There are times the ocean waves call for a slow, leisurely-made dinner...
something that unfolds slowly, tended to throughout the day as
the rains come down and the winds blow. That was one of our favorite
things about living in our small house by the sea; "cozy days,"
where books are left open to keep coming back to, projects are
worked on here and there, and some soft, slightly melancholy
music is playing in the background (Patty Griffin's cd Impossible
Dreams is perfect for this).
Other days, there is nothing you'd welcome so eagerly as
the sun--so you do, spending a large portion of the day beach
combing, exploring the tide pools, and perhaps daring to get
wet. Dinner time arrives at the same time you do, and then
what? Only a meal that is hearty, delicious, and easy to make
will do. And for that, there is nothing better that Nonni's
delicious Taco Soup.
Thanks for the recipes Nonni! :D
Nonni’s Taco Soup
Nonni says: "This soup recipe is large enough to feed a large family
of hungry ones! If you want to make a smaller batch just cut
everything in half. I use a large soup pot so nothing overflows."
2 lbs. fresh hamburger meat with the lowest fat content you can get
2 16 oz. cans kidney beans
2 16 oz. cans black beans
2 16 oz. cans pinto beans
2 16 oz. cans corn kernels (include the water inside can)
1 large can tomato sauce
one medium onion chopped
2 packets of Lawrys or Schilling Taco seasoning
2 cups water or chicken broth
1-2 teaspoons garlic salt
Cayenne pepper and Tabasco or other hot sauce if desired.
First fry the hamburger until it is well done and remove
from pan into a strainer. Using VERY hot water I briefly
rinse the hamburger to remove some of the residual fat.
Return the hamburger to the soup pot and add the packet
of Taco Seasoning and stir into the meat. Then add kidney
beans, black beans, pinto beans, corn-including the juices
in the can, the onion, tomato sauce, water or chicken broth
and garlic salt. Bring soup to a boil and let it simmer on low
heat for appx. 45 minutes. If you prefer spicier you can always
add cayenne or tabasco sauce or whatever you prefer.
Garnish soup as you serve it up into bowls with a dollop
of sour cream, some grates cheddar cheese, chopped green
onions or fresh chopped cilantro or crumbled tortilla chips.
Serve with crusty bread, or my favorite - Grandpa Jim’s authentic
Grandpa Jim’s Authentic Rustic Cornbread
"This is a very simple recipe and once you taste it you will certainly
have an appreciation for cornbread that is not cakey or sweet.....even
though that kind is certainly delicious also! Though it’s not exactly
healthy I love to immediately butter this while very hot and let
the butter melt. It is decadently delicious!"
My father used a 10 inch cast iron skillet when he prepared
this at least 4 times a week. He used cooking oil generously
to coat the inside of the skillet and he heated the skillet on the
stove top to a high temperature just before pouring in the batter
and transfering to the oven. Pre-Heat the oven to 500 degrees.
In a mixing bowl combine:
2 cups white corn meal
2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1/4 cup oil
Blend together and pour into the hot and well greased
cast iron skillet or pan. Bake at 500 degrees for 20 minutes.
Taco Soup is one of the first meals I think Nonni ever made me,
when I went up to meet her--what, five years ago? It was perfect, and
only added to the beauty of our surroundings and of our visit. Though
we've made it here at home many times also, it is--for me--one I will
always associate with "the sea." And the people I love who live near it.