MK is turning 39 this week! To celebrate his birthday, I am making his favorite cuisine: Mexican food.
My cooking style is pretty eclectic. I make decent pan seared scallops, halibut fish sticks, bolognese sauce a la Mario Batali style, seafood paella, Japanese Sea Bass, Taiwanese Rice Noodle, blueberry pancakes, oxtail soup, etc. Mexican cuisine is something I haven’t explored. Maybe it’s because we live in Southern California, where killer Mexican restaurants can be found in practically every neighborhood. Being that Burrito was MK’s favorite college staple, and today my patient just happened to gift me with his taco soup recipe that he swears by during his weekly clinic visit, I decided to give Taco Soup a try.
First, the trip to the grocery store proved to be pretty daunting. I am a fresh produce, butcher meat kind of girl. As I stood there in the canned food isle, already exhausted after a long day in the clinic complete with two complicated stereotactic radiosurgery cases, I felt an overwhelming need to step back and re-evaluate my situation. Humm…. should we just go out to celebrate his birthday as MK suggested? I have a long day of work on his birthday; why am I making it more difficult for myself? Just looking at the walls upon walls of different types of beans and diced tomatoes was enough to sent me into a hyperventilated state. I don’t bet an eye lash calculating the biologic effective dose of various radiation dose regimen, but columns and rows of beans and tomatoes scare the hell out of me. Should I get the diced tomato Mexican style or the diced tomato with bell peppers and celery or the fire roasted diced tomato? Or how about that Italian style? Wait, what’s the difference between that and the diced tomato with basil?
Twenty minutes of some deep self evaluation (didn’t think that was possible in a busy grocery store), I eventually opted for simplicity and selected my arsenal of canned goods and made my way home. After dinner and bedtime routine, I laid out my goodies and set to work. The plan was to make the soup ahead of time so that I have enough time to make fresh guacamole, heat up the tortilla, make sure Plum’s done with her nightly homework and piano practice, etc all before 6pm on the day of the birthday dinner.
The soup turned out DELICIOUS! Best of all, it’s a one pot deal, so there is very little to clean up (besides recycling all those cans). Here’s the recipe:
Eats: Taco Soup
Makes 4 serving
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 1 lb sirloin ground beef (optional; can leave out if making vegetarian taco soup)
- 1 medium sweet onion, chopped finely
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 15 oz can black beans
- 1 15 ozcan kindney beans
- 1 15 oz can pinto or white beans
- 1 15 oz can whole kernel corn
- 1 15 oz diced tomato
- 1 15 oz tomato sauce
- 1 4 oz diced green chili
- Brown ground beef with onion, peppers, and taco seasoning
- Drain the oil
- Add all the canned goodies with juice; add the tomato sauce last
- Bring to boil, then simmer for 20 minutes; stirring occasionally
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Top with fresh parsley; or sour cream or shreded cheese
Voila! It takes less than 40 minutes to prep and makes for great comfort food. You can prepare ahead of time like I did, and just warm it up when getting the rest of your dinner ready. Enjoy!