Saturday, March 21, 2015

Taco Soup


I love Steph"s recipes at crockpot 365 blog spot  there is no gourmet cooking, no special skills required  just good food that satisfies everyone involved.  


2 blizzards down and another snowstorm was bearing sown on us and I wanted something new to cook that would hang in the crock ready to warm the snow crew as they needed.  I could trust if I made one of Steph's recipes it would be a hit. 
Her Taco Soup is just that delicious, easy, flexible hungry workers will sing your praises.

Normally I don't cook with mixes but decided to give her recipe a try verbatim well sort of verbatim the original recipe makes enough for a very large army I was cooking for a small group.

I don't believe in browning meat first unless it brings more flavor to the dish, have I mentioned I hate doing dishes. 

The first time I made Taco Soup I used 1/2 packet of  El Paso taco seasoning and 1/2 packet of the Hidden Valley Ranch now I just throw the whole thing in I don't need 1/2 packets hanging around.

I added the ground turkey in chunks and didn't over stir I wanted the turkey to stay chunked for texture but that is a personal preference.

Yep, another snowstorm was headed our way and tired of storm shopping I looked in the cupboard to see what I could make. 
Cupboard Version: 1 can of chicken, 2 cans of beans, 1 can of corn, 1 jar of salsa, 1 can of rotel tomatoes, 1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix.  I had a hit everyone loved and there were no leftovers.

Today I had 1lb of chicken breast that needed to be dealt with so I diced it and popped it in, Yum!! I have leftover Rice in the fridge 2 cups worth, in it goes, oh yea dble yum!!

Love this recipe it is so flexible and easy!!!
If you don't use seasoning mixes you can use salsa instead of diced tomatoes for flavor, or all rotel tomatoes, add 1 tsp cumin, 1 tablespoon chili powder, we like to add jalapenos but then we like heat.
Use black or red beans or 1 of each.  I like black beans.
The original recipe would have used 1/2 lb of meat but I wanted heartier so I added 1 lb. 
2 cups of rice was a great addition and made more servings

And did I mention easy to assemble no chopping involved just the ability to open cans.

Taco Soup
servings 4-6
preparation 10 minutes

Ingredients:
2(15-ounce) cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) cans of corn plus juice, do not drain you want the extra fluid
1 large can (15-ounces) of diced tomatoes or salsa
1 (10-ounce) can tomatoes and chiles (Rotel)
1/2 packet taco seasoning if using McCormick El Paso is weaker in flavor use the whole packet
1 packet ranch dressing mix (make sure there isn't hidden gluten, I went with Hidden Valley)
 
1 pound uncooked ground turkey or hamburger, diced chicken (optional.)
or 1 can chicken.  You can use 1/2 lb of meat but I wanted a heartier dish.

Preparation:
Use the largest slow cooker you have in the house --- this is a BIG recipe, you need a 6-quart or above.

Use lean meat so no pre browning needed, chunk it in the crockpot, add tomatoes, corn including juice, beans are rinsed and drained before adding, add seasoning packets, lightly mix if using raw meat to keep it chunky.
 
If your in a hurry and don't want to wait 4 hrs. to eat put the crockpot in the microwave for 10 minutes on high for 2 hours then I left it on low and it was ready when the snow crew needed a warm-up.
 
Or cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5. This soup is like stew the longer it cooks the better the flavor.

 Stir well, and serve with a handful of shredded cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips and avocado or guacamole.
 
Cheese Quesadillas are a great to serve on the side. 
Being gluten free I always have a stack of soft corn tortillas in the fridge I treat them like bread for sandwiches.  Over medium heat lightly oil grill pan, add tortilla sprinkle with Monterey jack cheese lay another on top.  Lightly brown, then flip brown and serve cut in 4 wedges.