One meal that I can always throw together at the last-minute at any moment is Taco Soup. It’s hearty and flavorful and is basically a taco poured into a soup so you can’t go wrong there. One day last year we were without power for a day, but since our oven has gas burners, I was still able to whip this up and we ate by candle light. I kind of have a little obsession with keeping the pantry stocked and always ready for some sort of surprise dinner party. Which is funny because I live about 3 minutes from two major grocery stores, but I still always seem to have the items for this soup on hand at all times. My mom is the same way, always stocked and ready to make a meal big enough for an army at any given moment, so I guess it’s in my blood. Yesterday, the girls and I were coming home late from a couple of doctor appointments and only had about 40 minutes for dinner before we had to head out the door again. I was able to throw this soup together and fill up those bellies before we ran out the door and I dropped them off for youth group. One thing that helped speed up this soup was that I already had cooked and seasoned hamburger taco meat in the fridge from tacos that I had made a few days prior. When I make tacos, I make enough meat for usually a follow-up meal of Super Nachos, Taco Soup, or Taco Salad so I knew I’d get use out of that extra meat. If I don’t use it up in time that week, I’ll just label it and throw it in the freezer so it’s ready when I need it for soup or whatever. I also had diced onion in the freezer already so I didn’t even have to get out a cutting board. I always try to have a few onions diced and in freezer bags to help on crazy nights when you are watching the clock. I’ll give the recipe from start to finish, but keep those things in mind if you want ways to help speed up your time in the kitchen.
1 lb lean ground beef
1 medium onion diced small. Mine was frozen.
1 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes. Do not drain.
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies. Do not drain.
2 15.25 oz cans of black beans. Rinsed and drained.
1 1/2-2 C sweet corn frozen or fresh. I used cut off the cob corn that I had partially cooked and frozen. I just throw it in the soup frozen. You could also use steamable corn in 12-16 oz size. I would partially cook/steam in the microwave for 2-3 min and then it can finish cooking once it’s in the soup.
3-4 C of water
2 TBS ground cumin
2 teas garlic powder
1 TBS cilantro. Fresh chopped or Gourmet Gardens in the tube is what I use.
1/2 teas chili powder
1/2 teas paprika
1 teas salt
1 teas pepper
Optional toppings: Sour Cream, shredded cheese, hot sauce, tortilla chips, fresh cilantro
In a large pot, brown the hamburger meat and drain off excess fat.
Saute’ the diced onion in with the hamburger meat for a few minutes until soft.
Add in all the rest of the ingredients, adjust seasonings and water as desired. Bring to a boil and then simmer until ready to serve.
We like to top ours with sour cream, shredded cheese, a few splashes of Cholula and it’s ready to go!
Makes around 15 C or 4 Qts