“Taco Soup is like chili with corn in it, but it don’t taste like chili,” Lee Johnson, former bar manager at Kelly’s Restaurant, in the Brainerd lakes area, where the Biker Chef made taco soup famous. He was making soups for Kelly’s, including taco soup, which quickly sold out every time he made it. Because of its popularity, it soon became the house soup. By the end of his run as chef at Kelly’s, he went through four to five gallons a day, especially on weekends. It is his signature soup. In fact, those who loved it, miss it, and will still walk up to him in at any random time and say, “When are you going to make taco soup again? Can I please have some?” Really, they’re practically begging on their knees. It is a recipe that he’ll never share. He keeps his ingredients, down to the brand name, consistent which ensures the same deliciousness every time he makes it. Some people preferred it the second day because the flavors would mix and be even better.
It’s a relatively healthy soup which is high in fiber because of the chili beans being a main ingredient and use of lean ground beef. Also, it has tomatoes, corn, and spices. The fat is added later with toppings like sour cream, cheddar jack cheese, and deep friend tortilla chips. Back when Kelly’s was open, they fried their own chips. It went well with other Mexican food offerings.
To this day, if he’s making taco soup, he makes about four gallons. After a few phone calls, it’s all claimed or sold quickly. If you are from the area and have a craving, contact the Biker Chef through this blog, and we’ll set you up.