This taco soup recipe satisfies with two types of corn: white kernels of delicious hominy and golden kernels of sweet corn. Plus, it has ground beef or turkey, black beans, diced red tomatoes, and pink pinto beans. Top each serving with sour cream, shredded Cheddar, olives, and corn chips for a veritable feast!
Hominy is dense, chewy, and delicious. It was developed by Native Americans as a way to make their varieties of hard flint corn softer for grinding.
Hominy is made by cooking whole kernels of corn in a solution of lime or lye - a process known today as nixtamalization. The thick and tough outer hull of corn is softened and partly detached from the kernel by this pretreatment. The hulls are then easy to rub off and wash away through thorough rinsing.
Cumin, an ingredient in this recipe, is the dried seed of a small member of the parsley family and is one of the most commonly used spices in the world. It has been in use since at least the second millennium B.C.E. (1001-2000 B.C.E.), and was mentioned in the Bible as being a seasoning for soup and bread.
In ages past, cumin was considered to be a symbol of love and fidelity. It was customary to carry cumin seeds in one's pocket during a wedding ceremony and to send married soldiers into service with a loaf of cumin bread.
(Adapted from Taste of Home Soups: Hominy Taco Chili)
1 pound ground turkey or ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup water
2 envelopes taco seasoning mix
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed (15 oz. each)
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed (15 oz.)
2 cans hominy, drained (25 oz. each)
1 can whole kernel yellow corn, drained (15.25 oz.)
2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained (14.5 oz. each)
1 can chopped green chilies (4.5 oz.)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
shredded Cheddar cheese
sliced black olives
1. Cook: In a 6 quart Dutch oven, cook the meat, salt, onion, and garlic over medium heat until all pink is gone; drain.
2. Add: Stir in the water and envelopes of taco and ranch mix.
3. Drain and Rinse: Holding or positioning a strainer over the sink, pour in the black beans and allow the canning liquid to drain off. Rinse the beans with running water. Let excess water pass through, then add beans to the Dutch oven.
4. Drain and rinse the pinto beans in the same manner.
5. Add: Add hominy to the Dutch oven after draining off extra liquid. (Not all brands of hominy contain enough liquid to bother with draining.)
6. Add: Add drained whole kernel yellow corn.
7. Add: Stir in diced tomatoes, green chilies, cumin, and black pepper.
8. Simmer: Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 35 minutes. Stir occasionally.
9. Garnish: Ladle soup into bowls and top with sour cream, corn chips, shredded cheddar cheese, and black olives.
Like the calm of glowing embers, bask in the comfort of these soups...
Bansal, Anshul, Vaibhav Bansal, and Rajeshwar Singh. "Cumin: A Spice or a Drug? | World Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences - Academia.edu." Academia.edu - Share Research. Accessed December 30, 2015. http://www.academia.edu/6913848/Cumin_A_spice_or_a_drug.
Cheney, Mark F. "Nixtamalization, Cornerstone of a Culture." Academia.edu - Share Research. Accessed December 28, 2015. http://www.academia.edu/5871838/Nixtamalization_Cornerstone_of_a_Culture_-_IMS_Explorer_May_2013.
Diemer-Eaton, Jessica. "Hominy: An Original Native American Dish." Woodland Indian Educational Programs. Accessed December 28, 2015. http://www.woodlandindianedu.com/hominy.html.
Maskevich, Adam. "Is Cumin The Most Globetrotting Spice In The World? : The Salt : NPR." NPR.org. Last modified March 13, 2015. http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/03/11/392317352/is-cumin-the-most-globalized-spice-in-the-world.
McGee, Harold. "Seeds: Grains, Legumes, and Nuts." In On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, 451-514. New York: Scribner, 2004.
Taste of Home Books. "Bean and Lentil." In Taste of Home Soups, 183-200. Greendale, WI: Taste of Home Books, 2012.
"Wonders of Cumin." Documents Pour Le Developpements Durable. Accessed December 30, 2015. http://www.doc-developpement-durable.org/file/Culture-epices/cumin/Cumin.pdf.