It's been a while since I've posted one of my recipes, and with the weather changing I thought it was about time to post a Fall favorite!
There's just something about a healthy and hearty soup that is comforting when there is a chill in the air or soggy weather. Taco soup is easy and seems to satisfy even the pickiest eaters in our house.
I've found the secret to good soup is how you start it. I always start with sauteing a base of vegetables called a mirepoix ("mir-a-pwah"). Generally this is a mix of carrots, onions and celery, or onions, celery and peppers (very popular in Louisiana cooking). Either way, starting a soup, sauce, or stew with fresh root vegetables that are sauteed to soften and bring out the flavors will give your soup a rich and fresh flavor. Even if you later add canned elements or prepackaged seasonings, the finished product will still taste like REAL food!
The other trick is a good quality stock or broth. Homemade is going to be best, but even canned, carton or water and bullion cubes are fine. If you start with the mirepoix and deglaze afterwards (you'll see below) with a flavorful broth, you really can't screw it up!
So here we go with Taco Soup!
Start by chopping up a medium onion. Any color will do. Then saute in a stock pot over medium high heat in a good quality olive oil, or olive oil and butter mix. I don't measure olive oil. Eyeball it. Don't cover the whole bottom of the pan; a few turns of the pan or a few tablespoons will probably do.
Next, chop up about a cup of mixed sweet peppers. You could also use a combination of bell peppers, or kick it up with jalapenos, or any others you like.
Toss those into your stock pot to saute with the onions, and add about a half cup (or more if you like) of chopped mushrooms. We love baby portobellos, but I just used button mushrooms for this batch. Season liberally or to taste with Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.
Once your onions start to get translucent and brown a bit, add in 3/4 to a pound of ground beef. You could use ground turkey, chicken, or even leftover steak if you like.
Once the meat has browned (don't let it get crispy - you'll want it to continue cooking in the broth), open one can of diced tomatoes with green chilis (your preference of heat - we like mild) and one can of corn. Drain the corn, don't drain the Rotel, and dump in the pot.
Then, add about a tablespoon of minced garlic, or about 2 cloves and give everything a good stir.
Next, add your broth. If you've used chicken or turkey, you may want to use chicken stock. Since I used beef, I used four cups of water with four beef bullion cubes in it. I generally have these in the pantry, and I buy reduced sodium. If you've made fresh broth or have canned broth or stock in a carton, these will all do just fine.
Next, add in your taco seasoning. I like to buy McCormick. There's no MSG or preservatives, just spices, which makes me feel better about buying something prepackaged. Use your own combination of chili powder, onion powder, garlic, etc. if you like. The prepackaged combination just makes it a little easier!
Give it all a good stir, and bring to a simmer.
Once you're simmering, put the lid on and let it do it's thing for about 20 minutes.
Serve over tortilla chips and top with freshly grated cheddar cheese or monterrey jack and a nice dollop of sour cream! If you've got fresh avacado chunks, those would take it to the next level!
Missy's Taco Soup
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup of sweet pepper variety, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
3/4lb-1lb ground beef
1 small can diced tomatoes with green chilis, with juices
1 can sweet corn, drained
1 package taco seasoning
4 cups beef stock
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Sautee all vegetables until onions are translucent and start to brown. Add beef to brown. Add canned items. Add broth and taco seasoning. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve with freshly shredded cheese, sour cream, chives, green onions, avacados for toppings!
Love and Honey,