Sunday, September 05, 2010

Recipe for a Crowd: Tex Mex Taco Soup

I'm going to admit a real weakness in me. I buy recipe books. I counted 100 books I've collected over the years and I felt so guilty about having them, that I started giving some of the books away. But then, I love looking over them again and again--even if I have such picky eaters that they won't eat most of the recipe books' contents! Sad, but true. When I visit a region, I pick up a book as my souvenir. (I remember places by what I eat!)

  I adore cooking sites and recipes in novels. The Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond) has this fabulous recipe book complete with a story of her romance with Marlboro Man and life on the ranch. What's more romantic than food?
A really good friend of mine posted that she wanted a taco soup recipe. Well, her friends were faster on the draw than I was, but I love this recipe so much, I thought I might share it with you, too. I've used this recipe and adjusted it to my groups according to occasion. It's great for those large gatherings of people. I love cornbread with it, but get creative and think of things you could serve with it. Writers (and readers who get hooked on a good book) need easy recipes to put on that they don't have to stand over the stove too much, while they're in the thick of things (reading or writing.) Put this on for a chilly, fall day. 

Since I have so many recipes around, I thought I should share one periodically, just because I can!


1 ½ - 2 lbs. ground chuck (Cook meat and drain off grease)*
1 – 15 oz. can dark red kidney beans, well rinsed and drained
1 – 15 oz. can pinto beans, well rinsed and drained
1 – 15 oz. can black beans, well rinsed and drained
1 – 11oz. can Green Giant Mexicorn, drained ( ***see note below)
1 – 15 oz. can Del Monte “Savory Sides” Santa Fe Corn (***see note below)
1 – 15 oz. can diced tomatoes (I use 1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce instead)
1 – 15 oz. can Ro-tel diced tomatoes, drained or jar of HERDEZ (mild, medium or hot--your choice) salsa

1 – pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch DRESSING mix, NOT dip mix!
1 – pkg. Taco seasoning (I use Taco Bell or Old El Paso)
1 – tsp. Mrs. Dash (I add garlic & onions, too)

3 – 15 oz. cans water (I usually add about 1 to 1 ½ cans)
8 oz. hot tap water (to dissolve the dry ranch dressing and taco mix in)

*Is good with cooked chicken instead of ground meat,too.

NOTE: This makes a HUGE soup pot that serves up 10-12 (large bowls) if you use 3 cans of water.  Makes about 8 large bowls if you use the reduced amount of water like I do for smaller crowds.

Dissolve ranch dressing mix and taco seasoning in cup of hot water.  Place the dissolved seasonings and all remaining ingredients into a LARGE soup pot.  Heat on medium high heat until soup is bubbling, then reduce heat to low and simmer covered  for at least an hour….I usually simmer on lowest heat for 1-2 hours.   This is a great crock pot recipe, too!

Serve soup with cornbread and/or tortillas and a salad.  Can add grated cheese and tortilla chips, too. Good to take to potlucks.

This soup will be slightly spicy due to the taco seasoning and Ro-tel tomatoes.

*** If you are unable to find either Mexicorn and/or Savory Sides, you can substitute regular corn for the Mexicorn and another type of bean for the Savory Sides.  The Santa Fe Savory Sides blend is a mix of black beans, corn, red and green bell peppers in a wonderful sauce.

This recipe adapts to personal preferences, additions and deletions beautifully. Freezes well.


Delia said...

Oh wow, this sounds so good! I'm printing this post off so I can try it! Thanks so much, Crystal!

Karen Lange said...

Sounds yummy! I love recipes like this for the fall. Thanks for sharing:)

Jan Marie said...

"I'm going to admit a real weakness in me. I buy recipe books." ---- ILOVE knowing this about you, Crystal! I am going to save this information in my memory banks for future reference. Enjoy your time at conference - I will be waiting here at home to hear all about it.

Jan Marie

Linda Glaz said...

Just finished dinner, but now I'm hungry again.

Carrie said...

This sounds and reads like my recipe!! It is sooo yummy and I can't wait for it to get cool enough here to fix it, and chicken posole (which kinda reminds me of tortilla soup but with hominiy instead). I love recipes and cookbooks!