Celebrating Fall’s Arrival: Taco Soup.

Taco Soup

Fall is my favorite season.  I love the exciting crispness in the air after 100 degree summers, I adore the excuse to buy new boots and jeans, and of course I love that it brings about the month of celebration for my birthday.

(You celebrate for a month, too, right?)

(As an aside, I’ve always wondered if there is any correlation to people’s favorite season and the season of their birth– especially when their birthday is right at the beginning of it, therefore associating the wonderful feelings of a brand new season with the glee and joy of their special day.  Is this true for you?)

I really enjoy celebrating the coolness of fall with soups and chilis.  Or, if necessary, pushing the season along by making those things in hopes that the chilly weather will soon follow.

(This strategy is often necessary in Alabama.)

One of my recent favorite recipes is from my friend Ashley.  She served it to us last year, and I embarrassed myself by how much I ate.

It was divine.

Besides the perfect flavors, what I love about this recipe is how easy it is to make,  and that it’s only half fresh-vegetable-chopping-labor-intensive.

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You chop a couple, and you get a few more out of cans.  Fresh yet easy – the best of both worlds.

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(What? You don’t have a grocery store called Piggly Wiggly?  I do hope yours doesn’t have some boring name…)

I’ve modified Ashley’s recipe a bit, so here’s my version:

  • 2 lb. Ground Beef (Her recipe calls for 1 pound, but I always double the meat in everything.  It increases the chances of my husband loving it by approximately 117%.)
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1 Bell Pepper
  • 5 Large Tomatillos (This is my addition – I have a previously documented addiction to Tomatillos.  If you can’t find these or don’t care for them, they’re totally optional.  They add a tart, green tomato/Salsa Verde flavor.)
  • 1 Can Tomato Soup
  • 1 Can of Vegetable Soup, no meat
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes
  • Ro-Tel Lime with Cilantro (Or Ro-Tel Original if you shop at tiny, oddly named grocery stores like me that don’t carry the entire lineup of Ro-Tel.)
  • 2 Cans of Corn (I also doubled the corn.  Everything is better with more corn.)
  • 1 Package of Taco Seasoning
  • 1 Package of powdered Ranch Dressing Mix
  • 1 Cup Water
  • Salt

Garnishes:

  • Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Fritos or Tortilla Chips

The recipe has three (THREE!!) simple steps:

  1. Brown and drain the ground beef.
  2. Cut the vegetables.
  3. Pour the cans (not drained) and powders in the pot with the above items.

Before cooking, it looks like this – beautiful and vibrant:

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Cook on low-medium for as long as you like but at least until the vegetables are soft.  After cooking, it looks like this – warm and cozy:

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Garnish with Cheese and Sour Cream, just like every meal should be treated.

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Chris also adds a chunk of Five Alarm Pepper Cheese to the middle of his soup, so if you need further help in convincing your man that this is a suitably masculine dish, he highly recommends it.

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(And if you want to add more heat without the cheese, you can also cut up a jalapeno and throw it in at the beginning.)

And the best part?  One bowl of Taco Soup, before garnishes, is only 280 Calories.

I call that winning.

So.  I need to know – is your favorite season the season of your birth?

Leave your comment below!

Comments

  1. That looks really good….I may make that tonight, thanks! My birthday is in March, and I do love spring….but fall is probably tied or at least a close second. There’s just something about the crisp days and pulling out your jackets and boots:) And eating soup. And drinking hot chocolate or a pumpkin latte. Ok, I’ll stop now…getting a little carried away:)

  2. Well…I light up come September-December, the BER months. I love fall and I love Christmas, and YES my birthday falls in November! So maybe that’s why I love it so much? I’ve always thought it’s just because I love cooler weather and the holidays, but maybe it runs back to me? ;) The soup looks divine and I too crank up soups/chili’s during these months, so I will try it! YUM!

  3. Oh, that looks delicious. I think I’m going to try it but sub tomato sauce for the tomato soup – hopefully that doesn’t ruin it!

    • Sounds totally reasonable to me! What purpose will that achieve? Now I’m quite curious…

      • I don’t really like tomato soup and therefore don’t have any in the house. Sad reason, huh? LOL Although! I just realized I don’t have any ranch dip either – might need to go to the grocery store anyway…

        • I’m impressed that you can construct anything from the contents of your pantry! Mine is not nearly so useful, with it’s five-year-old boxes of raisins and such…

  4. Mmmm…I LOVE taco soup. I have a go to recipe, but I’m always up for trying different ones, and I will definitely be giving this one a go.

    And, yes, my favorite season is Fall, and my birthday is Saturday, so whether or not the two correlating is a coincidence, it works for me.

    What day is your birthday?

  5. I LOVE FALL! Now that I am back up north and not on the coast of AL, it is wonderful. Crisp air, the smell of bonfires, beautiful trees changing color, pumpkins, apples, and cider. Then the holidays are right around the corner. Love, Love, Love!

    But I was born in May so no correlation for me! I like spring but fall makes my heart sing.

  6. My birthday and favorite seasons definitely do not coordinate…my birthday is in February and winter is my least favorite season! In fact, my birthday is really the only good thing about January – March. However, my mom and my husband are both November babies and fall is their favorite season…so maybe I’m just the oddball?

  7. Soup is one of my favorite things about fall. :-)

    My birthday is in August, which is kind of one of those in-between months. Summer is winding down, the heat has started to wear on me, and I’m looking forward to the cooler fall months.

    BUT. My birthday is awesome, because my husband and I share the same birthday! So we pretty much spend the whole month celebrating, too. :-)

    • See, I don’t think I’d like that! I prefer to be the ONLY special one on my special day! Clearly, I have a lot to learn about selflessness and sharing.

      • I didn’t know at first if I would like it, but the thing about my hubby is, he makes it all about me anyway. :-) Whatever I do for him, he outdoes me. He always makes me feel special.

        Plus, we register for all the free meal coupons we possibly can and eat out for free the entire week of our birthday. ;-)

  8. I love fall, even though I was a winter baby. My husband loves fall and he’s also an October birthday. So, I think that it’s just that autumn in wonderful.

  9. Re: favourite seasons. No, it’s not about your birthday, IMO. I’m born in June but fall is without a doubt my favourite season. I love the menu changes (lots of soups, stews, casseroles and so on) as well as the wardrobe changes. But for me, what really seals the deal are all the colours! The changing leaves are *so* beautiful… if I were a visual artist, I’m sure I would do nothing but create with all the natural inspiration around me. The fall rocks, hands down. That said, I must confess that I love it any time the seasons change and the menu changes too. :) I get a little bored of the same go-to recipes, so it’s nice to change it up with the seasons. This soup looks great! I’ll have to give it a try.

  10. My favorite season does not match with my birthday. My birthday is in the spring – which I do enjoy – usually I get to celebrate Mother’s Day and my birthday two consecutive weekends. Also, however, spring brings thunderstorms and the weather radio going off in the middle of the night – NOT my favorite. I love fall, too. New jeans, cozy sweaters, pumpkin spice coffee creamer, changing leaf color, no air conditioning – windows can be open night and day, your birthday even though I don’t even know you…I’ll stop there!

    And – yes – taco soup. I have a similar recipe – I think the magic is in the Rotel, ranch dressing and taco seasoning. Everything else can be a little different but if those match – it will be fabulous. I put mine in the crock pot after lunch and it’s perfect for supper – so it’s flexible as well. I’ll mention the scary cheese to my husband and sons – they’ll love that addition! Enjoy your special day!

  11. My birthday is early December but my favorite time of year is the fall. I love fall and I LOVE Halloween. Christmas is way down on my list of favorites (I know, what’s wrong with me, right?)
    The soup looks tasty!!

  12. There is definitely a correlation for my husband. To him the best month is October- his birthday, Halloween, and fall weather all together! But I also love fall, and I’m a spring baby. Though I do love spring too- the blooming flowers, the warmth!

    And yes, it is definitely the right season for warm, comforting foods. I have an Italian pot roast from Slow Cooker Revolution in the crock pot right now!

  13. My birthday is in January, and winter is my least favorite season. Growing up, I always loved Summer. No school, swimming pools, playing with friends all day… But I find that the older I get, the more I love fall. I think it’s because of the food and clothes though. I love anything with pumpkin in it, which is a staple of fall, and I am growing more and more fond of sweaters and boots. I have been window shopping new boots for weeks now!

  14. I’m surprised no one has commented regarding Piggly Wiggly! :) “I’m big on the pig!” My SIL graduated high school in 2010. When she was in school, the big fashion thing was Piggly Wiggly shirts that said “I’m big on the pig!” on the back. Weird kids!

    • I’ve heard that those are huge in South Carolina – I have a friend there that informed me of such! We don’t wear the shirts around here, but we love The Pig!

  15. Love it! Doubling the meat definitely increases the chance of my husband loving it too! Mmmmmmmmmmmm yummy!

  16. Oh, and while our grocery store name isn’t as funny as Piggly Wiggly, I think King Soopers is pretty weird.

  17. This recipe made me drool a little bit.

  18. I have to say yes probably my birthday does probably have a correlation between my favorite season. I am also an October birthday (We really do Rock!) and my favorite season is the Fall, although I will be the first to admit Florida doesn’t get it for long but now that I live in North Florida I get it a little longer than I did growing up in Tampa. I too love the crispness and coolness (again in Florida even a little cool weather is appreciated) but I have to think my birthday and that of my dad, sister and now nephew add to my love of it. October and November are busy months in my family.

    The soup sounds great I am passing it along to my mom. We don’t have any piggly wiggly’s here but I have shopped in many on vacations in Georgia, and Alabama.

  19. My favorite season is fall as well. But I’m a summer baby. I have come to believe that my love of fall is due to my internal need for hibernation. I’m a home body. I like to go out and all but I just like to be home. And in Oregon the perfect fall is and Indian summer fall. Which we are having this year. It’s super bright and sunny but the air is crisp enough so that you can wear a light sweater. And fall colors are my favorite, too!

  20. Yes! I was born towards the latter end of fall (Dec. 8) and surprise, surprise, my favorite season is not actually a season at all but the transition from fall to winter. So basically the whole month of December. I mean, how could I not love a month that ensures I get presents twice?

  21. Yum! I have a similar recipe but I am totally going to add the ranch dressing packet! That sounds like it would be so good! My birthday is in July and summer is by far my favorite season so it’s true for me! But T’s bday is in February and his favorite season is Fall. I love Fall too but not as much as summer!

  22. Kitty Engle says:

    I definitely do not like my birthday month, December, seven days before Christmas. YUK. For years I have been trying to change it to April 18 because nothing is happening. April is also my favorite month.

  23. My birthday is December 1st, so it is easily forgotten in the fog of a turkey/Black Friday hangover. I do like that I can technically say I was born in fall, which is my favorite time of year.
    My mom told me I was due November 12 (talk about way overdue or a serious miscalculation, right?) and when midnight hit on December 1st, she cried because she wasn’t having a November baby (which I think is funny).

    • My kids birthdays sandwich Christmas – 12/19 and 1/8. It is SO hard to prepare for and handle the onslaught of holidays and celebrations from Thanksgiving through the last birthday! So I understand your Black Friday issues.

  24. Oh my gosh…this looks good! I have a similar recipe, but I’m going to try yours. It sounds better. :)

    As for favorite seasons…I do love Fall, but I was born in September and it’s usually not Fall-esque yet. As much as I love Fall, I think I enjoy Spring more. How’s that for complicated?

  25. Leanna Thompson says:

    YES!!! First day of summer and yes I know when all the other equinoxes are. It boggles the minds of my family when I say today is the first day of Fall, Winter,
    Spring or Summer. LOVE swim time and all the fruit that comes in the summer. If I could garden I would.

  26. Made this for dinner tonight. It was a great use of our leftover taco meat and everybody (even Willow!) loved it. If I’d had more time I think it would have make a great crock pot meal. Thanks.

    • That’s great!! Your kids are better eaters than mine – Ali says it’s too spicy. But then again, she also says that any carbonated drink is too spicy.

  27. polymathamy says:

    Regarding: “Cook on low-medium for as long as you like but at least until the vegetables are soft.” – How long are we talking here? Is this something I can whip up after work, or does it need an hour or two to simmer?

  28. Ahh, yes. The Pig. We have many things from there…my husband is their wine/beer buyer ;)

  29. Delicious and low calorie! Who KNEW!!!!

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