Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Taco flavors in a soup

Although this week has been plenty hot, it's going to be soup weather before we know it. And I'm ready for it!

We eat a lot of soup at my house, but until last week I hadn’t made taco soup.

My family enjoys soup, and they like tacos, so I figured it was time to incorporate the two.

There are many versions of taco soup in my cookbooks and on food websites I frequent, but they all share similar ingredients. They are made with ground beef or ground turkey browned with onions. Then stir in tomatoes, taco seasoning and beans. Cooks chose kidney beans, chili beans, black beans or pinto beans or a combination. Usually there’s a can of tomatoes and green chilies, and many recipes also contain corn. Some include an envelope of dry ranch dressing mix, but I left it out of mine.

There are so many variations, so you can customize your soup and make it to suit your family. For instance, my children have always loved kidney beans in soup, so I used two cans of rinsed and drained kidney beans and opted not to add a second bean. In addition to regular petite diced tomatoes, I used only one can of diced tomatoes with green chilies and didn’t add extra green chilies as some do. And I went with ground turkey instead of beef. If you want to thicken up your soup, you could add in some tomato sauce.

The method of cooking also varies between the slow cooker and the stove top. I was home and wanted to cook the soup quickly Saturday morning, so I made it in an hour on the stove.

You can top your soup with grated cheese and a dollop of sour cream, if you wish, or even crunch up some tortilla chips or eat them on the side.

Any leftovers should freeze well and be ready for a quick lunch later on.

Don’t be afraid to try different variations of this recipe. Just keep sampling until it tastes just right!

Taco Soup
  • 1.3 pounds ground turkey (this is the weight on the brand I purchase; could vary either way)
  • 1 small to medium onion, chopped
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning (I use reduced sodium)
  • 2 15-ounce cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 14.5-ounce cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies (I used Rotel mild)
  • 1 14- to 15-ounce can corn (undrained)
  • Grated cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Tortilla chips
In large soup pot or Dutch oven, brown turkey with onion. About halfway through cook time, add in taco seasoning. Cook until turkey is cooked through.

Add in other ingredients and simmer for about an hour. If you want your soup thicker, cook longer or add in tomato sauce.

To serve, provide sour cream, grated cheese and tortilla chips for garnish.

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