Pantry Pull: Taco Soup

Yeah, spare the haughty lectures about using canned foods. There are times I want a bowl of beans, but it's about instant gratification and not wanting to wait four hours while the beans soak and later cook. And no, I do not want another appliance to hang out on my counter like the "instant pot." And yes, I always have in my pantry a bag of dried white "Navy" beans, a bag of dried black beans, and a bag of dried split peas for those days when I will do some meal planning. If canned beans are good enough for some of Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa's recipes, then they're good enough for me. 

There's a lot of room for flexibility in this recipe as you're not limited to creating and resources. Such as if you don't have a can of corn in the pantry, then toss in a cup or more of frozen corn kernels. I have also substituted "southwest corn" as it includes diced green and red bell peppers. The recipe said a can of baked-type of vegetarian bean. I didn't have any, so substituted a vegetarian chili-like red bean. Also, some cans may be labeled at 14 or 16 ounces, instead of the 15 ounces as per the recipe. No matter, the differences in ounces are not going to affect the soup. 

If you want to add meat, fry up ground beef or turkey, or add shredded cooked chicken. Want more vegetables? Saute up diced onions and peppers. The ideas are endless and substitutions can be easy depending on what's in your pantry. No diced tomatoes? Use a can of whole tomatoes and give them a crush, or even just use tomato sauce. Also, don't have time to wait on the slow cooker, simmer in a pot for at least 20-30 minutes. And no, they didn't taste like "canned" beans. 

One each of the following: 

1 1/2 oz. envelope dry taco seasoning mix

15 oz. can of corn (or a can of hominy)

15 oz. can of diced tomatoes

15 oz. can of vegetarian baked beans

15 oz. can black beans

That's it! Toss it all in a pot or a slow cooker. Don't drain the cans. Allow cooking until warm. If you want to thin the soup a bit, use a bit of water or broth. 

  • Add some freshness. Top with cilantro, sliced avocado,  green onions, a dollop of sour cream, your choice of shredded cheese, tortilla chips, - or even a fried or poached egg. 


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