Foodie Tuesday Recipe: EASY Taco Soup

Everyone has a go-to meal; one that they can make in a flash, they usually have the ingredients on-hand, it’s quick, easy, cheap, and tastes good. What’s yours?

Mine is TACO SOUP.

It’s seriously the easiest thing ever, and tastes delish. I made it the other day and I thought I’d share with you how I make it! There is really no recipe involved, so I’ll show you how to throw whatever you have into a pot to make it taste great!
P.S…the best part is that this can be made on the stove, or made in the crockpot. Both methods are below.

Here’s the stove-top version:

THE INGREDIENTS
Here are the basic ingredients I use (because I typically have them on-hand…)

  • Ground beef 
    • (I stock up on this when it’s on sale, cook most of it up, and freeze it in [roughly] 1lb bags. That way it’s already cooked and ready to simply throw in, no cooking needed!
  • Onion 
    • (I buy the huge bags from Costco and leave them in my fridge. They last for-e-ver!)
  • Corn 
    • (I also stock up on this when it’s on sale, fresh or canned. With fresh I just cook it, cut it off the cob, and freeze it in ziplock bags. See here. I use canned this time but fresh tastes great too.)
  • Beans 
    • (I use kidney and black usually. I love buying these by the case during case lot sales so I always have lots of them on-hand.)
  • Taco Seasoning
    • (This is clutch in Taco Soup. I buy the big containers from Costco, but you could also buy the little envelopes when they are on sale.)
  • Cilantro (optional)
    • (I don’t always have this on-hand, but when I do I like to throw some in the soup. I also chop some to go on top of the soup when it’s served.)
  • Your favorite taco toppings
    • (Sour cream, cheese, crushed tortilla chips, cilantro, red onion, green onion, peppers, lime, etc.)
THE PROCESS
1. First you brown the ground beef in a pot with chopped onion (however much you want)

2. I like to add a little taco seasoning to my meat when I cook it.
3. Add water. I added about 4 cups to start. I was making this meal for my family + another family who just had a baby, so I needed a lot. You can make as much or little as you need. I think I ended up adding a tad bit more as the process went on. It’s pretty fool-proof, just add what you need.
4. Add your canned ingredients. I ended up doubling the recipe and added 2 cans of everything. Simply open the cans and dump them in! Rinse the black and kidney beans, but otherwise use the juices of everything else.
I added cilantro to this batch. I had never added it during the cooking process before, it turned out really good. You could also just sprinkle it on top of the soup at the end, it’s up to you.
5. Add seasoning. I always add a TON more taco seasoning (to taste) but I ended up running out. I added some chili powder and it ended up tasting great. Just add seasonings to taste, and stick with the taco-esque seasonings.
6. To thicken up my soup and add more flavor I added a 6 oz can of tomato paste. I wasn’t sure how much I’d need so I added a few spoonfuls at a time, tasted it, and added more as needed. I ended up adding the whole thing. If you used less water you’d probably need less paste.
My soup looked and tasted good so far, so I called it good on the ingredients.
 
7. When your soup is to your liking, put a lid on it and let it simmer on low for as long as you need! As I mentioned before, you could also make this in the crockpot. That’s usually how I do it.
8. When you’re ready to eat, dish the soup in individual bowls, and have everyone add their own “taco toppings”. Be sure to add lots of cheese, too :) Serve with a side of fresh salsa and chips + spanish rice and you have a delicious meal!
RECIPE:
Fun Cheap Or Free Queen’s Fool-Proof Taco Soup
INGREDIENTS: (use two cans each if doubling the recipe)
1lb Ground beef
1 Onion
Taco Seasoning to taste
Water to taste (about 3-6C worth)
Corn (frozen or canned)
Black Beans
Kidney Beans
Cilantro (optional)
Canned Diced Tomatoes
Tomato Paste to taste
Chili Powder to taste (optional)
Taco Toppings to Top Soup:
Red Onion
Cheese
Cilantro
Green Onion
Crushed Tortilla Chips
Lime Juice
Green Onion
Sour Cream
Any other toppings you like
STOVETOP DIRECTIONS:
Brown your ground beef with onion. Add taco seasoning to taste, about 1-2T worth. Add 2C of water. If you need to make a big batch add 4C to start. 
Add all your canned ingredients (use 2 cans each if doubling the recipe). Rinse your beans, but otherwise add the juices with the corn and tomatoes. Add cilantro if you’d like. Add more taco seasoning to taste. 
Stir and simmer for a few minutes. Taste the soup: if it’s watery, add tomato paste & taco seasoning until it reaches the taste you like. If you need more soup, add more water. Keep adding tomato paste & taco seasoning until it’s the taste and consistency you like. Add chili powder for more flavor if desired. 
Simmer the soup on low for as long as you need until you’re ready to eat; up to 3 hours. 
Top individual bowls of soup with desired taco toppings, and enjoy!
CROCKPOT DIRECTIONS:
Brown ground beef + onion on the stove, add taco seasoning to taste. Put ground beef, and canned ingredients in the crockpot, rinsing your beans first but otherwise keeping the juices from the other canned items. 
Add water until it reaches the desired consistency & amount of soup you need. Add taco seasoning and tomato paste to taste. Do not add cilantro to the crockpot recipe. 
Cook on low 4-8 hours. Add cilantro to the last 30 minutes if desired. Top individual bowls of soup with desired taco toppings, and enjoy!

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