Saturday, March 14, 2009

Wouldn’t You Like To Be A Pepper Too? – Dr. Pepper Taco Soup

Okay. Before we even begin reviewing today’s recipe, let me point out that I realize that you may already be wrinkling your nose and shaking your head in disbelief. I mean, come on, making a soup with canned veggies, seasoning packets, and with ... with ... with ... Dr. Pepper?!!

Well, folks, I stand guilty as charged. I made this soup. With Dr. Pepper. With canned stuff. With seasoning packets. And you know what? It delivered. After all, we've all see recipes for roasts made with soda, and I've even seen baked goods that have lemon/lime soda in them. Sodas function as a sweetener in stews and roasts. It's been eons since I had a Dr. Pepper, and for some reason, I just felt compelled to try it. Plus, I was curious to see what reactions I'd get here in blogland.

All the reviews about this soup were 5-star ravings, and while it’s quite simply a basic chili, it was easy to make and eaten down to the last drop. I will make this again, next time using my own spices and goodies, but it was well worth making it this way first to get a feel for what it is supposed to taste like.This kind of reminds me of recipes that you’d find in a community cookbook ... simple ingredients, no special bells and whistles required, and actually pretty tasty. I found this recipe as I was searching for some regional Texas foods, and this recipe kept popping up. Now, I’ve never been to Texas, except to change planes, and so I can’t really say how Texan’s feel about their Dr. Pepper. But as I said earlier, this got really good reviews. So, like the old commercial jingle that used to say, “Wouldn’t you like to be a pepper, too. Be a pepper, drink Dr. Pepper!,” I gave this a whirl.

Here we go:

1-1/2 lbs. Extra Lean Ground Beef
½ cup chopped onion
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
1 15 oz can corn
1 15 oz can ranch style beans (I'm sure any chili style beans would do)
1 packet taco seasoning (I used a wheat free/low sodium mix. Next time, I'll use my own blend)
1 packet ranch dressing mix (I used Hidden Valley brand; again, wheat free)
Dash Garlic Powder
12 oz Dr. Pepper

Shredded cheese (Please make me a happy gal and shred your own!)
Corn Chips

In a large stock pot, brown the ground beef and onions. Drain any fat. Add all the rest of the ingredients, except for the cheese and corn chips. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 30 minutes. Done. Garnish with shredded cheese and serve with corn chips. Note: The original recipe called for salt. There was no way I was going to add additional salt to this since the packets already contain sodium (and I used reduced sodium stuff). Garnish as you would for chili ... sour cream would be good, too. Also, some of the reviews I read suggested serving with cocktail peanuts on the side, too.Mmm. Have a bite! This tastes very similar to chili made with beer. I mean REALLY similar to it. Surprisingly, you can't taste the Dr. Pepper flavor at all. It has great texture with the beef, corn, tomatoes, and beans vying for attention. I really enjoyed the corn in it, and immediately thought how good this will this summer with fresh corn at my disposal. And, this is gluten free!
Do you ever dip corn chips into your chili?How about using the chip as a spoon?Go ahead, let your inner child out and just drop a few right into the soup!. My littlest one and I had lunch together today -- just the two of us while hubbyman took the older two out for lunch, and she gobbled it right up. Guess that means that she and I are Peppers.Would you like to be a pepper, too?

Now’s here’s something we hope you’ll really like .... Speaking of my little one, hubbyman took all three kids to the Portland Trailblazer’s game last night. For those who don’t follow sports, the Trailblazer’s are Portland’s Professional Basketball team. Anyway, my littlest trailblazer got all dressed up for the game – all on her own I might add. She wore her hair up and stuck a black and red pompom in her hair like a wig, and made a poster cheering on her hometown team. Well, during the game, the camera man pans the crowd and puts up photos of various fans on the gargantuan sized jumbo-tron screen.Isn't she a doll? (All my kids are charming.) My little miss got her picture up 7 times last night. Hubbyman said that the wee one’s photo was up more often and longer than anyone else. Considering that their seats were up in what we lovingly call the nose bleed section because they are up so high and far from the court, that’s pretty cool. Oh, and the cameraman also included my other two a couple times as well. Fun Stuff!


Marjie said...

Hooray! I'm the first comment, for once! Little Miss is darling, as usual, and I'm glad she got the award for most photogenic child in all of greater Portland. That is what they said, isn't it, really?

As for your soup, well, I'm not big on Dr. Pepper, but I sure do appreciate a good recipe with easy directions and ingredients. I'm even known to break the cardinal rule of cooking and use chicken or beef bouillon cubes! This looks like it was a good, filling meal, and if they're simple, too, what could be better than that?

Saturday hugs from your East Coast friend!

noble pig said...

OMG i would totally try it. I am not a purist or a food snob and heck it sounds interesting!

Thanks for sharing it.

Cheryl said...

That looks yummy! OK next time they go to a blazer game call me and we can meet and eat!! You are only 20 minutes away from me at the Memorial Coliseum!

Mediterranean kiwi said...

i must admit that i saw the photos before i read your post, and yes, i was kind of 'shocked' to see so many canned and packaged item as you said in the first paragraph - guilty as charged!!!!

this way of cooking is simply unknown in our house - nearly all ingredients are fresh, except beans which of course need a long cooking time since i am not too good with pressure cookers!

i recently bought a burrito kit (at least that's what i called it) containing a sachet of burrito sauce, a sachet of dressing and some burrito wraps - i must admit, i made up my own sauce and dressing, and used just the burrito wraps - now i don't know what to do with those two sachets that stand alone without their burrito wraps! i feel that it was my fault for not following the instructions on the packet, and wasting my money buying a product i couldn't get myself to use!!!

this should make a funny post - an lesson to be learnt in economically uncertain times

dp said...

The best part might be the fritos you use for dipping!

Jan said...

Love the look of that soup! Your little girl is sooo sweet!

Peter M said...

OK, I do find the Dr. Pepper addition unusual but here's where the power of a good food photo can tempt one to try something unconventional out.

This looks damn good!

Bellini Valli said...

Sometimes it just has to be done and works out really well:D

Dawn said...

Oh yeah! Good for you! I would totally do this too. Yum!

Kevin said...

That soup looks really tasty. I will have to try the Dr. Pepper.

Kerstin said...

How interesting - I feel like people use Dr. Pepper to marinate meat a lot, so I bet this would be good. I'm all for quicky and easy on weeknights!

prairierunner said...

Paula if I lived closer you couldn't keep me away! I'd be as round as beach ball.

Jan said...

I'm not averse to cutting corners, after all, it's not like we do it all the time. I'm making Beef Stroganoff tonight using a McCormick sauce mix. I don't follow the recipe on the pack, but I do like the mix, so what the hell.

I don't drink soda, ever, but I would try it in a recipe. I have heard of using cola in stews and braised beef dishes so why not Dr. Pepper in soup. It looks scrummy by the way.

Your little girl looks adorable, I'm not surprised she stole the show.

Pam said...

I love this! I've made a version of it several times, but not with the Dr. Pepper.

Grace said...

your pictures are particularly fabulous today, paula. and what a notion--my favorite soda in my favorite kind of soup. awesome. :)

Katherine Aucoin said...

As good as this soup looks, you have me sold. I'm have never been a food snib whenit comes to cans, sodas or packets.

Your daugther is beautiful! She is a show stopper for sure!

The Blonde Duck said...

You're brillant. Absolutely brilliant. I'm making this Wednesday.

Pam said...

Your little Blazer fan is too cute. How did I miss this soup? It looks FANTASTIC!

Anonymous said...

"Now, I’ve never been to Texas, except to change planes, and so I can’t really say how Texan’s feel about their Dr. Pepper."

Hahahaha! Are you kidding me? ;-) Dublin, Texas is the HOME of the original Dr. Pepper! People travel from miles and miles around to get the ORIGINAL Dr. Pepper. Which is not the same that you purchase in your groceries, but grocery Dr. Pepper works very well in this recipe.