Monday, October 8, 2012

Tacobeany Soup

This soup is the kind of comfort-food recipe that you make on an extremely cold day. The kind of day where winter begins creeping into fall and temperatures drop too quickly for your taste.
Oh, my mistake, I was describing this weekend.

As temperatures dropped into the 50s this week (30s in early morning), I knew it was time to whip up a big bowl of Tacobeany Soup. This recipe is incredibly easy and gives the chef (you) a lot of leeway in choosing your spices and the proportion of ingredients.

To make this hearty recipe, grab the following ingredients:

1 box ditalini
olive oil
1 lb ground beef or sirloin
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cans chicken broth
1 14-oz can of kidney beans, drained
1 24-oz jar of great northern beans, undrained
1 14-oz can petite diced tomatoes
several pinches salt
several pinches fresh cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons red pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper
several basil leaves, torn

Grab a gigantic pot and boil some salted water for your ditalini. Boil your ditalini  for 4-5 minutes so it's halfway cooked. Drain your pasta and set it aside.

Next, heat some olive oil in your pot. Brown your beef, onions, garlic, salt, and pepper in the pot.

A quick note on mincing your garlic - as much as I love the flavor garlic adds, I've always loathed chopping it. My fingers get all sticky, and the tiny pieces of garlic go everywhere. So, I'll let you in on my little secret: the OXO Good Grips Mini Chopper.
Here's how it works - you take your little cloves of garlic.

Using your nails, peel off the skin so you have a naked clove.

Next, grab your chopper.

Pull out the platform and stick your garlic on it. Then, place the top back on and push the button over and over again as fast as you can.

Voila! Instant minutely minced garlic that would have taken ages by hand.

It's been my saving grace for the past year when it comes to finely mincing garlic and onions in a hurry. Grab one for yourself here.

Alright, sorry for that detour. Back to the soup.
After your meat is browned, dump all the other ingredients into your pot and give it a good stir. Again, feel free to play with some spices here if something else seems like a good idea. Add a bay leaf, some paprika, some cayenne - whatever you have available!

Let your soup simmer for one hour. When it's done, you'll have a hearty pot of soul-warming goodness to combat the approaching winter.

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