Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Rachel's Taco Soup

So many of the foods we eat have so many additives -- preservatives, sodium, the list is long. Now that my little boy is eating table food, it's become increasingly important to me for our family to eat foods with as little added non-food stuff as possible while keeping my sanity. Not always an easy task!

I've adapted one of my favorite winter go-to recipes to be built on more whole foods versus foods from a can, which usually have added sodium and preservatives. It turned out great and wasn't even that much more work. And considering this meal makes enough for a good four servings of leftovers, I'd say the extra time is really nothing to me. This soup is chock full of good for you, filling foods. It's a recipe you can feel good about serving your family!

I used whole tomatoes frozen from my garden, and kidney and black beans that I soaked, cooked, and froze for later use myself.

Tip: Freeze beans in can-sized servings (about 2 cups). When a recipe calls for canned beans, substitute your frozen ones!

So, without further ado, here is my recipe for Taco Soup.

Rachel's Taco Soup

1 medium onion, chopped
1 T olive oil
1 lb ground beef
Taco seasoning and water, to your taste (I use a lot :))

2 c soaked and cooked black beans
2 c soaked and cooked kidney beans
2 c tomatoes with juices, chopped
1 small can diced green chilies, undrained
1 c corn (I use frozen)
8 oz tomato sauce
1/2 c water

Saute onions in olive oil for 1 minute. Add ground beef to the pan and brown. Drain off fat. Add taco seasoning and water (just as you would for regular taco meat) and combine. Simmer for a few minutes.

Add the taco meat and the rest of the ingredients to your slow cooker. Give it a stir and let it cook on low for at least 5 hours.

Give it a taste. If you want more heat, you can add salsa, taco sauce or hot sauce. Or, better yet, add a halved, seeded hot pepper to the slow cooker to cook with the soup. If you want more depth, add some cumin and chili powder.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream, fresh grated cheese, chopped cilantro and/or corn chips. Enjoy!

Yield: 8 generous servings

Rachel's notes
Beans: I slightly defrosted my frozen beans by submerging the bags into warm water for a few minutes. They were still slightly frozen when I added them to the soup.
Tomatoes: I used about 8 Roma tomatoes that I froze last summer from my garden. I soaked them for a couple minutes in warm water, slid the skins off, and chopped them up.