January 27, 2014

fancied taco soup

Do y'all have those things that you can remember when they came into existence? Like Gobstoppers, cordless phones, and the Blooming Onion? Well, taco soup is one of those things I can remember entering the world. It was in the early 90s when some God-inspired human being decided to dump cans of tomatoes, corn, and beans into a pot of ground beef with a packet of taco seasoning. And Taco Soup was born.

Some of y'all may not know this, but I'm a pastor's wife; and our church is built on home groups. So feeding masses of people in my home comes with the territory around here. So when I discovered taco soup, I wore. it. out. It was inexpensive. It was fast. It fed crowds and crowds. And it was one of those hearty soups that nearly everyone on the earth liked. And it caught on and spread like wildfire throughout our friends. We all made it. All the time. So not only did I fix it as often as possible, but we ate it at every other house we went to. For years. We ate it so much that my husband declared at the turning of the century that we would be a taco soup-free household from this day forward.

Well, it's been 13 years. And I decided to bring it back. 

I realized that my poor children had never really eaten it! And I knew that they'd love it. PLUS now that my kids are teenagers and their friends can drive to our house and surprise us at any given mealtime, taco soup is inexpensive, fast, feeds crowds, and pleases lots of palates. And we're still in ministry, hosting and feeding masses almost 20 years later. It was time for a reprise, don't you think? I do.

So with that, I fancied the original taco soup recipe so that it has more flavor, color, and texture with hopes of tricking my husband. {I'm also trying to think of a new name to call it to further trick him. I'm taking suggestions.}  And with the Super Bowl this weekend, this fancied taco soup would be just right for feeding your crew! Serve it with big sturdy corn chips and lots of fixins on top! But be warned: you may wear. it. out. Good stuff, y'all.

{Make a Sharing Batch!}
{feeds about 10 people, depending on your people}

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground hot breakfast sausage
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 can black beans, drained not rinsed
1 can light red kidney beans, drained not rinsed
1 can cannelinni beans or other white beans, drained not rinsed
1 can Rotel tomatoes with juice {tomatoes with green chiles}
1 small can chopped green chiles 
1 1/2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
1 teaspoon sugar
3-5 jalapeno rings, chopped {jarred or fresh} optional

In a big, heavy pot, brown the beef and sausage with the onions. Tilt the pan and scoop out about 3/4 of the grease and discard, keeping a little grease for flavor. Dump in the cans of beans, Rotel tomatoes, chopped green chiles, corn, seasonings, sugar, and chopped jalapenos. Stir together and add a cup of water or more to get the liquid how you want it. I like it a little thicker with less liquid. You may also add a small can of tomato sauce to thicken and make it more tomatoe-y if you like.

Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, adding more water as you need. Allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes, preferably 45-50 minutes to develop flavor. Taste as you go, adding salt and pepper, more liquid, etc.

Serve with corn chips, crackers or tortilla chips. And top with chopped tomatoes, black olives, cilantro, green onions, shredded cheese, and sour cream.