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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Taco soup and fresh bread...

I have always loved a good bowl of soup. It dates back to my childhood when I would go over to my cousin Leslie-Ann's house and my Aunt Cindy would make us two huge bowls of Spaghetti O's. Tomato sauce and those cute little pasta circles made for an entertaining and satisfying meal. A glass of milk and a sleeve of Ritz and we were set...content, warm and feeling right at home. In fact, while Leslie-Ann and I were roommates in college, we continued to stock our apartment cupboard with cans of the comfort soup.

Soups just have a special effect on me. On a cold day, it's nice to ladle piping hot soup into a big bowl and surround it with some kind of carb (go ahead and give know they are a delightful combination).

Moving to Indiana at the end of December meant many days and nights of cold weather. As I watched the snow fall from inside, my heart began to crave the comfort of soup. Not only to bring me back to the fond memories of home and childhood, but "to warm the cockles of my soul" (as my Mom always says). And I came across a perfect recipe I would like to share with you.

This taco soup recipe comes courtesy of PK's Mom. She is an amazing cook, and I love to eat anything and everything she prepares. A few weeks ago, she emailed me this taco soup recipe. It's low in fat but definitely not low on flavor. I made it for PK and my roommates one cold night, and we all really enjoyed it.

My carb of choice and sidekick to my soup was ciabatta bread with melted fontina cheese. Previously, I had watched the Food Network channel where Giada de Laurentiis (from Everyday Italian and Giada at Home) used ciabatta and paired it with fontina. Excellent decision! I layered slices of cheese on top of thick portions of bread, cranked the oven up to broil and tried to patiently wait five minutes until the cheese got melty, ooey-gooey and perfect.

The thing I love most about this soup recipe is that it requires no cooking skills whatsoever. You just brown your meat, open some cans, combine and let it simmer. Soooo easy and soooo satisfying. Since, I have shared the recipe with some ladies from work and they all approve as well.

You will not regret reading this post and trying this soup! May the warming of your soul begin!

Taco Soup 

1 lb. ground turkey
2 medium onion-chopped

*No need to drain the following, just combine in a large stove pot:
1 15 oz. can pinto beans
1 15 oz. can black beans
1 11 oz.  can vacuum packed niblet corn
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 4 1/2 oz. can green chilles
1 15 oz. can chili beans
1 1/2 c. water

1 package taco seasoning
1 package Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix

Step #1: Brown meat and onions together in skillet (set aside until a little later)
Step #2: While meat is browning, combine the beans, corn, tomatoes, chilles and water and bring to a boil.
Step #3: Add dry seasonings to the soup and reduce to a simmer.
Step #4: Add the meat and onions
Step #5: Let everything marry for 20 minutes still simmering until nicely incorporated.

*Feel free to top with sour cream and shredded cheese for a little Mexican flare!

(Serves approximately 6-8 people and freezes very well)

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