Friday, August 24, 2012

Paula Deen's Taco Soup Recipe

I always say that my three "go to gals" in the kitchen are Betty, Paula, and Martha (Betty Crocker, Paula Deen, and Martha Stewart).  I've said it several times before and I'll probably say it a hundred times over, but for everyday basic recipes, my Betty Crocker cookbook is wonderful.  If I could recommend one cookbook to beginner cooks, this would be it.  

But for holiday and event planning, I have to go with Martha.  I subscribe to her magazine off and on, but always buy the holiday editions.  Her party planning skills top the list for me - not just menu ideas and timing it all out, but cook-ahead tips, decorations, you name it. 

And then there's Paula.  Is her food the healthiest?  No.  Does she claim that it is?  No.  But no one does low country comfort food better.  I've never been disappointed by one of her recipes.  Last year Michael and I took a trip to Savannah, GA and got the opportunity to eat at her restaurant, The Lady & Sons.  Check that one off the bucket list!  The food was impeccable - it was everything you'd expect and more (including the serving sizes, YIKES!)

 The Lady & Sons
Savannah, GA

This is one of our favorite soup recipes, courtesy of Paula Deen.  To make it a little healthier, I serve it with greek yogurt in place of sour cream, use reduced fat shredded cheese, and leave off the corn chips.  You could also use ground turkey in place of the ground beef to cut even more calories.  (Following the recipe below, with 1 T. greek yogurt and 2 T. shredded low-fat cheese, it's about 7 points per serving.)

Paula Deen's Taco Soup
(taken from


-2 pounds ground beef
-2 cups diced onions
-2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans pinto beans
-1 (15 1/2-ounce) can pink kidney beans
-1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
-1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
-1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
-1 (14 1/2-ounce) can tomatoes with chiles
-2 (4 1/2-ounce) cans diced green chiles
-1 (4.6-ounce) can black olives, drained and sliced, optional
-1/2 cup green olives, sliced, optional
-1 (1 1/4-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
-1 (1-ounce) package ranch salad dressing mix
-2 to 4 c. chicken stock (this is not part of Paula's recipe, but I find that it helps, especially when reheating to have some extra liquid.)
-Corn chips, for serving
-Sour cream, for garnish (I used non-fat greek yogurt)
-Grated cheese, for garnish
-Chopped green onions, for garnish
-Pickled jalapenos, for garnish


1.  Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet; drain the excess fat, then transfer the browned beef and onions to a large slow cooker or a stockpot. (I usually brown the beef and onions directly in the stockpot).

2.  Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, green chiles, black olives, green olives, chicken stock, taco seasoning, and ranch dressing mix, and cook in a slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours or simmer over low heat for about 1 hour in a pot on the stove.

add beans & corn 
 add tomatoes, chilies, & olives
add spices & chicken stock
simmer about an hour

**To serve, place a few corn chips in each bowl and ladle soup over them. Top with sour cream, cheese, green onions and jalapenos. (I suggest serving soup with a dollop of greek yogurt, green onions, and jalapenos and low-fat shredded cheese.  If you use corn chips, try one of the baked varieties.)

printable recipe

by the way,
happy Mexican food friday!
Love, Mama

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