Bowl of Homesickness

Scent is the sense most closely linked to memory. To that, I would also like to add taste. Whenever I’m feeling a tinge bit homesick in the midst of this chilly weather, I turn to a nice bowl of something comforting. For some people that may be some good ole chicken ‘n’ dumplings or gumbo.

For me, it’s this taco soup. My mom has made this for years and it’s one of my favorites. While I tend to shy away from recipes that use too many seasoning-packets and other Sandra Lee-like additions, this soup is just SO delicious. And if it comes from Paula Deen you know it has to be good. I’ve turned it into a veggie-friendly version which I swear is just as hearty (and a bit healthier).

Vegetarian Taco Soup
adapted from Paula Deen recipe

  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 (15 ½-ounce) can pinto beans
  • 1 (15 ½-ounce) can red kidney beans
  • 1 (15 ½-ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (15 ¼-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (14 ½-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (14 ½-ounce) can Rotel
  • 1 (1 ¼-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 (1-ounce) package ranch salad dressing mix
  • 8 ounces meatless soy crumbles (i.e. Boca), thawed
  • 2 cups water
  • tortilla chips
  • sour cream, for garnish
  • grated Cheddar cheese, for garnish
  • chopped green onions, for garnish
  • Pickled jalapenos, for garnish

(1) Rinse and drain all the beans and corn.
(2) Sauté the onions and garlic in a large stockpot until soft and translucent.
(3)  Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, taco seasoning, and ranch dressing mix, and simmer over low heat for about 45 minutes.
(4)  Crumble in the soy crumbles and add them as well as 2 cups of water to the soup. Simmer for another 15-20 minutes.
(5)  To serve, place a few tortilla chips in each bowl and ladle soup over them. Top with sour cream, cheese, green onions and jalapenos.

Makes 12-16 servings

Luckily, I will not be homesick too long for I will be coming home very soon– tonight in fact 🙂 I leave right after work today and will be in Georgia later this evening just in time to be showered by goodies from Mama Choo herself.

I hope everyone else traveling has a safe journey– and a wonderful Thanksgiving, ya’ll!

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