Well, if you have been to Asia, especially South Korea, you will know that Korean food is way different from American. When my missionary friends took me to Taco Bell for the first time, I thought I would never survive in America for longer than a month. I thought if all American food was like this.. I could never live here for a year and a half! (Sorry to all Taco Bell fans.. I'm just not a fan!)
Well, after going through lots of stomachaches getting used to American food, here I am... running a food blog and most of the food that I post here are American style food. After a year and a half of my wonderful experiences as a missionary, I went back to Korea for about three months before I came back here for school. Well, for a while, I was in heaven. I got to try all the Korean food that I craved while I was in America. I mean, they have Korean restaurants here but they are not the same. Just like they say Mexican food here is different from the ones in Mexico?? I would never know because I've never been to Mexico. But then after about a month or so, I started craving American food. Not McDonald's or Pizza Hut, but like meatloaf, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese... well you get the picture.
Then I really craved Mexican food. I wasn't introduced to a lot of ethnic foods until I came all the way across the Pacific Ocean to America. What is it? Why does America have so many different kinds of food? (I'm not complaining, really) In Korea, they have two kinds of restaurants - all things Korean or fast food. They don't have Mexican food, Thai food, Indian food, Brazilian food, etc. Seriously, if there was one reason to keep me here in America, it'd be food, well, besides my family, of course.
Okay, the point of this long, long intro (I never talk this much really) is that one of dishes I craved the most (besides stuffed mushrooms) when I was back in Korea for three months was this warm, spicy, filling taco soup. But it was impossible to get these ingredients there. No sour cream, no taco seasoning, no canned tomatoes, and cheese is so darn expensive there! But now I can have one my favorite soups whenever I want! So here is the recipe for easy taco soup. And the bottom line is... don't take it for granted. It's the things that you think you'll never miss you will miss the most. :)
- 1 1/2 pounds extra lean ground beef
- 2 cups diced onions (I didn't add this due to my husband's hatred toward onions)
- 1 (15 1/2-ounce) can pinto beans
- 1 (15 1/2-ounce) can pink kidney beans
- 1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
- 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
- 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can tomatoes with chiles
- 2 (4 1/2-ounce) cans diced green chiles
- 1 (4.6-ounce) can black olives, drained and sliced
- 1 (1 1/4-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
- 1 (1-ounce) package ranch salad dressing mix
- Corn chips, for serving
- Sour cream, for garnish
- Grated cheddar cheese, for garnish
- Chopped green onions, for garnish
- Pickled Jalapenos, for garnish
Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet; drain the excess fat, then transfer the browned beef and onions to a large slow cooker or a stockpot.
Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, green chilies, black olives, (green olives), taco seasoning, and ranch dressing mix, and cook in a slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours or simmer over low heat for about 1 hour in a pot on the stove.
To serve, place a few corn chips in each bowl and ladle soup over them. Top with sour cream, cheese, green onions and jalapenos.