Quin and I got together to make some Taco Soup. It was easy, and fun! We used a thermal cooker to finish cooking it and to keep it hot until dinner time.
Do you want to try cooking with your parent? Taco Soup is a great way to start. Quin is 11 and did everything by himself. I took the photos and helped him remember what the next step in the recipe was.
Taco Soup Recipe
We got our recipe from a cookbook for called “Lets Make Sense of Thermal Cooking” by Cindy Miller. She uses the same thermal cooker as me so it makes it easy to use it.
Quin decided to change ingredients a little, I’ll show you what he did as we go along.
We used the Saratoga Jack’s Thermal Cooker to cook the soup, and keep it hot until the family was ready to eat. (also on Facebook) There are different sizes of thermal cookers. Mine is about 10 years old and still works great!
Quin chose to use some hamburger instead of the chicken in the recipe. He doesn’t like beans very much, so he only added one can of beans. The recipe also calls for corn, green peppers, and cilantro. Quin’s doesn’t like those, so we left those out, too.
The nice thing about making something like Taco Soup is that you can add things you like, and leave out things you don’t.
Ready to Get Started!
The first thing Quin did was wash his hands really well. He loves to play and do things with his hands so they were a bit dirty before we started. Even if my hands look clean, I wash them before I start cooking or baking. Germs are tiny and hard to see. Soap and water will wash them right down the drain on a fluffy bubble train.
Quin knows how to hold a knife and chop things without cutting himself. You might want your mom to do this part. Kids usually don’t like raw onions, Quin doesn’t, either. We’ll cook the onions later so they don’t taste spicy.
Next we chopped the veggies. You can have your parent or older person chop the veggies if you are worried about cutting your fingers.
You can also wear a special glove to protect your fingers. I have these gloves at home.
Blending Veggies for the Soup
Put the tomatoes in the blender first. Blend them up into a mushy mess. Then add the carrots and celery so they will get chopped up with the tomatoes.
You can add some water or some chicken stock if the veggies aren’t soupy enough to blend well.
Some families have chopped garlic in the refrigerator so you don’t have to chop it yourself. It’s fun for Quin to push the garlic through the press. He loves garlic! I think this was Quin’s favorite thing to do while he was making Taco Soup.
Cook the Onions and Garlic
Put the inside pot from your Saratoga Jacks Thermal cooker on the stove. We can cook in that so we have less mess to clean up later.
Measure the oil (3 tablespoons) into the pot. Put the onions and garlic in the pot. Cook them until the onions aren’t crunchy anymore. You can check with the spoon that you use to stir them to see if they are still crunchy.
Quin put the onions and garlic in first, then they oil. That works, too!
Add the ground beef, or the chicken, or whatever meat you want into the pot.
Cook the meat until it’s done. Ground beef will be brown like a hamburger. You won’t see any pink in the meat.
Add the blended veggies to the pot. I know, they don’t look delicious. They kind of look green and weird. But they taste good! Add the beans, too!
If you are like Quin and don’t like beans, you can only add one can like Quin did. If you have a big family you are trying to feed, you probably need to add more meat. If you don’t add meat instead of beans, you won’t have enough to feed your family dinner.
It’s okay if you don’t want to add beans at all. That makes it hamburger soup instead of Taco soup. Hamburger soup is delicious, too!
Finishing Up the Soup
Add a package of Taco Seasoning to the soup. Quin doesn’t like spicy food very much, so he only added 1/2 package of Taco Seasoning. He added a bit more salt, too. Mix the seasonings in and taste it with a clean spoon. Do you like the flavor? Do you need to add a bit more salt like Quin did?
Boil the soup for 2 minutes so it’s nice and hot. Boiling means that you should have bubbles coming up through the liquid. Keep stirring so you don’t burn your soup!
When you’re done boiling the soup, put the lid on the pot.
Put the pot inside the thermal cooker. You’re done except for cleaning up!
The thermal cooker will keep your soup hot for hours until you and your family are ready to eat dinner.
When you are ready to eat, take some toppings out of the fridge. Quin likes shredded cheese and sour cream. You might like to add some salsa on top, too.
Taco soup is also good with some tortilla strips.
If your family has a busy Saturday, this is a great meal to get ready before you head out for your busy day. It will be hot and ready to eat when you get home. Or you can take it in the car with you along with some paper bowls and plastic spoons. It will be ready for a cold weather picnic.
Do you have favorite things to cook with your family? Would you like Quin to cook something else for you?
I hope you give Taco Soup a try!
Have a great week!