The weather has been getting progressively cooler here. And that means soup season is upon us. Also, somehow, my schedule seems to be filling up, which means that I use my crock pot more often. This recipe is adapted from my grandma’s taco soup. It’s easy, feeds a crowd inexpensively, and just plain tastes good. If chicken isn’t your thing, feel free to use hamburger. No crock pot? You can easily make this recipe on the stove top, but in that case I’d definitely used canned beans instead of dry.
To start, add a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes and a can of corn kernels into your crock.
Then add dry or canned pinto beans and chicken breasts (I used whole, frozen). Also stir in a package of low sodium taco seasoning (or a tablespoon of your favorite homemade taco seasoning) and enough water to cover everything well. Turn your crock pot on low and walk away for 6-8 hours. Just before serving, remove the chicken and shred or dice it. Put it back in the soup, give it a stir and serve with crushed tortilla chips and shredded cheese. Yes, it really is that simple and so delicious.
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 can whole kernel corn
1 cup dried pinto beans (or one can pinto beans)
1 package low-sodium taco seasoning
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
water to cover
tortilla chips for serving
shredded cheese for serving
Place first 5 ingredients in a crock pot. Stir. Add enough water to cover. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high 4-6 hours.
Before serving, remove chicken from crock pot and dice or shred. Return to crock. Stir.
Serve with crumbled tortilla chips and shredded cheese.
The last few days have been unusually busy and exhausting. Even with no Friday night practice or Saturday game this weekend, I came to tonight feeling drained. Dinner had to be filling and simple. And, for my sanity, it had to be something no one would complain about. This recipe fits the bill. There are seldom any leftovers, but when there are, they make a great breakfast – just cook up an egg to your preference and voila! Or, you could toss in some green chile, scrambled egg and cheese and roll it all up in a tortilla (which is what my husband prefers). Anyway, for dinner, start by cubing up a large sweet potato (you could use two or three smaller ones, but I hate peeling the dang things). Then toss them into a hot skillet with some butter.
Turn the heat down to medium low or low (depending on how hot your burner is). Lid them and let them cook for a few minutes until they start to get brown. Stir them around and add 1/4-1/2 cup water to the pan and lid it again. When the water cooks off and the potatoes are mostly tender, add the sausage (which you can cut up before you start cooking or while the potatoes are cooking).My usual grocery store has stopped carrying full sized links of the smoked sausage brand I like best. Thankfully they still carry it in bratwurst-size links and they work just fine for this recipe.
Season with salt, pepper, onion powder and chile powder. Cook until the sausage starts to brown and the potatoes are completely tender.
Before anyone asks, yes, those are canned green beans on the plate. Yes, I ate them AND served them to my family. No, I am not ashamed. They’re convenient, quick and reminiscent of my childhood. Of course, they taste distinctly better if you add a little bacon grease, grated garlic (on my microplane so it is superfine) and black pepper to the pan and let it get toasty before you add the green beans. Which just happens to be exactly what I did.
1 large or 2-3 small sweet potatoes
14-16 oz of your favorite smoked sausage
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
Peel sweet potato and dice into 1/4″ cubes. Split sausage down the middle and cut into half moon shapes.
Heat non-stick skillet and butter over medium heat until hot. Add sweet potatoes, reduce heat and cover. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until potatoes start to brown. Stir, add water and replace lid. Cook until all water is gone and potatoes are mostly tender (5-10 minutes). Remove lid. Add sausage, salt, pepper, onion powder and chile. Continue cooking over medium low heat until sausage is brown and potatoes are tender.