Finals week is fast approaching and I wanted to make something that I could freeze, to keep on hand for a stressful time in the future. Taco soup is the perfect thing to freeze, and you can make it a hundred different ways.
This is based on a recipe that John's mom used to make, and that I've varied and changed for years. I've made it with ground beef, turkey, chicken, and tofu (the kind seasoned and prepared to behave like ground taco meat). This recipe can easily be made vegan, if you use tofu, vegetable stock, and leave out the ranch dressing packet.
The spiciness level is also totally adjustable. Ever since I started cooking stuff from Kira's blog, I really like using chipotle en adobo because of the smokey flavor. If you don't like the spicy kick of the green chiles, cayenne, or chipotle, just leave them out and you still have a pretty flavorful soup.
The original version of this called for a taco seasoning packet and a ranch dressing mix packet.
The ranch I couldn't find and sometimes leave out, on the grounds that it probably makes the soup healthier, and it tastes fine with out it. The taco seasoning I remember buying, but when it came time put it all together, it was nowhere to be found.
So I made it up (something I also often do when I'm making this soup on the fly). My version is noted in the ingredient list below.
In other news, I'm getting better at figuring out how to edit photos in iPhoto. Check out the difference between these two (original, dull one shown first).
Julie's Spicy Taco Soup
1 lb ground chicken, turkey, beef, or one package of soy ground.
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, diced
2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock****
1 can each: black beans, red beans, white or pinto beans.
1 can whole kernal corn
3 chipotle peppers en adobo*
4 oz can of green chili peppers, chopped
1 can of tomales and green chiles (such as Rotel)**
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
salt and pepper to taste
packet of ranch dressing mix***
Brown the meat in a stock pot, then add onion and garlic. Cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
Add chicken or vegetable stock, stir, and cook 2 more minutes.
Add in beans, corn, tomatoes, green chiles, and chipotle en adobo.
Add spices, stir, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 40 minutes.
Serve with sour cream, cheese, tortilla chips, or other toppings of your choice (corn bread is really great with this!).
*A jalapeno would also work well, if you have one on hand or want to add one. **I've also used 2-3 fresh or canned tomatoes, peeled or unpeeled. ***Optional ****I think the original recipe says water, but I like the taste of the stock better.