I was talking to a friend the other day and happened to mention that, since the weather had, at long last, taken a bit of a cool turn, I had decided to make some soup and had a new recipe for Taco Soup made in the crockpot. She replied that she makes taco soup all of the time, adding that her recipe wasn't anything complicated, just ground beef and “a bunch of cans of various things.” Huh. “That sounds like the recipe I'm using,” I told her. So, I mentioned this to another friend who said pretty much the same thing. When this happened again with a third friend it was really time to stop the madness. How is it that everyone seemed to know about this recipe but me? How is it that people have been making this delicious soup for years and I didn't know about it? How can this be?! Well, it be! So, on the off chance that there is, I don't know, maybe one or two of you, living under a rock as, apparently, I have, here is the ubiquitous recipe that is easy, delicious, crowd pleasing and can double as a soup, or topping for taco salad. There are a lot of variations, but this is the recipe that I used.
Slow Cooker Taco Soup
1 pound ground chuck
1 package taco seasoning mix (or 2 heaping tablespoons homemade taco seasoning)
1 package Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
1 cup frozen corn
1 can black beans, undrained
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1 red onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 cup Bloody Mary mix (I used Zing Zang)
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; cook and break up beef until evenly browned, and no pink remains. Drain and discard any excess grease. Transfer beef to a slow cooker and top with the taco seasoning and ranch dressing mix. Add the tomatoes and green chiles, corn, and black beans, all with their liquid, to the slow cooker. Stir in the black olives, onion, bell pepper, and Bloody Mary mix. Cook on low setting for 5 hours.
Serve hot in bowls garnished with additional grated cheese, chopped scallions, chunks of tomato, avocado, cilantro, tortilla chips, and sour cream.
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