Monday, August 25, 2014

Taco Soup

Ever have leftover taco meat and not feel like eating tacos again?  Run out of taco shells?  Or have a spouse and kids who refuse to eat leftovers?  Then how about a recipe that uses taco meat from the dinner before and re-invents the 2 meals-in-1 concept?!?!  

One cold evening in the early spring, my husband was working late and I was trying to be creative with leftovers while making a healthy dinner that my children would be excited about.  Then it hit me - they love soup, so why not take my leftover taco meat and make a taco soup?  And what could make it even better?  How about a cheesy quesadilla dipper?  They could dip it in their soup of just eat it along side for some extra calcium and protein.  It was a HUGE hit!  This was so simple and you could really use it  to sneak in vegetables and any leftovers you want to hide.  Love it!

Happy Cooking!

Quick Taco Soup
original recipe by Sarah to serve a family of 4 for dinner
1/2 cup of chopped onion
1/2 cup of chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 cup of leftover ground turkey taco meat (any kind would work, as long as it is already seasoned with taco seasoning)
1/2 cup of leftover brown rice or beans (or both - whatever you have and know your kids will eat)
1 cup of vegetable juice
3 cups of vegetable or chicken stock  (you can add more liquid if you prefer more broth - just keep the same ratio of 1 part vegetable juice to 3 parts chicken stock)
1 cup of frozen spinach or kale
extra hot sauce for seasoning, served on the side
shredded cheese and flour tortillas to make quesadilla dippers (optional)

In a large pan over medium-high heat, saute the onion, carrot, and celery with 1 T of olive oil.  Stir frequently and continue to cook until tender, about 7-10 minutes.  Add the vegetable juice and broth, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Add the frozen vegetables and the leftovers, stir to combine.  Bring back to a boil and continue to cook until heated through.

Serve with quesadilla dippers should you so choose!  My kids loved dipping them into the soup.  Just smack some cheese between two flour tortillas and place in a frying pan or panini press over medium heat (be sure its sprayed with cooking spray).  Watch it carefully as the tortilla can easily burn.  Once browned, flip over and brown the other side.  Remove from the pan and cut with a pizza cutter into triangles.  I also served the adults some extra hot sauce for the soup to make it a little spicier.  Enjoy!!!

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