a view from the laundry pile…

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Taco soup…and nachos!

on June 13, 2012

While I’m not “queen” of the one-pot cookers I believe I am, at very least, somewhere in the royal family (and, if you suggest “princess,” Fred would, no doubt, heartily agree…). My interest levels are determined by the number of items that will need to be washed when I’m through cooking the dish – and slowly decline with every utensil and pan needed for the recipe. Therefore, if I can do it in a single pot or, better yet, a slow cooker, it will be something that will be served in this house on a regular basis.

Although its June here in the Pacific Northwest, there is nothing that reminds me of summer yet. It’s still cold and wet and calls for something hot and filling for dinner.

What started out as my version, based on what I had on hand, of “taco soup” quickly progressed into something even more wonderful last night, “taco soup nachos…and a new family recipe was born. I’ve made taco soup before so I’m not exactly sure what happened this time to make it so thick. Perhaps it was because I used dried onions (had no fresh) or drained the corn – I don’t know. All I can say is this is what I did — and we really liked it.

LB’s Taco Soup Nachos

  • 1/2 Lb. Ground Beef (or veggie substitute), browned and drained.

To this add;

  • 1 package Taco Seasoning Mix (or 3 Tbs. equivalent – I buy this in bulk as it’s less expensive)
  • 1 package Ranch Dressing Mix (yeah, still sounds weird to me, too, but it doesn’t work the same without it)
  • 1 15.5 can Black Beans, drained (you can rinse them or not – your choice)
  • 1 14.5 oz. can Diced Tomatoes (I use small dice with garlic)
  • 1/2 of a 15.5 oz. can Corn, drained (or add the whole thing…or use a smaller can)
  • 1/2 of a 15 oz. can sliced Black Olives (see corn comment above)
  • 2 Tbs. dried Onion (fresh if you have it)
  •  1 10 oz. can Green Enchilada Sauce (red will not work as well)
  • 3 Tbs. Sour Cream (really good in chili, too)
  • 2 Tbs. Tomato Paste (I had leftover ‘Manwich-type” sauce and used that. I like improvising…most of the time it works and Fred lets me know when it doesn’t).

All of this goes in a large pan/pot. Bring it just to boiling then turn down the heat and simmer, on low, about an hour or so (giving it a stir, now and then, to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot). It’ll thicken nicely (even more so by the next day).

At this point you can eat it as soup (you can even add a liquid of your choice, such as water or stock, to thin it if you don’t like it so thick) or you can make it into nachos, or try both if you have enough (one pot, 2 different meals, may I add a little “yeehaw” here?).

To make the nachos, drain off all of the excess liquid (very important step), otherwise the chips can get a bit soggy (ick) and dump a few spoonfuls right over tortilla chips. Add some shredded cheese (our favorite is good old cheddar) and bake, broil, or microwave (your choice of methods) until the cheese has melted and is bubbly. I believe you will like this as well, if not better, than any restaurant nachos you’ve ever had.

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