Crockpot Taco Soup

Continuing my crockpot recipe marathon… I give you this Taco Soup recipe that is so simple, you just dump and simmer.

Basically, dump all of this stuff in your crockpot…IMG_1461

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and in a skillet brown 2 pounds of ground beef with 1 large chopped onion.  Then drain because no one wants greasy soup. That would be gross.

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Add (drained) beef to the crockpot and stir well.

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Let simmer on low for 4-6 hours and serve.

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Here’s the recipe.

Crockpot Taco Soup

2 lbs. ground beef, cooked and drained
1 large onion, chopped
2 cans pinto beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can corn
2 cans Mexican style tomatoes
1 can rotel
1 small can green chilis
1 small can black olives
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 packet of ranch salad dressing

Optional Toppings:
Sour Cream, Corn Chips, Grated Cheese, Chopped Green Onion

Directions:
In a skillet, brown ground beef with one large chopped onion. Once cooked, drain well.
In crockpot, add beans(drained and rinsed), corn, tomatoes, rotel, green chilis and black olives (drained), taco seasoning, and ranch dressing packet.  Add cooked and drained meat. Mix well and allow to simmer on low in crockpot 4-6 hours.
To serve, top with corn chips, sour cream, grated cheese and/or chopped green onion.

Zuppa Toscana Soup

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I love soup, and I’m a bit of a soup snob.  I don’t like canned soup, so unless I make it homemade, we don’t eat it.  It’s just a fact of life over here in crazyville.  Remember?  I live in crazyville where it’s 104 degrees less than 14 days ago, and today it is foggy and 54 degrees.  See.

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This is the church cross across the road that I take all those lovely sunrise pictures of.  When this weather hits, I like to cook… and have a fire in the fireplace… and watch Pride and Prejudice… and rewind and watch over and over as Mr. Darcy strides through the mist to Lizzy… and hear him say, “Surely you know it was all for you.  I love, I love, I love you.” (Sigh)

Sorry, I got lost there for a minute.  Soup… back to the soup.

So, I picked up my punks from school today and got busy making this Zuppa Toscana soup… without the kale.  I always pick out the kale, so I saved myself the trouble  and just didn’t add the kale.  That’s how I roll.  I have to be me.

It all starts with a little bacon and there are three things you must know about bacon.

1.  Bacon completes me.
2.  Bacon is the reason I will never be a vegetarian.
3.  Any recipe that starts with bacon is going to be a superb recipe.

This is why we start with bacon… and Italian sausage.

Start by browning some bacon, Italian sausage, onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic in a large pot or dutch oven.

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While that is browning, clean and slice 5-6 large russet potatoes with a mandolin.

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Set potatoes aside and finish browning bacon and sausage until onion is translucent.

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When sausage and bacon is finished cooking, drain and set aside.

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Set pot back on burner and bring 10-12 cups of water to boil.  Add 5 Tablespoons of chicken bullion to the water.

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Once broth comes to a rolling boil, add potatoes and cook 10-15 minutes until tender.

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Add sausage, bacon and onion back to the pot.

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And now the final magic ingredient… Heavy Cream.  I know…  I told you I’m a soup snob… I like the good stuff.

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Take soup off the burner and add one cup of heavy cream.  Mix through soup.

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Here’s my recipe below… with no kale.  Enjoy!

Zuppa Toscana Soup

1 lb. ground Italian sausage
4-5 slices of thick sliced bacon
1 diced onion
2-3 cloves of garlic
10-12 c. water
4-5 tablespoons of chicken bouillon
5-6 large russet potatoes
1 c. heavy cream

Brown Italian sausage, bacon, diced onion and garlic in large dutch oven.  Drain onto paper towel lined plate and set aside.  Set pot back on burner and add 10-12 cups of water.  Add 4-5 tablespoons of chicken bullion to water and bring to a boil.  Add sliced potatoes to water and boil about 10-15 minutes.  Pull pot off burner.  Add sausage and bacon to potatoes and mix in 1 cup of heavy cream.

Taco Soup

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It’s cold folks.  Down.  Right.  Frigid.

I needed a little something to warm us up by the fire for dinner and this seemed to be what the doctor ordered.  Now, I know most people already have a Taco Soup recipe, but… I didn’t… until recently.  So, if you want to give this one a whirl, stay tuned.

Here’s our wedding party.

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Now, about the tomatoes, I used crushed because my punks (particularly my youngest) don’t like chunks.  Then I mixed in a can of fire roasted, because I’m a s.u.c.k.e.r. for anything that is fire roasted.

Now, this fella down here is not a part of our wedding party, but wanted to be a part of things by trying to scare me throughout the entire soup-making process.  I would hate for you to feel left out of that experience, so…  enjoy.

Important to note:  This is also the punk who robbed me of all the flour I had left in the house to make his paper mache mask.

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Moving on…

Heat a large soup pot and brown your ground beef with the onion and garlic.  Add taco seasoning and 1c. of water.  Add remaining ingredients including remaining t 2c. of water.  Bring to a medium boil, then reduce and cover.  Simmer 15 minutes.

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Serve with desired toppings.  We love sour cream, shredded cheese and crushed tortilla chips.

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Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

I have not posted a recipe in a while because:

a.  I keep trying new things in the kitchen and forget my camera.

b.  I’ve been frustrated with the lighting in my kitchen to take pictures.

c.  I’ve been researching how to take better pictures in my kitchen.

d.  I’ve given up and have decided to go ahead and post another recipe.

Last week, I had a bad cold.  I crave, I crave, I crave homemade chicken noodle soup when I am sick.  The downside to this is that no one in my house makes it but me.  I could tell Ol’ Blue Eyes how to make it, but he was out-of-town.  So the moment he got back, I had him help me stir up some soup.

This is really simple, and is my standby recipe.  Here is what you will need.

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Typically, I use wide egg noodles, but I had these noodles in my pantry to use up.

First melt 3/4 stick of butter in a pan. 

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Finely chop onion and 2 cloves of garlic and saute in melted butter.  Mmmmm.

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Now, chop carrots and celery.  Add to pan and saute about 10 minutes, until tender.  I have a tendency to use more celery than carrots.  I don’t like my soup to be sweet from the carrots.

IMG_8051_edited-1 Now, if there’s one thing Ol’ Blue Eyes loves to do for me, it is debone a rotisserie chicken.  This is due to the fact that he snacks as he goes.Marriage is all about compromise, right?

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While he’s doing that, I put another pot of water on to boil for my noodles.  I always add a tablespoon or two of chicken bouillon to the water for extra flavor.  Trust me.  It’s just better this way.

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Once your vegetables are tender, add 4 cups of water and 2 tsp. of bouillon to your vegetables and let that come to a boil.

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Once your chicken is deboned, I dice the meat into bite size pieces and add to my vegetable mixture.

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Bring this up to a boil so that all the flavors can mix.

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Add some parsley… fresh if you have it!

About this time your noodles should be done.

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But we need to save that broth, so this is what I do.

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I know, it’s another pot, and we hate to do dishes, but we need to save the broth.  Ok?

Now, add your noodles to your soup.  Add broth as you need it.  (In my case, I used all but about a cup of the broth.)

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Serve with love.

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