Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Taco Soup

I got this recipe from a very old friend back when we were roommates in college. I'd give this 3 stars.

This is the kind of recipe you can always have the ingredients for around the house. It's basically a long list of canned goods, so it's great for creating and cycling food storage.

1 lb ground beef (I know this isn't a can of something, but I always have some ground beef in my freezer)
1 small onion, diced (again, I know not a can but onions keep FOREVER in the fridge, so I always keep some around - I'm sure you could use dehydrated onions from food storage if you were so inclined)
1 can whole kernel corn (about 15 oz size and include the juice)
1 can pinto or black beans (about 15 oz size and include the juice) (the recipe originally said pinto but I've come to prefer black beans in this and I'm sure you could use soaked dry beans of either kind from your food storage, I've just never tried...yet!)
1 can crushed or diced tomatoes (about 15 oz size and include the juice) (again, the recipe originally said crushed but I've always used diced because we already have them around for other recipes)
1 can tomato sauce (about 15 oz size)
1 small can diced green chilies (about 4 oz)
1 pkg or about 1/4 cup taco seasoning (I buy this in bulk or you could be cool like Kristi and make your own!)

For preparation you have 2 choices:

Regular Prep -
Brown the thawed meat and diced onions in a large pot, then add remaining ingredients and cook until heated through, allowing ingredients some time to simmer.

Crock Pot Prep (the way I usually do it) -
Now here's where I get a little unorthodox. Crock pot recipes always tell you to brown your meat first, which basically defeats the entire point of crock pot cooking if you ask me. Maybe it's supposedly to protect against food poisoning or whatever, but we've never gotten sick. Or maybe it's to improve the flavor, but I've never noticed a difference. So if you want, go ahead and thaw your meat then brown it and the onion first and dirty that extra pan, then put it in the crock pot. Otherwise, try it my super lazy way and be done with dinner prep early in the day so you don't have to think about dinner during that horrid twilight zone in the evening when the kids are terrible and you're beat. You don't even have to remember to thaw beef this way! Stick your tube of frozen beef into the crock pot (with it turned on) while you chop your onions and collect your cans. By the time you're done, the outside of the meat should be thawed enough to slit the wrapper and squeeze the meat out easily into the crock pot. Then dump in all the other ingredients (no need to stir yet) and leave the crock pot turned on for about an hour. Then open up your crock pot and stir. The thawed beef will mix into the soup (scrape the sides of the lump of frozen meat if need be). Depending on how frozen your beef was and how high you turn the heat on your crock pot you may have to go back a couple times. And if you forget, and leave some of the meat until the clump has started cooking, just use a wooden spoon and cut up the chunk of meat right there in the pot. I don't even know how long I leave this, but once it's simmering nicely, you should be good.

We like to serve this with tortilla chips either on the side for dipping or crushed in your bowl and
a dollop of sour cream on top.

1 comment:

inglesita said...

Thank you so much for this recipe. I had some frozen ground beef and used this simple recipe. It rocks! It was so cheap, so easy and totally scrumptious. I could eat this happily for days.