- Liquids: pour in the vegetable stock, followed by the diced tomatoes.
- Beans: next add the black beans and butter beans.
- Vegetables: then add the sliced zucchini and mini corn cobs.
- Boil and simmer: stir the soup, lifting the meat mixture of the base of the pot then bring the soup to the boil. Once boiled reduced the heat to medium and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Serve: portion the soup into bowls, provide cilantro leaves and lime wedges for serving and spoons and forks for eating.
- Note 1 - Beef mince: also known as ground beef. This is an excellent cut of beef for a wide variety of recipes. We use this in place of the traditional beef shanks used for the recipe to significantly reduce the cook time of the soup.
- Note 2 - Garlic powder: a fantastic dried version of garlic that is convenient and handy to have. It does have a tendency to dry out in the bottle (even when closed) if you haven't used it for a while. So check it if unsure before (not after 😭) heading to the shops 👍.
- Note 3 - Onion powder: as above. Handy and convenient! This saves time peeling and chopping an onion.
- Note 4 - Corn cobs: we need 4 mini corn cobs and then we cut each of those in half. So you will have 8 corn portions. The kernels literally burst in your mouth. They are so juicy and delicious!
- Note 5 - Diced tomatoes: try and get the ones that are plain ie not 'Italian style' as they have extra herbs and spices that we don't need as we are adding plenty of our own and then some 😁.
- Serving size: 4-6 depending on how big you fill the bowls!! More meal prep you could easily stretch this to 6-8 small lunch servings.