Filed under: Food and Recipes, Main Dishes | Tags: crock pot, rainy day meal, soup, taco soup
It’s been raining here in Memphis for a week…a whole solid week. I like rain as much as the next guy, but sheesh…
The one thing I do like about the rain is how it has me craving comforting dinners that are simmered throughout the day, filling the house with aromas of winter, and promises of good things to come (at least for dinner, that is). Last night it was roast oven-braised in Cabernet and Beef Stock with onions, cremini mushrooms, and carrots, hinted with the scent of thyme and rosemary, paired with roasted fingerling potatoes with rosemary substituted for dill, and butter and lemon green beans, also with a hint of the same fresh pine-scented rosemary. If that wasn’t good enough, there was chocolate and coffee-scented mousse for dessert. Yeah, if you’re wondering, it was fabulous…
But before that it was taco soup and grilled cheese. Simple, yet effective. Oh, and these muffins, too. But back to the taco soup: easy, delicious, quick, fix-it-and-forget-it type meal. We’ve already discussed my love affair with my slow cooker, and it’s uncanny ability to enhance and meld flavors, and make them seem richer and deeper. So, what better time to pull this trick out than on a rainy day where I want a soup and sandwich? The time was then, and it can be for you now, too.
Oh, and tonight, it shall be simmered tomato sauce with spaghetti and homemade meatballs. I have the best recipe…one of those done by grandmothers in Italy years ago…I promise that soon, but for now, please make the taco soup. Rainy day or not, you’ll be happy you did. I swear.
I’ve made this soup before without the slow cooker, and it’s still delicious. But if you have the time, I highly suggest the crock-pot method. As good as it is without the crock-pot, it’s ten times better with. In regards to all the canned veggies in this soup, DO NOT drain your cans. The liquids help to thicken the soup, and yield flavor as well. If you are concerned about sodium intake, buy low-sodium cans where available.
1 lb lean ground hamburger meat
1 medium chopped onion
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 can corn, undrained
1 can Rotel brand tomatoes, original type, undrained
1 can chili beans in mild sauce, undrained
1 can tomato sauce, undrained
1 can red kidney beans, undrained
1 can white kidney, or cannellini beans, undrained
1 package taco seasoning
1 package dry ranch dressing mix
3 to 4 cups water (depending on your desired thickness of the soup)
2 bay leaves
1. Set up your slow cooker. Heat a non-stick skillet over med-high heat and begin to brown off your hamburger meat, simply seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. When hamburger meat is browned, drain any excess fat, set aside.
2. Continuing in the same skillet, brown your onion and your bell pepper over med-high heat until slightly colored and softened. Set aside.
3. Open all cans and pour into your slow cooker. In a mixing bowl, combine your water and both seasoning packets, whisking to dissolve. Pour the seasoning mixture then into your slow cooker. Add your ground beef, onions, peppers, and bay leaves. Stir to combine.
4. Cook over low heat for as long as possible, but at least 4-5 hours.
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