Taco Soup

Full of good-for-you veggies, beans and lean ground turkey, this Taco Soup is both healthy and full of flavor!

Full of good-for-you veggies, beans and lean ground turkey, this Taco Soup is both healthy and full of flavor!

This year, my oldest started kindergarten. Oh, how the time has flown by. It’s still hard for me to believe that my sweet and sassy little girl is getting on a school bus each and every morning.

We’re a week in and so far, so good. We’ve more or less seamlessly transitioned from one daycare stop to two different stops each morning and afternoon. I’m dropping a few hours at work which is helping me find time to keep up with two different school schedules plus evening swim lessons, as well as housework and feeding the family.

For me, the start of the school year was also the start of refocusing on ME. Like so many working parents out there, I’ve been struggling to keep up with everything and focusing on myself has not been the priority. Well, no more. New school year, new routine. With some adjustments to mealtime and a little extra prep before school started (big thanks to my mom who helped with this!), I’ve managed to have a healthy meal prepared for my husband and I for both lunch and dinner for the past week. I’ve even managed to get in a few workouts – go me!

Full of good-for-you veggies, beans and lean ground turkey, this Taco Soup is both healthy and full of flavor!

While it feels strange to be posting a soup in September, when it’s still 90F almost every day…. this Taco Soup is healthy and fairly quick to whip up (30-minute meal!), making it a fairly frequent star of our dinner table. Or my lunchbox. (Gotta love leftovers. 🙂 ) This soup is highly customizable, as you’ll see below in the Recipe Notes below, and full of flavor. Try it now to help you get through busy weeknights or save it off for later, when the weather finally cools off but either way, this is a recipe to remember.

Recipe Notes, Tips, & Serving Suggestions

  • I use homemade taco seasoning in this recipe. It’s easy to make (takes just a few minutes), keeps well, and I know exactly what is in it. However, you can totally buy a packet of taco seasoning at the grocery store – one packet is about 3 Tbs., the quantity you need for this recipe.
  • I’ve made this recipe with both lean ground beef as well as lean ground turkey. Feel free to use whichever you prefer.
  • Likewise, feel free to adjust the veggies and beans to your preferences. If you increase the quantities of everything, you’ll need more chicken broth and probably a bit more taco seasoning, but the soup is highly customizable so play around and taste as you go!
  • Toppings: Top with your favorite taco toppings – shredded Mexican or cheddar cheese, sour cream, chives, jalapenos… even fresh avocado.
  • Serving Suggestions: I find the soup is hearty on its own, but if you’d like, serve it with tortilla chips or corn bread.
  • This recipe freezes well, if you’re looking to stock your freezer with healthy meals for busy weeknights.

Full of good-for-you veggies, beans and lean ground turkey, this Taco Soup is both healthy and full of flavor!

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Full of good-for-you veggies, beans and lean ground turkey, this Taco Soup is both healthy and full of flavor!

Taco Soup

Full of good-for-you veggies, beans and lean ground turkey, this Taco Soup is both healthy and full of flavor!

Course Soup
Cuisine Tex-Mex
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 3 Tbs. (one store-bought packet) taco seasoning divided
  • 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes & green chiles
  • 1 15-oz. can corn drained
  • 1 15-oz. can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 32 oz. low-sodium chicken broth

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot set over medium heat, brown ground turkey, breaking into little pieces as it cooks, about 10 minutes.
  2. Drain any fat in the pot and return to stove. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 Tbs. of taco seasoning. Stir to coat ground turkey evenly.
  3. To pot, add diced tomatoes, corn, beans, chicken broth, and remaining 1 1/2 Tbs. taco seasoning. Stir to combine.
  4. Allow to cook for at least 15 minutes to allow flavors to meld, lowering heat if the soup starts to simmer or boil.

  5. Serve hot with choice of toppings and sides.

A Books n’ Cooks original.

Full of good-for-you veggies, beans and lean ground turkey, this Taco Soup is both healthy and full of flavor!

Rich & Easy Clam Chowder: Remix #SoupSwap

   Rich & Easy Clam Chowder takes just minutes to prep, and then simmers away in the slow cooker for an easy evening meal.

Rich & Easy Clam Chowder (Slow Cooker)

I first made a version of this Rich & Easy Clam Chowder years ago, back when I had just started this blog. The original post is embarrassing – I didn’t even include a picture. Insane, right?! Despite the sad state of that post, people continue to visit it, so I finally decided it was time to update the recipe – and National Soup Swap Day was the perfect excuse to do so.

Since I had never heard of National Soup Swap Day before this year, I’ll give you a bit of the background, compliments of Soup Swap. The holiday was officially founded on 2006 and has its roots in a Seattle man named Knox Gardner, who started swapping soup with his friends in an effort to bring some variation in soups (some times one batch is just too much to finish!) during a dreary season. Today, Soup Swap is on a mission to encourage healthy eating and community spirit through soup.

Rich & Easy Clam Chowder

 

This Rich & East Clam Chowder does make quite a large portion – easily enough to feed 6 – and is a comforting lunch or dinner during these cold weather months. As I went to remake my old recipe, I struggled to find the products I used. Everything was in different sizes, if I could find it at all, and many in different variations. So this recipe has been updated with what I was able to find in my local supermarket. I also added a bit more clams and did a bit more tweaking of the prep and quantities. I didn’t have any – I’m actually not a fan of clam chowder – but my hubby at it for 3 days straight, so I’ll call it a winner.

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Rich & Easy Clam Chowder

Rich & Easy Clam Chowder

Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 5
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 2 18.5 oz. cans of New England Clam Chowder
  • 2 18.5 oz. cans of creamy potato soup I used one with bacon and cheese
  • 3 6 1/2 oz. cans chopped clams drained of juices
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 1 pint half-and-half
  • 1 Tbs. ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Place olive oil and onion in a microwave safe bowl. Stir to coat. Microwave for 45-90 minutes, stirring halfway through, until onions are translucent.
  2. Add onion and remaining ingredients to the crock of a slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  3. Cook on low for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. Serve hot, with oyster crackers or saltines.

Thanks to Kate at Kate’s Recipe Box for hosting today’s group of bloggers in their celebration of National Soup Swap Day. Warm up this winter and check out their creations, below!

Slow Cooker Clam Chowder on Books n' Cooks

Slow Cooker Stuffed Pepper Soup #SundaySupper

Packed with veggies, lean ground beef and topped with rice, Slow Cooker Stuffed Pepper Soup will quickly become a favorite meal for busy weeknights.

Slow Cooker Stuffed Pepper Soup

Can you believe that school starts up in a few weeks? Or maybe, school has already started where you live… it’s nuts! I feel like this summer flew by in the blink of an eye.

This month features lots of recipes on the blog as well as on the Books n’ Cooks Facebook page for heading back to school. In particular, this weekend, the #SundaySupper crew have come together to bring you some great Back-to-School dinners, to help deal with those crazy hectic weeknights. From slow cooker and Instant Pot meals to skillet and sheet pan dinners, the #SundaySupper tastemakers have a great set of recipes to make school nights easier. You can find the list of those recipes at the bottom of this post.

Slow Cooker Stuffed Pepper Soup

It feels a bit weird to be posting a soup recipe when it’s 90-100F out, but I’ve really been enjoying this soup for both lunch and dinner this summer. I love that it’s packed with vegetables and even thought my hubby doesn’t like any of those vegetables, he does like this soup. I also love that it makes enough for leftovers for our family, making weekday lunches a bit easier. In fact, most frequently, I make a batch of this soup on Sunday morning, let it cook throughout the day, and then package it up for lunch for the week. Can’t go wrong with that. But for dinner, with a little prep ahead, it’s a life saver. I prep everything the night (or sometimes weekend) before and let the soup simmer away in the slow cooker all day. I love coming home to a meal that’s pretty much ready to plate!

Recipe Notes: 

  • Instead of using canned tomatoes, I have also made this with fresh tomatoes. If you have tomatoes on hand, dice 4-6 small to medium tomatoes (by weight, mine were about 18 ounces, diced). The result is a slightly sweeter soup.
  • I added an extra cup of chicken broth to this recipe, in part because I do make and portion this out for a week’s worth of lunches. I find that the rice soaks up some of the liquid when it sits in my fridge and is reheated, so 3 cups is necessary, instead of the 2 cups that the recipe originally calls for.
  • This recipe was written to make in the slow cooker, however, I’d imagine that it would do just fine simmering away on the stove for an hour or two if you prefer.
  • Prep Ahead: I have prepped everything the night before – everything before actually turning on the slow cooker – and stuck the slow cooker pot in the fridge for the night. Then returned to the slow cooker to cook the following morning. Everything worked out great and dinner was ready when I came home from work that evening.

Slow Cooker Stuffed Pepper Soup

Adapted from SkinnyTaste Fast and Slow (p. 50)

Serves 6

Ingredients: 

  • 1 lb. 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 c. reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2-14.5 oz. cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 3/4 c. canned tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbs. dried Italian seasoning
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 c. cooked white or brown rice (whatever you prefer)

In a large skillet set over medium heat. Stirring and breaking into small pieces every few minutes. When completely cooked, drain fat and transfer beef to a slow cooker. Return skillet to the stove and saute onions, bell peppers, and garlic until vegetables are translucent. Transfer to slow cooker. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, salt and black pepper to slow cooker and stir to combine.

Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.

Serve hot with 1/2 cup of rice.

Slow Cooker Stuffed Pepper Soup by Books n Cooks

More Back to School Dinners

Beef and Pork

Pastas, Soups, Rice and Stews

Poultry

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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Slow Cooker Beef Stew

We’re having unseasonably warm weather this year, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not craving your typical winter comfort foods, like pastas and stews. A very busy month has had me looking towards recipes that require little extra work from me and meals that make large quantities so that we’re set for leftovers for a couple days (or in this case, almost the entire week). This stew recipe, heavily adapted from my uncle’s recipe, fits that bill. It makes 14 HUGE, filling servings and with the exception of a few minutes chopping of some veggies, the dish can be set and forget to cook all day long.

I know I’ll be making this recipe a couple times over the next two months. Not just because we enjoy it, but because this week, both my hubby and I got hit with some craziness at work. Over the next 6 weeks, we each have a week of training, which tends to equate to long days with the other parent doing the majority of the kid-duties. Add that to a looming deadline for me on a huge project at work… life is going to be busy and a bit rough until mid-March.

I plan to do my best and continue posting as much as possible, but please forgive me if there’s a lack of posts on here or on social media. Please send positive thoughts that everything goes smoothly!

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

By Books n’ Cooks

Makes 14 2-Cup Servings

Add the following to a 7-quart (or larger) slow cooker and whisk to combine.

  • 32 oz. low-sodium beef broth
  • 32 oz. low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 6 Tbs. homemade stew seasoning (or 2 packets, if purchasing store-bought)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Then add the meat, potatoes, and vegetables:

  • 8 oz. sliced white button mushrooms
  • 7-8 oz. frozen peas
  • 1/2 an onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 lbs. lean stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces (trimmed of fat, if needed)
  • 6 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 medium potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces

Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 9-10 hours, until potatoes are soft and meat is tender.

A couple tablespoons at a time, whisk in:

  • 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

and allow stew to cook and thicken with the lid cracked another 15-30 minutes.

Serve hot, with a side salad and/or dinner roll.

Manly Meaty Chili

Manly Meaty Chili

Several years ago, some friends of ours entered the chili cook off contest at Pumpkin Chunkin. We never got to go, but we did get to test their award-winning (2nd place!) chili. This recipe is mine and my husband’s version of that recipe. Over the years, we’ve changed the prep and cooking methods slightly. We’ve also amended the ingredient list to better align with our kitchen staples and to omit some of the ingredients that are harder to find.

This chili is thick and meaty. It makes a huge batch. It’s a weekend recipe, because it takes a good 1-2 hours of prep and cook time followed by another couple of hours of simmering. We like to make it and have a bunch of friends over to help us eat it. When there’s leftovers, my husband will eat it for lunch every day until it’s gone.

Manly Meaty Chili & Bacon Corn Bread

Manly Meaty Chili

By Books n’ Cooks

Makes a ton

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the following meats. As each browns, move to a plate or bowl until ready to add to the stockpot:

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. hot Italian sausage
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
1 lb. bacon or turkey bacon (optional)

Meanwhile, set a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add

a little vegetable oil

When hot, add the following veggies, sauteing until soft:

2 bell peppers, small dice
2 large vidalia onions, small dice
10 cloves garlic, minced

When the veggies have softened, deglaze pan with

1 c. bourbon

Stir in the following ingredients and bring to a boil:

2 Tbs. taco seasoning
2 Tbs. chili powder
1 cap full of Hot Mrs. Dash or McCormick’s Perfect Pinch Southwest Blend
1/4 c. dried oregano
1/4 c. dried basil
24 oz. lager
2-8 oz. cans Rotelle
12 oz. tomato paste
28 oz. tomato sauce
8 oz. semi-sweet baker’s chocolate

When boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and add cooked meats as well as

1-15 oz. can kidney beans
1-15 oz. can black beans
1-15 oz. can Great Northern beans
1-15 oz. can pinto beans

Stir to combine. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and allow to cook for 2-3 hours.

Serve hot with your choice of toppings (i.e shredded cheddar cheese, minced onions, etc.) and side (i.e. tortilla chips, traditional corn bread, bacon corn bread (pictured above), etc)

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