{feeds about 10 people, depending on your people}

Taco Soup

1 lb. ground beef

1/2 lb. ground hot breakfast sausage

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1 can black beans

1 can light red kidney beans

1 can cannellini beans or other white beans

1 can Rotel tomatoes with juice {tomatoes with green chiles}

1 small can chopped green chiles 

1 1/2 cups frozen whole kernel corn

1 packet of taco seasoning

1 packet of dry Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix

1 squirt tomato paste
1 teaspoon brown sugar

3-5 jalapeno rings, chopped {jarred or fresh} optional

In a big, heavy pot, brown the beef and sausage with the onions. Tilt the pan and scoop out about 3/4 of the grease and discard, keeping a little grease for flavor. Dump in the cans of beans, Rotel tomatoes, chopped green chiles, corn, seasonings, sugar, and chopped jalapenos. Stir together and add a little water or more to get the liquid how you want it. I like it a little thicker with less liquid. You may also add a small can of tomato sauce or tomato paste to thicken and make it more tomatoe-y if you like.

Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, adding more water as you need. Allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes, preferably 45-50 minutes to develop flavor. Taste as you go, adding salt and pepper, more liquid, etc.

Serve with corn chips, fire crackers or tortilla chips. And top with chopped tomatoes, black olives, cilantro, green onions, shredded cheese, and sour cream.

Fire Crackers

6 sleeves saltine crackers (off-brands turn into mush)

1 packet dry Hidden Valley Ranch dressing/dip mix

1 3/4 cup canola oil

2 teaspoons dill

Heavy shakes crushed red pepper flakes

Remove crackers from sleeves and line up like dominos in an air-tight container with a lid. In a 2-cup measuring cup or small bowl, combine oil and seasonings. Stir well. Pour mixture over crackers, making sure to drizzle every row in the container! Put lid on, and immediately invert the container upside down. Let sit a half hour or so. Flip the container upright, unpside down, upright, etc. every half-hour. You can also give the container an easy shake! Crackers are ready to eat in about 2 hours after they have absorbed all of the oil! Add more red pepper and dill if you’d like!

Find out more about Euna Mae’s and Amy Hannon.