Taco Soup

Taco soup is a zesty thick authentic Mexican dish from the southwest. Fast and easy make it in one pot or take a few extra minutes in the morning to put it in the slow cooker. Packed with tasty savory spices, it satisfies the hungriest eater so double the pot. The fresh blends will heat your bones on a chilly day and brighten the mood on a rainy night. Use any variety of beans or a combination of any seven.

Get the soup started. You will need:

7 cups water (it will reduce to juice as it simmers)

Package taco seasoning (or use a taco-seasoning blend of your own spices)

3 ounces salt pork cut into small dime size cubes

Fill up the pot with seven cups of tap water. Add the taco-seasoning stir vigorously with a wire whisk to incorporate with the water. Drop in the salt pork and stir to distribute evenly as it will lie flat on the bottom of the pot’s surface until it becomes warm and floats to the top. Heat on medium until the soup comes to a high rolling boil and then reduces the heat to simmer. Discard the salt pork or leave it in for the long run.

Next, add your vegetables:

1 small yellow onion, peeled and diced (do not sauté)

2 (15 oz) cans crushed tomatoes (or large #303 can)

Turn up the heat. Add the onion and tomatoes to the pot. Stir and bring to a slow boil. The onions will float to the edges as it cooks. Cover the pot and sweat the onions until done.

The next ingredients add some texture to your soup:

1 (15 oz) can of golden hominy (drained)

1 (15 oz) can of black beans (drained and rinsed)

Stir the soup and add hominy and black beans to the pot. Return to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer. Check seasonings after for 20 minutes and it is ready to eat. Put extra house condiments on the table for those who want to kick up the heat. Load up the soup bowls and let them set for a few minutes before you pass them round the table.

If you prefer to change the hominy and black beans, use kernel corn and pinto beans. Use small pasta stars instead of the hominy or corn. You can serve taco soup with fresh tostadas chips, fried cornbread or baked cornbread with a crusty top. For sides, try a hot roasted red pepper and cauliflower dish and guacamole salad. For a variation to the taco soup, you can also make a salsa style soup and serve it with cheddar-filled quesadillas.

Fresh cantaloupe and rainbow sherbet make a good dessert after a spicy meal. Thin crispy Sopapillas with brown sugar and cinnamon are also favorites. As a refreshing beverage for a taco soup meal, try limeade or lime punch.