Thursday, January 22, 2009

Taco Soup

Yet another suggestion from Brian and his family! The original un-tweaked recipe can be found here at RecipeZaar, but mine is a bit different.

When I first looked at the soup recipe and saw the calorie content in that sucker I was incredibly hesitant to try it. I ran down the list of ingredients and figured I could make a lower calorie version of this without much effort and decided to give it a go. My tweaked version can be found below.


* 1 1/2 lb ground turkey
* 1 white onion, diced
* 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can tomato sauce
* 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can corn
* 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans ranch style beans
* 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes
* 1 ounce taco seasoning
* 1 ounce powdered ranch dressing mix
* 1 tsp paprika
* 6 ounces diet cola, I used Coke Zero, but Diet Dr Pepper will also work
* 1 tsp garlic powder
* 4 cloves of garlic, smashed and added whole
* 1 tsp oregano
* 1 tsp cumin
* 1 tsp seasoning salt

I started off by browning the turkey with the onions. You can also opt to add the garlic at this point. The whole cloves were an after thought for me, so I didn't add them until later, but if when I do this recipe again, I would add them now.

The best way to dice onions is to cut in half, and then make long slits without going through the onion entirely. It makes it much easier to keep the onion from slipping around and you get a nice uniform cut.

While that cooked up, I added everything else into the crock pot, starting with the canned items. Beans, corn, tomato sauce and tomatoes, and then the special secret ingredient...

Yes! 8 ounces of soda. The original recipe called for regular Dr Pepper or Coke, which adds an extra 100 calories to the dish. If you don't like diet, or soda, you can also use beer, the alcohol will cook off I swear. I didn't even taste the diet soda in the soup honestly, but it did add a nice sweetness.

Next I measured out the spices in my little kitchen scale.

Below are my tweaks and additions to the soup; fresh garlic, oregano, seasoning salt, and cumin.

Next I drained the grease from the mean and onions (there wasn't much on the turkey, but I can imagine how much there is in the beef version), and added it to the soup, stirring and mixing it all in the crock pot.

I let it simmer for most of the day on low for about 6 hours, and served it with mini pepper jack quesadillas on the side, which are very easy to make and just require some cheese, and 2 corn tortillas. They were great for dipping.

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