tacos + soup = taco soup!


DISCLAIMER: There’s a high probability that we will be posting A LOT about tacos and Mexican food in general. We live in the land of green chili smothered everything, and we come from the land of Tex-Mex. It’s inevitable. 

Sundays are filled with the three C’s: church’ing, cleaning, and cooking. We thoroughly love Sundays (and no, that’s not sarcasm).

And now that fall has finally arrived in Colorado (it was in the 80s up until about a week ago), we are super excited to start busting out some soups.

Jason is usually the expert soup-maker. Here’s the proof, taken last winter:


I know, right?? Elizabeth may have contributed the artsy swirls of balsamic, but Jason definitely made the vegetable stock from scratch and probably even added some bacon and red pepper in there just because it was in the fridge. He’s cunning like that.

Anyway, THIS weekend was a little different. This weekend was the birthday of one of our dear friends — Becca “Campbell” Watkins.

We love Campbell immensely. We met her and the entire AU Arts Management clan back in 2008 and have since shared some of our favorite memories in the world with her: cutting down Christmas trees, eating jalapeño cheese balls, camping in Estes Park, drinking plenteous glasses of red wine chilled with plastic ice cubes, yearly pilgrimages to Dogfish Head Brewery and Rehoboth Beach, standing up with us as a bridesmaid at our wedding… the list is endless.


She’s also the one who introduced us to taco soup, one of the easiest and yummiest recipes that now makes an annual appearance in the Frels household. So to honor her birthday from afar, we decided to make it for our lunches this week. Here’s her original recipe:

2 cans of beans (black and/or kidney)
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can rotel
1 can corn
1 can water
1 pkg. ranch dressing mix
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 lb. browned meat (ground beef, turkey, or chicken)

Throw it all in a pot or crockpot and let simmer until heated and ready to eat. Easy peasy!

Unfortunately, we didn’t have all of the ingredients to make Campbell’s original recipe happen, so we improvised:

  • In lieu of canned beans, we cooked the dry black beans in our pantry instead. Covered with water, soaked overnight, and left to simmer for the morning, they turned out perfect.
  • We also didn’t have rotel. But we DID have tomatoes, onions, and green chilis. [Gotta love Denver’s endless supply of roadside fire roasted chilis!] So we chopped and sautéed an onion and four or five green chilis together before adding them into the mixture with the tomatoes.
  • Finally, we didn’t have taco seasoning but luckily Jason is the spice master and concocted a mixture that was equal parts cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika, oregano, and salt. Voila! Homemade taco seasoning!

Top it all with a little avocado, shredded cheese, cilantro, and your favorite taco toppings, and you have yourself a tasty taco soup, à la Campbell (NOT the soup company).

But if you’re making it and along the way you feel like just making a freakin’ taco. Do it. I know we did…


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