We are joining our church, Resurrection Presbyterian Church, and in order to do that we had to attend a class to learn about the church and PCA theology. To start off the class, our pastor decided to do a "What is your favorite thing about Autumn?" icebreaker. There were answers such as football, the crispness of the first day that you realize you need a coat, and the smell of bonfires. My answer was the changing of the leaves. Even though I first truly experienced this just three years ago when Mitch started at UVA and we hiked in the Shenandoah mountains, it has definitely become my trigger that fall is here. It was my favorite time of year in Charlottesville, and I am so sad to be missing the beautiful mountains this year. BUT if the leaves changing is my favorite thing about fall, my second favorite thing is soup!
I never feel the liberty to cook soup in the warmer months, so it is a wonderful day when I cook the first soup of fall. Yesterday was a wonderful day! I chose taco soup to let my dutch oven know that is is officially fall and that it is time to get its soup on. I first discovered taco soup when I was in Auburn getting my MaC (Masters in Accountancy). One of my roommates, Amy, and I were cooking dinner for a big group of friends, and she decided that taco soup was the best choice. Thank you Amy for bringing such a delicious and easy recipe into my life; it has become a staple! I have adapted the below recipe slightly from the original, but really it is hard to mess this up.
2 lb. ground beef
2 medium onions, chopped
1 (10 oz) can Ro-Tel
1 (28 oz) can stewed tomatoes
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (16 oz) can pinto beans, undrained
1 (11 oz) can whole-kernel corn, undrained
1 package dry ranch dressing mix
1 taco seasoning packet
shredded cheese, sour cream and jalapenos (optional)
Brown beef and onion. Drain, then add the remaining ingredients; mix. Simmer on the stove for two hours or cook three to four hours in the crockpot on low. Top individual bowls with cheese, sour cream and jalapenos. (I have also left it on low in the crockpot all day while I was at work, and it turned out great.)
I love to serve taco soup with homemade tortilla chips. They are super easy and delicious!
1 package fajita size flour tortillas
Paula Deen's house seasoning (1 part garlic powder and pepper to four parts salt)
Vegetable oil or peanut oil
Heat the oil to medium heat and quarter the tortillas. When the oil is hot, fry the tortilla quarters in batches so not to crowd the skillet. Once slightly brown on each side, remove from the oil and place in a paper towel lined bowl. Sprinkle the chips with the seasoning as soon as they are removed so that it sticks to the chips.
Below are a couple of pictures of the soup. While it may not look the most appealing, I promise it is delicious!