Taco Soup

Way back at the beginning of my mom's stay in the hospital, my friend Missy watched my kiddos while I went to hang out with my mom.  When I came back, she had not only taken care of three extra yahoos along with her own three but she had also whipped up a pot of taco soup that she sent home with me.

Sometimes, a hearty, full, delicious meal is so good for the soul.  I ate the soup when I got home, topped with the fritoes that she had sent along with it.  That bowl of soup, was so memorable.  Do you ever have those?  Where a meal just totally hits the spot & creates a beautiful memory? Do you know what I'm talking about?  Or am I wacko?  Wacko or not, it was so. very. good.  God Bless Missy.

A few weeks went by and I found myself in the midst of the insanity of my mom's hospital stay.  And I found myself needing another bowl of that soup (and some more fritoes!  I hadn't had them in YEARS, and suddenly, after Missy's Magic Meal, I needed more fritoes like I needed my next breath!)

Only, life was a little chaotic, and I forgot to ask Missy for the recipe.

And I kept forgetting.  Again and again and again.

Finally, I looked up taco soup on Allrecipes or something and I found this.  I didn't have all the ingredients on hand at the time, but I crossed my fingers, hoping that what I did have would be enough.  Turns out, it was!  (which I like because I like to use as many "whole" foods in my recipes as I can, and not having a few of the things listed, helped make the recipe a little more straightforward & not so high maintenance).
We LOVE it. (and this recipe,by the way, is the 4th thing on the trending list that I couldn't remember)

Here's exactly how my recipe card looks--the original version, with my substitutions, omissions and notes (in green).

2 lbs. ground beef-------------------->1 lb. venison
1 large onion, chopped
1 can pinto beans--------------------->1 can black beans
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can stewed tomatoes-Mexican style---------->frozen/diced tomatoes from last summer
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix (opt)---------------------->1.5 packs (2 would be fine!)  + 2 glasses H2O
1 pkg. original hidden valley ranch dressing (dry)
2 1/2 c. water or more, to make soup broth
sour cream
green onions, chopped
shredded cheddar

Brown ground beef and onions in a large pan, drain off fat.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer for an hour or so.  When ready, serve in big soup bols, and have a skillet of hot cornbread to eat, too.

Skip the cornbread and top with sour cream, green onions, shredded cheddar and fritos! Simmered for 1/2 hour, it was still good. 

other notes:
-I think one lb. of meat is plenty.  Otherwise it'd be too meaty. (then again, I'm not a meat lover.)
-black beans make more sense in this mexican recipe, I think!

-the extra taco seasoning makes up for not having mexican style tomatoes/rotel tomatoes
-FRITOS!!! (btw-though aldi doritoes are not the same as the original, aldi fritos are fabulous.)



  1. sounds delish!! thanks for sharing!

    and i totally get what you mean about food being good for the soul. in a book that i read recently (Bittersweet), the author writes a bunch of essays / reflections on her life, and many of the chapters center around food. there is just something really special about sharing a meal with someone, tending to their physical and emotional needs. she mentions that some people recount memories by the type of music that was big at the time... or certain clothing styles... or even types of cars... but she remembers events in terms of food. what was she eating at the time? LOL. i think i'm the same way. :-)


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