Yesterday, Michigan got hit with a huge snow storm. Here is a picture of my front yard. This was taken around 10:30 yesterday morning and it snowed all day and well into the night.
As you can imagine, schools closed today. To keep myself busy and warm, I decided to use up some veggies I had that were starting to go bad and made this wonderful Mexican Soup.
It takes about an hour of active time to make, then about another hour to let it sit to cool before it can be put away.
It yields 12 cups, which makes it perfect for freezing! This super healthy soup can be customized to suit your tastes, what you have on hand, and your wallet.
But enough talk, let’s get to it!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 red onion
- 1 pound ground turkey, beef, or grilled chicken
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning, I used this recipe for mine.
- 1 can black beans
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 4 cups sweet corn, frozen
- 3 tablespoons cilantro
- 3 cups spinach
- 1 medium zucchini
- 2 cups dry quinoa*
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
*Note: You can use whatever grains you have on hand for this. I’ve made this with rice and quinoa only, but pasta would work out well too.
Start by opening, draining, and rinsing the black beans and any other canned vegetables you plan on using. Dump them in a big mixing bowl.
Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, length wise and add to the bowl. Measure out the frozen corn and add to the bowl.
Chopping finely, chop the cilantro, spinach, and zucchini.
Lastly, chop the red onion as you see fit. In a pan, cook up the ground turkey if it is still raw. I used left over turkey from taco night the night before. Add the seasoning and stir.
In a big stock pot, add olive oil and onions, stirring them to coat the onions before turning the burner on to medium heat.
Saute the onions until just about translucent. Add the seasoned turkey or grilled chicken now.
Note: If using left over meat that is already seasoned, then you may need to add half a cup of water to help the meat not stick to the pan.
Heat the onion/meat mixture through.
Add the mixing bowl full of veggies to the pan and stir to combine.
Add 8 cups of water to the pan and bring to a simmer.
During this time, measure out your chia seeds (if using) and add them.
When it starts to bubble, add the quinoa and stir it together.
Let this cook for 15-20 minutes or until you start to see ‘tails’ on the quinoa.
Once the quinoa is cooked, take the pot off of the heat and let it sit on the stove. During this time, the quinoa will continue to absorb water. This is normal.
You want to let it sit long enough to hand being scooped into containers before being put in the fridge and freezer.
Because the quinoa absorbs the water so much, it will turn from a soup to a stew in the fridge. If this is preferable, then eat it as is. If not, then add half of the amount of water to soup. For example, if you scoop out 1 cup, then use 1/2 cup water to bring it back to a soup consistency. This doesn’t diminish the flavor or make it watery, but you could always use broth instead if you’d like.
I purposely keep this soup on the bland side, because my throat doesn’t like spicy foods when I’m sick. So when meal time comes and I reheat it, I like to add my own add ins.
- Cheeses like a Mexican blend, swiss, goat, and Italian blend are all great
- Hot sauces
- Tortilla chips
This will vary due to the specific ingredients used, but this is what the soup has for one cup (I use half cup per serving).
Also ignore the fact that it says “Chicken and Rice”. This soup started as that and has morphed with each creation. I’m just too lazy to update it. 😛