In honor of the first snow of the fall, it is offically Taco Soup Day! So make this taco soup - it is the perfect cold day food :)
All I can say is holy cow this soup is good! The corn and sweet potatoes bring a soft sweetness than balances out the cumin and red pepper nicely, while the onions and celery offer up the fantastic aromatics I have come to love about Thrive vegetables. And the instant black beans? These are great because you don't have to remember to soak them the night before. Plus they have, um, well, fewer "side effects". :)
1 1/2c Thrive Instant Black Beans
1/2c Thrive Taco TVP
2T Thrive Corn
2T Thrive Onion
2T Thrive Celery
3T Thrive Sweet Potatoes
1/2t Garlic Powder
1/2t Ground Red Pepper (or Red Pepper Flakes)
For Garnish: shredded cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, salsa
In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add black beans, taco TVP, corn, onions, celery, sweet potatoes and seasonings.
At this point I decided to add a can of petite diced tomatoes and a small can of diced green chiles. Yeah, I know, it's not in the pictures. It was a last minute decision :) You could also throw in a can of jalapenos - maybe even a diced zucchini. That would be really good. Now I wish I had a zucchini.
Reduce the heat and let everything simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally. After about an hour, give it a taste and adjust the seasonings at your discretion. I like my soup to have a nice kick to it, but feel free to add more or less seasonings to suit your taste. Garnish with shredded cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips and/or salsa before serving.
* Are you afraid of TVP? Don't be. TVP, or textured vegetable protein, is a delicious meat alternative that is made from soy flour. It is an excellent source of low fat protein, and is quite inexpensive. There is a great little article about it here.