Beefy Taco Soup
Last week I had an unusually strong craving for red meat. I wanted a burger badly, and tacos, and anything else that contained some form of red meat. This is totally atypical for me, the lady who uses meat so rarely that people sometimes ask me, “are you a vegetarian?” No, I’m not. I am really more of an intuitive eater … I like to listen to what my body tells me it wants. Most usually, it wants lots of vegetables, but on this occasion, it was calling for MEAT.
So anyway, I got home on this strange occasion of a terribly strong meat craving and remembered that I had leftover taco meat in the freezer. I knew my lettuce supply was in a sad state and could not bear the thought of a taco without lettuce, and besides it was quite wintry outside and when it’s winter, it’s time to make soup.
So my taco meat became a great base for a hearty taco soup. I like to eat this soup with the chips and cheese on the side, so I can add a few at a time and the chips don’t get too soggy in the soup. The cheese gets delightfully melty and the crunch from the chips with the meaty soup makes you feel almost like you’re eating a taco.
If you don’t have leftover taco meat on hand, go ahead and make some. Use your favorite taco seasoning mix or you can go totally DIY and make the taco seasoning yourself too. Here are a couple recipes for taco seasoning mix: one with no salt from my sister, one from my friend Ann at the Fountain Avenue Kitchen.
- 1 medium onion, peeled
- 2 - 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 - 3 small sweet peppers, tops cut off & seeded
- 1 pint canned fire-roasted tomatoes or a 15-oz. can of tomatoes
- 1/2 lb. taco meat
- 1 - 2 Tablespoons finely chopped hot chile pepper (such as jalapeno or cowhorn peppers, use more or less to taste)
- 1 pint beef broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon Red Robin Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Corn tortilla chips & shredded Mexican blend of cheeses
- Put the onion, garlic and sweet peppers into a handi chopper or food processor and pulse several times to chop it well. Remove from the chopper and add the tomatoes and give them a quick whir.
- If you are preparing your taco meat from scratch, stir the onion, garlic and sweet peppers into the beef once it has started to brown, then add your taco seasoning according to instructions for your taco seasoning mix.
- If you are using leftover taco meat, saute the onion and garlic in a teaspoon or so of olive oil until the onion starts to get soft, then add the sweet pepper and continue cooking for a couple minutes longer. Stir in the prepared taco meat and stir until hot.
- Put the onion/meat mixture into a large saucepan and add the hot pepper, tomatoes, beef broth, bay leaf and other seasonings. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Serve hot, topped with crushed tortilla chips and shredded Mexican cheeses.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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