Taco Soup

Taco Soup – a perfect Sukkot meal

As the weather has gotten colder, like all of us, I’m making soups more often. And lately I’ve been obsessing over this Taco Soup! I got the recipe inspiration from Mayra Wendolyne of @low.carb.love on Instagram.

Once you make this soup, you’ll be craving it for a while, trust me. 😉 Not only is it delicious and super easy but it’s a super-filling meal with the boost of protein from the Beyond Meat.

If you don’t feel like lugging out your big soup pot, make it in your instant pot! Or, add all the ingredients to your slow cooker in the morning, set it on low for 7-8 hours (or high for 4-6 hours).

Not only is this a great addition to your soup rotation, but it’s perfect for the last days of Sukkot. Of course, if you’re making a meat meal, use parve cream cheese! If you do, just be aware that the soup will look like it’s separating, but just be patient, once it’s done cooking, stir it well and it’ll stay nice and creamy.

This soup also reheats nicely, and the endless toppings make it so fun for a taco soup bar!

Chag Sameach!

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Taco Soup
Course: Soup
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Rachel Katzman
Taco Soup
  • 3 Garlic cloves, minced
  • Olive oil
  • 1 16 oz. Package of Beyond Meat or Impossible Burger
  • 2-3 Celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 Small white onion, chopped
  • 2 Bell peppers (any color), chopped
  • 2-3 Carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 Can Rotel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies Use any variety - either mild or spicy
  • 16 oz Vegetable Broth I like the Imagine Soup brand, the low sodium - just eyeball about half the container (which is a total of 32 oz.)
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 8 oz. Block of Cream Cheese Or use parve cream cheese if making a fleishig meal
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Soup toppings
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese or Parve
  • Sour Cream Or parve
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Pickled Jalapeno slices Optional
  • Handful of cilantro, chopped Optional
  • Tortilla chips You can use tortilla strips, or crush regular tortilla chips, or just add them whole.
  • 1 Lime, cut into wedges
  1. In a medium soup pot, heat up a drizzle of olive oil and add the garlic on medium heat for about 1 minute (be careful not to burn the garlic - it happens fast, so keep an eye on it)

  2. Add the onion, carrot, bell peppers and celery, season with salt and pepper and sauté for about 6-7 minutes until the veggies are soft

  3. Add in the Beyond Meat and break use a wooden spoon to break up the meat into smaller pieces. Season again with salt and pepper and cumin.

  4. Pour in the can of Rotel canned tomatoes, veggie stock and 2 cups of water (here's a trick - after adding the Rotel, fill the can up with water and add that to the pot - it's exactly 16 oz. which equals 2 cups. I love using this method because it's one less thing to wash, plus you get the extra flavor bits in the can of the Rotel!)

  5. Taste the soup at this point and add in any additional salt, pepper or cumin. I added about a 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of cumin

  6. Add the block of cream cheese, either regular or parve and let the soup simmer on high with the lid on, for about 15-20 minutes

  7. Ladle into bowls and add your toppings! Enjoy!

Vegetarian Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Soup)

Since Sukkot is just around the corner (yup, starts this Friday night), Daniel and I thought “why not a soup challenge”?

Well, you may not have asked, but we answered! I present to you, Vegetarian Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Soup). This soup is total comfort in a bowl – warming aromatics, earthy, umami flavors and a perfect blend of spice and brightness of acidity. To be honest, any kind of hot soup is perfect for a chilly night in the Sukkah, but this one will warm your whole body with the bold spices.

Currently craving…

Maybe it’s because Daniel made his Thai basil chicken tacos recipe a few weeks ago but lately I’ve just been craving Thai food.  The kind of spice that isn’t too overpowering but you feel that heat develop with each bite. That’s what I’ve been wanting lately!

I had all of these ingredients at home already, so if you’re like me, you may only need to get a few extras. I stock up on coconut milk and coconut cream (mostly from Trader Joe’s) to use as a parve “cream” for soups, or desserts! And the fresh lime just takes it over the top with the perfect acidity punch. If you’re wondering where to find Thai red curry paste, I snagged some at The Spice House in Evanston. Note – be sure to check their Milwaukee catalog if you’d like to confirm what’s kosher.

And since it was tricky for me to find kosher Thai red curry paste, I made my own! It’s super easy to make with ingredients you probably already have. And for the fish sauce? I got the Red Boat certified kosher (OK) on Amazon, but if you don’t have it, you can substitute soy sauce, coconut aminos or Worcestershire sauce. if you use Worcestershire sauce, you’ll still get a good “funk” that’s needed, but not as much from soy sauce or coconut aminos, but it’ll still give a nice umami flavor. Feel free to top your soup with a drizzle of fish sauce along with sliced green onions, cilantro and squeeze of lime.

My twist on tradition (as usual)

This soup is traditionally made with chicken but I decided to omit it and make it parve. The mushrooms really give a nice meaty flavor and you don’t miss the meat at all, especially with SO much flavor! But if you prefer to make this a fleishig soup, use chicken broth and add in some chicken breasts when you add in the stock and coconut milk. You can also top this soup with more sliced chilies, if you want more of a PUNCH. Of course, if you DO use chicken for this recipe, make sure to substitute the fish sauce for soy sauce or coconut aminos, or if you can find fish-free Worcestershire sauce, by all means, do it!

Another part of the traditional recipe includes galangal (Thai ginger, but I used regular ginger) and Kefir lime leaves. You can get some dried online or you can find it in specialty stores, but using regular limes for this recipe is totally acceptable – that’s that’s what I did. 🙂

When I made the soup to take photos, I basically inhaled 2 bowls of it. And no, I’m not ashamed of that!  It was incredibly satisfying and the perfect amount of heat. Shockingly, my husband Elliott actually tried it! Knowing that he hates mushrooms (or maybe he wasn’t sure what was in it), he didn’t hate it! That’s a win in my book – always.

Oh, and don’t judge my very obvious old and faded cutting board. I guess it’s time for a new one? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Chag Sameach everyone! May your Sukkot holiday be filled with good food and good company (for those who ARE having company over).

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Vegetarian Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Soup)
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Thai
Author: Rachel Katzman
Thai Red Curry Paste
  • 1 tbsp. Red Curry Powder
  • 1 tbsp. Fish Sauce Or substitute soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Neutral Oil, like avocado oil
  • Squeeze of half a lime
  • 1 tbsp. Coconut oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced Or 1 small-medium onion, diced
  • 2 Garlic cloves, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 Jalapeno, seeded (if you want less heat) and minced Or use a 3-4 Thai chilies, minced
  • 1 Inch piece of ginger, peeled and diced
  • 1 Lemongrass stalk Remove the tough outer stalks and cut off the root. Then pound it with a meat mallet or with the side of a knife and cut into 2-inch long pieces, this helps release the natural oils! If you can't find lemongrass, you can substitute lemon zest!
  • Red Thai Curry Paste See recipe above
  • 4 cups Vegetable stock Or use chicken stock if you're making this soup Fleishigs and not parve.
  • 4 cups Canned full-fat coconut milk About 2 cans' worth
  • 8 oz. mushroom caps Use any type you want, I happened to have a "fancy mix" on hand - baby bella and shiitake
  • 2-3 tbsp. Fresh lime juice
  • 2-3 Green onions, sliced thin on a diagonal Ya know, because they look pretty
  • 1 handful Fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 Lime, for garnish and squeezing on top of your soup If you're like me and LOVE acidity, add more!
  1. In a medium pot, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. I ended up using my Instant Pot since I can sauté right in the container and then switch to soup mode

  2. Add the onion, garlic, Thai chilies (or jalapeno, if using), ginger, lemongrass, mushrooms and red curry paste

  3. Stir for about 5 minutes or until onions and mushrooms are softened

  4. Add the vegetable broth and coconut milk and bring to a boil

  5. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Or, if you're cooking in your Instant Pot, press "soup" mode and cook for 30 minutes

  6. Once soup is ready, ladle into bowls and top with sliced green onion, fresh chopped cilantro and a big squeeze of fresh lime! Feel free to add a drizzle of fish sauce too, for an extra "funk"!

Cinnamon Swirl Challah Bread Pudding

A Slice of Heaven

Ah, the heavenly aroma of sweet challah baking in the oven.  The cinnamon sugar mixture bubbling on top.  Maybe your challah has raisins or chopped apples, or a cinnamon streusel draped over the braided beauty.  But here’s a thought for you.  When the holidays are over – when your Sukkah is stashed away for the season, what on earth do you do with all that leftover challah?

Sure you could turn it into French Toast.  But that takes too long.  Or maybe dice them up and bake them into croutons.  So, uh, you can have cinnamon challah croutons in your Caesar salad?  Nope, I have a better idea.

Take that French Toast idea and make it into a casserole.  Behold, Cinnamon Swirl Challah Bread Pudding! Here, take this napkin to wipe the drool from your chin. 🙂

Let’s be honest, bread pudding is a carb-o-load to the MAX, so this is definitely not keto-friendly (unless that is, if you’re using a low-carb bread to start with). So one piece is really the serving size here. Trust me, this is not a delicate or light dish (and when I say “trust me”, what I mean by that is I used my husband as the taste-tester for this).

Leftovers to the Rescue!

I got the idea after defrosting a challah from the freezer and well, sadly, it tasted a little like freezer burn.  Clearly that won’t get your taste buds salivating, but I went the lazy-girl’s way.  All you do to make this bread paradise is cube up leftover challah, and make a custard, pour it on top and bake.  Like I said, lazy-girl’s version of French Toast, but in casserole form! Genius, I KNOW! And if you look closely, you can see those perfect cinnamon swirls throughout.  Ah, the perfect bite. No more freezer burn taste here!

One side note – my husband mentioned that this bread pudding would be great with some maple syrup on top – or something to “glaze” it.  I didn’t have a photo to share on this post with the glaze, but it’s simple to make! Just a few tablespoons of powdered sugar added with some almond milk (and add in some vanilla extract too), until it gets thick and gooey. Drizzle on top and there ya have it (detailed instructions are in the recipe below).

But beware!  This bread pudding will make your entire household smell undeniably delicious – with an intoxicating aroma of cinnamon and sugar.  If you’re feeling creative, add in some (dairy-free) chocolate chips, or some diced apples, or some dried apricots.  Not that you need a reason to stuff this bread pudding with anymore sugar, but why not.  It’s kugel, gone wild! Or, as I like to say, “leftovers” that are now “makeovers”!  Enjoy!

Yet again, this holiday season is upon us, so here we go again – Chag Sameach dear readers, from your team at Meat Your Vegetables!


0 from 0 votes
Cinnamon Swirl Challah Bread Pudding
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Rachel Katzman
  • 2 cups Almond Milk Or use any dairy-free milk you have around
  • 2 tbsp. Coconut Oil, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 tsp. Maple Extract Or use Vanilla!
  • 1/3 cup Swerve Brown Sugar Substitute Or use regular brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • 1/2 Loaf Sweet challah bread, cut into 2-inch cubes You want to fill the pan but not overcrowd it - this will make about 6 cups
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F. and grease a 4-6 cup baking dish with coconut oil

  2. In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the almond milk, coconut oil, extract, brown sugar and salt. Continue whisking until coconut oil is mixed in and melted; cool.

  3. The mixture will start to separate while it's cooling - that's okay. While whisking the slightly cooled milk, add in the beaten eggs and whisk until combined (otherwise if you just pour it in and don't whisk, you'll end up with clumpy scrambled eggs)!

  4. Pour the mixture over the cubed bread immediately. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until custard is set but still a little wobbly and edges have slightly browned.

  5. Serve warm or at room temp. You can also serve this with a glaze on top - simply mix a few tablespoons of powdered sugar and add in a few teaspoons at a time of almond milk (and add a splash of vanilla), until you get a thick glaze consistency - pour over top and devour!

My Mother’s Stuffed Cabbage

Stuffed CabbageThe weather begins to cool off this time of year, which also coincides with the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. On Sukkot, the tradition is to build a temporary dwelling outside (usually a hut without  heat or insulation), know as a sukkah. Many people eat all of their meals in the sukkah and some have the custom to sleep in the sukkah as well. This is when I often turn to hearty, long-cooked dishes.  These stick your ribs, soul warming dishes are some of my favorite comfort foods.  I have very fond memories of sitting in my parents sukkah on a chilly fall night and warming my bones with things like mushroom barley soup, roasted root vegetables (AKA tzimmis), and stuffed cabbage.  This time of year is particularly special for me as my lunar birthday falls out during sukkot, and my mother always tried to make some of my favorite dishes.

Stuffed Cabbage Recipe

The recipe for below is for my mothers stuffed cabbage.  While I do provide specific amounts, these are guesstimates as mother never really uses a recipe for it. Feel free to adjust the amount of the sweeteners (dark brown sugar, honey, and duck sauce) if you want it less sweet. Also, you can adjust the total amount of sauce if the pot you are cooking in is too small to handle it.  Note that I call I call for instant rice in this recipe, which I usually avoid, but here I use it as to ensure it cooks all the way through in the meat mixture.  Finally, do not skip the freezing and thawing step, believe me you will thank me later.

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Stuffed Cabbage
Stuffed Cabbage
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs
4 d
Total Time
2 hrs 30 mins

This is a great traditional recipe I learned from my mother.  It is very sweet though, so feel free to leave out some of the sugar or honey if you want to cut back on the sweetness.  If you get lazy the sauce is also great for unstuffed cabbage or meatballs.  I call for instant rice, which I usually shy away from, but is necessary here to make sure it cooks all the way through.

Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Eastern European, Jewish, Kosher, Polish, Russian
Keyword: cabbage
Servings: 12 Rolls
Author: Daniel Peikes
Cabbage Rolls
  • 3 lbs Ground Beef
  • 1 Cup Instant Rice
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp Onion Powder
  • Salt and Pepper To Taste
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1 Large Head of Green Cabbage Frozen, and thawed
  • 87 oz Tomato Sauce 3 Large Cans
  • 1 Cup Ketchup
  • 1 Cup Duck Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • Salt and Pepper To Taste
Special Equipement
  • Heavy Pot or Dutch Oven
  • Freezer
  • Kitchen Scale
Cabbage Preparation
  1. About four days before you plan on making your stuffed cabbage, freeze the whole head for 3 days.  Then thaw for a day. This helps to break down the cell walls of the cabbage which softens it.

  1. Separate the leaves, trimming down any thick stalks.  If leaves are particularly large you can cut them in half, but I would wait and see how big you want to make your filling before doing this. 

  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the meat, eggs, rice, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Use your hands, they are the best tools for the job.

  3. Grab a handful of the meat mixture.  Ideally use your kitchen scale and weight out a 1/4 lb of the mixture for each roll. Form a thick log and place it horizontally an inch or so from the the bottom of the cabbage leaf.

  4. Roll the cabbage leaf up, until the bottom of the leaf reaches the top of the meat.  The fold the sides over the ends of the meat and then continue to roll the cabbage leaf the rest of the way around the meat. Repeat until you have used all of the meat.  It should make about 12 rolls. Make sure they are rolled tight so they do not open when cooking.

  1. Add the tomato sauce, sugar, honey, and duck sauce to a large heavy pot or dutch oven.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  2. Put the sauce over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Stir regularly to make sure the sauce does not burn.

  3. Carefully add the cabbage rolls to the sauce making sure the rolls stay intact.  Cook for about 2 hours, or until the leaves are tender.  Serve immediately, refrigerate for up to a week, or wrap tightly and freeze.  

What are some of your favorite recipes you learned from a parent or grandparent? Do you have any cold weather dishes you really enjoy? Let us know in the comments.