Oh, baby. I am turning into one heck of a cook. Watch out, Canada. I'm taking over a Sobey's (pronounced: Publix) near you.
I know this is going to sound crazy, but I made a soup. Not just any ole soup; Mrs. Blackwell's Taco Soup. Her daughter, Sally, is one of my best friends and every year over the holidays her mom would make her famous Taco Soup for me. Okay, maybe not for just me, but don't burst my bubble here. I like to think of myself as her favorite, and therefore deserving of my own batch of Taco Soup.
A few years ago she gave me the recipe, immaculately written in cursive on a cute recipe card. I didn't have a recipe box at the time, nor did I have a clue how to cook, so I did the obvious thing - I gave it to my mother. That way my mom could also make it and I would get two batches. Brilliant, right?
Finally, while I was at my parent's house over the holidays, I copied the recipe in hopes that maybe, just maybe, my new found culinary skills would be up to the task. I do own my own slow cooker (pronounced: Crockpot) now, you know. Plus, I have decided that The Canadian and I could use a little bit of trimming on our waist lines. This soup seemed a good place to start as it isn't our typical rice-based or pasta-based meal.
Here's how it's done. Aren't you glad you've got me around to teach you things like snowshoeing and soup making?
1. Get the ingredients out and line them up like soldiers. Look at them - not a single noodle or grain of rice. I'm so proud of myself.
2. This part was tricky. I've never attempted cooking ground beef before. You laugh, but it's true. For those of you on my level, you simply buy lean ground beef, dump it in a pan or skillet, or whatever its called, and turn on the stove. Then you take your ummm...I don't know what the wood spatula thing is called...and poke it, mash it, chop it, and move it around until it turns brown.
3. Meanwhile, take 2 cans of black beans and dump them in your lime green colander. If you don't have a lime green colander then you need to get one because it adds a nice splash of color to your kitchen. Wash the beans under cold water. Then shake the whole thing around until all the water is gone.
4. Get your trusty crockpot out of the pantry. Dump in one can of tomato sauce. This is not to be confused with tomato paste, apparently there is a major difference.
5. Toss in a can of kernel corn. Careful not to cut yourself on all these cans. They can be a little feisty.
6. Add a can of diced tomatoes to the mix also. Juice and everything.
7. This is the best part. The part that makes it all worthwhile. I was too busy drooling to take a photo. Add two cans of green chilis.
8. Add your freshly rinsed black beans from the lime green colander.
9. Add one can of kidney beans. My recipe called for chili beans but when I went to the store I couldn't find any can labeled 'chili beans.' Finally, after consulting with two different managers, we deduced that chili beans are in fact kidney beans. I don't know why Mrs. Blackwell couldn't have just written kidney beans and saved me twenty minutes. But, I'm not complaining. No sir, not at all. Not this eskimo.
9. Kick your black dog out of your way. How did she get there anyway? She's like a ninja.
Yum. It's starting to make my mouth water. And make Hobie drool. She does that around food. She can't help it. It's a genetic flaw.
10. Pour in a packet of taco mix. For those of you worried about sodium, go ahead and make your own taco mix-like spice concoction. I'm just not that creative. And slightly lazy.
11. Everything is better with ranch, so go ahead and pour in a packet of that too.
12. The precarious ground beef should be done cooking by now. Add that into the pot as well.
13. At this point it's very thick and chunky. Add two cups of water. I only added one cup because the second cup was going to make it overflow. Thus making a mess and I had already done that all on my own, thank you very much.
14. The finished product. It just needs a little stirring. If you're making this on the stove top it should cook for 45 minutes. If you're cooking it in a crockpot it can cook all damn day if you want.
15. Serve with crackers, cheese, sour cream, or cheese quesidillas. Or nothing. Or something completely different. Whatever floats your boat. I would love to show you final photos, but I forgot to take them. And then I portioned it out and put it in the freezer to save for a snowy day - and that doesn't make for a pretty photo. You all know what frozen tupperware looks like anyway.
Oh, did I mention this took about 15 minutes to prepare? It did.
Thanks for listening.