Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Inventing Recipes - Never a Planned Exercise

Five years ago, almost exactly, I invented a recipe out of necessity to use up thawed meat and ingredients I had on hand.  Since I was not raised in the kitchen, stepping away from recipes and just making things on the fly isn't something that has come naturally to me.  I can make some things without them now, but mostly I've memorized the ingredients and techniques and use standard ingredients - stir-frys, curries, gumbo, etc.

Tonight, however, was Wednesday, which means that Oz was working late.  I had planned to make shepherd's pie, but when 5 o'clock rolled around, I had absolutely no inclination to make mashed potatoes, brown the meat, put it all together, and wait.  The kids were puttering around, and so I asked them if they wanted shepherd's pie or if they'd rather just have tomato soup and grilled cheese.  They were fine with the latter.

But then… after I'd dumped the soup into a pot and was rummaging through the fridge for the cheese for sandwiches, I ran across a small container of leftover taco beef that I'd nearly forgotten about.  And I got an idea. And thus Sarah's Tomato Taco Soup was born.  The kids loved it.  And they wanted me to share the recipe with you so that the deliciousness can be passed on to others.  If you try it, let me know!  And enjoy!
I'm sort of a food snob, so this was the tomato soup I used.  You use what works for you.
Pacific Foods have no idea who I am or that I buy their product.
A few notes before you begin reading the recipe:  When I make taco meat, I sauté the ground beef and onions together, then add seasoning.  I make up my own taco seasoning using chili powder, cumin, salt and a little bit of pepper.  Very simple.  I used Velveeta in my recipe tonight since I was using up the last of it for the grilled cheese, but just about any sort of real cheese would probably work as well or better - cheddar, Mexican blend, whatever.

Sarah's Tomato Taco Soup

1 box or can tomato soup (not condensed is probably preferable)
1 c. cooked, seasoned taco meat/onions
2-3 oz. shredded cheese
1/2 c. corn salsa
Extra taco seasoning (chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper), to taste
Tortilla chips for dipping

Begin by heating the soup, then add the other ingredients.  Stir until the cheese melts.  Season to taste.  Serve hot.


Gillian said...

I love inventing dinners! And that sounds really good.

In the linked one, were those garbanzo beans/chickpeas in there too?

Sarah said...

There were garbanzo beans in there… but they didn't add much to the dish, so I don't usually add them. I have, however, swapped them out for the meat if I'm making a vegetarian dinner :)

Beth said...

Yum! Me wantum! Right now! And it surely has nothing to do with the no food at all talking ;)