Taco Soup

A favorite fall meal of mine is taco soup! It's another quick way to get a hearty and healthy meal on the table for your family. The ReadyStrainer even gets to be used twice for this meal! Bonus!

Last year our family signed up to get local grass-fed beef from a friend who raised them himself. This meant we had an entire freezer full of beef all at once. It was immediately obvious we needed a quick, delicious and healthy meal to make using ground beef as easy as possible during those busy weeknights. And everyone in the family needed to love it, as we were going to be eating it often. This is where my love for taco soup blossomed. I always enjoyed eating it growing up, but after learning how easy this was to make, my fondness grew ten-fold.

Enough about why I like it, let's get to the important part! There are only five ingredients to this soup – 1 pound cooked hamburger, 1 can whole kernel corn, 1 can beans, 1 can diced tomatoes and 3 Tbsp. taco seasoning. I did not specify the type of beans because we change this up all the time. The original recipe calls for kidney beans, but my family doesn't like kidney beans as much as pinto beans, black beans or white beans. Pinto beans are the most common replacement, but mixing it up keeps things fresh.

Another bonus to this recipe is how flexible it is. Did you start dinner for your family of four and learn that the in-laws are coming over in fifteen minutes to join you? Not a problem! Add an extra can of beans and an extra can of diced tomatoes and you've got yourself some extra servings without any added work!

The recipe begins by cooking up the hamburger. Depending on the type of hamburger you buy, it is very likely there will be some extra grease at the bottom of the pan. I don't want this in my soup, nor do I want it down my kitchen sink. The ReadyStrainer makes it easy to strain the grease from the cooked hamburger and capture it in a tin can for disposal.

This leads to my favorite feature of the ReadyStrainer – the ability to carry strained goods across my kitchen from the sink to the stove without losing a single drop! When the cooked hamburger is strained, simply tilt the spout upwards and carry the ReadyStrainer back to the stove and return the hamburger to the pan. I don't have to worry about making a mess on my counters, my kitchen floor, or my children who are inevitably at my feet looking for snacks throughout this process. Phew!

At this point I can add the undrained can of corn, the diced tomatoes and the taco seasoning to the hamburger and start to bring everything up to temperature. Feel free to be more or less generous with the taco seasoning, depending on your family's taste.

The final step is to prepare the beans. Beans from a can should always be drained and rinsed. The same ReadyStrainer that was used to strain the hamburger is now back at the sink and ready to strain and rinse beans. Glorious! And once again, the beans can be cleanly walked across the kitchen and poured into the taco soup.

Once the soup is warm, it is ready to serve! And if you are feeling fancy, add some shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, cilantro and chunks of avocado. Delicious!

As the weather cools down, we hope your family gathers around the table and warms themselves with some delicious taco soup.

Happy cooking!