Saturday, March 7, 2015

Taco Soup: A recipe that feels like home...

Here's a repost of a popular recipe. This recipe actually won me a $100 Visa gift card in a contest a few years ago! I just made this again the other day and it's sooooo good!

Home is where the.... food is.

Frito Lay asked me to share a recipe that reminds me of home, and my first thought was of my Mom's famous Taco Soup. Okay, maybe it's not exactly "famous", but this recipe was and is a favorite of mine, and I remember eating it throughout my childhood. Every kid get asked what their favorite food is when they are young, and my answer was always "soup"!

You know how when you recall certain memories, there is sometimes a scent or taste that goes with it? Like when I think of summer with my kiddos, I smell sunscreen. Or do you ever get a whiff of something and it just takes you back to a moment in time? Cuddling my new baby niece and smelling that clean baby skin smell takes me back to when I was a new mommy! And, for some reason that escapes me, the smell of cherry chapstick reminds me of being a kid!

My memories of coming home from college are somehow intertwined with this Taco Soup recipe. It seems like after a stressful Fall Semester, Mom just knew that this would be a nice, warm, and comforting meal to welcome me home for Christmas Break. I can't say for sure that this happened each of the 4 Fall semesters I endured enjoyed, but it was enough to make an impression. Especially after living on Ramon Noodles and PB&J, having a heaping and steaming bowl of Taco Soup was, well, like coming home! 

I have made this recipe for my own family, to take to friends who've just had babies, for when we've had guests over... I even made it in college myself once when I was in my apartment. I remember one time I bumped into a former youth pastor from my home church at the church I was attending during college. He looked like he was going through a tough time, so I invited him over for some Taco Soup. I remember he said something like, "Sure, I'm not above soup." I just thought, "Buddy, you've never tasted this soup."  But... that's a whole 'nother story!

It is still warm and sunny here in Michigan, so it's not quite Taco Soup weather yet. But as soon as the air turns a bit brisk and the leaves start descending from the trees, this will be one of the first "Fall Meals" I make.

And I'm sure it will still feel like coming home.

Mom's Taco Soup Recipe:

You will need:

2 lbs. ground beef
1 C chopped onion
2 cans stewed tomatoes (16 oz each)
1 can garbanzo beans (16 oz) or you can use Kidney beans, Cannelloni beans, or beans of your choice!
2 cans whole kernel corn (16 oz each)
2 can tomato sauce (28 oz each)
2 taco seasoning packets
hot sauce or salsa to taste


Brown beef and onion together; drain. Add tomatoes, beans, and corn (don't drain corn), then add tomato sauce, seasoning mix, and hot sauce or salsa if desired. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 1/2 hour.
Serve with bowls of toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips or Frito's, sliced avacados, etc.

Serves 12-15 (you could cut the quantities in half if needed). Freezes well!

Disclosure: this post is an entry into the Frito Lay Taste of Home Contest. They are providing me with a sample pack and will also be providing a prize for a giveaway coming this weekend.

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