Soups & Stews

Not-Too-Spicy Taco Soup

(from Pat Hall)

This is one of the three soups Pat served Liz and me on that cold, winter day I told you about. This soup was our favorite and has become our kids’ as well as our friends’ favorite. I usually double the recipe so we’ll have leftovers or so we’ll have some to take to someone in need of a meal.

Other than frying the hamburger, you basically open the cans of the below ingredients and throw them in. No rocket science here! I make mine in a crock pot so it can simmer all day. Great for football game watchin’ or tailgatin’.

1 pound of hamburger
½ chopped onion (I omit this, not being a fan of onions, so you decide.)
1 can white corn
1 can ranch beans
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can pinto beans (Here I substitute black beans only because I’m not endeared to pinto beans and because the black beans make the soup more Mexican-ish. Any educated chef just rolled his eyes over that little comment.)
1 can diced green chilies
1 package taco seasoning
1 package ranch dressing


  • Brown the hamburger, draining off the grease.
  • Add the taco seasoning with the required amount of water, stirring until thickened.
  • Set aside so that if you’re using the onion, you can brown it in a separate pan with a little bit of olive oil.
  • Once the onion is browned, you can add all the cans, the meat, and the ranch mix, allowing it all to simmer.
  • Either a big soup pot on the stove or a crock pot works well.

Pat has tried this with Italian sausage instead of hamburger and said it’s good that way too. We both like serving this with a little bit of sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and corn bread, Fritos, or tortilla chips. Enjoy!


White Lightning Texas Chili

(from Diane Kennedy)

This recipe has brought Diane lots of fame not only from her hometown of Danville, but especially when her son, Patrick, attended Centre College, but here in Louisville as well. What you’ll love about this delicious chili is how she serves it. You’ll find further details near the end of the recipe. (Petite details like this make recipes that much more fun and festive.) Serve this at home or also as a tailgating option.

1 pound dried navy beans
4 – 14 ½-ounce cans chicken broth
1 large onion, chopped (if you like onion!)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon ground white pepper
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cloves
5 cups chopped cooked chicken
2 4-ounce cans chopped green chilies
1 cup water
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
8 8-inch flour tortillas


  • Using a large, Dutch oven, sort and wash beans, covering with water about two inches above the beans.
  • Soak for 8 hours. Drain beans and return to Dutch oven. Discard liquid.
  • Add three cans of chicken broth and the next seven ingredients.
  • Bring mixture to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer covered two hours, until beans are tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Add remaining can of chicken broth, chicken, and next three ingredients.
  • Cover and simmer one hour, stirring occasionally.
  • With kitchen shears, make four cuts in each tortilla toward, but not through the center.
  • Line each serving bowl with tortilla, overlapping the cut edges.
  • Spoon in chili and top with cheese, salsa and sour cream.

Serves 8 (with some leftover) and can be made a day ahead, served from a crock pot for a crowd pleaser!