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Spicy Taco Soup

Spicy Instant Pot Taco Soup from 101 Cookbooks’ Heidi Swanson

Our mid-October weather has finally turned cooler, putting hot soup back on the menu for the coming months. This recipe comes from Heidi Swanson, proprietor of a very popular vegetarian website, 101 Cookbooks. I haven’t used many of Heidi’s recipes because: a.) I’m not a vegetarian, although I eat lots of veg-based meals; and b.) Heidi tends to use ingredients that I would call “crunchy,” as in 1970’s era “crunchy granola.”

Therefore I was pleasantly surprised when I found that her taco soup calls for regular ingredients: canned beans, packaged taco seasoning ( ! ) and jarred salsa. She’s a vegetarian so she adds quinoa, but quinoa has become mainstream for us omnivores and it adds high-quality protein. If you haven't tried quinoa yet, this recipe is a great introduction. All you do is stir it in and allow it to cook with everything else. Couldn't be easier.

Heidi says this is a recipe for lazy nights and she means it. Aside from chopping an onion, you just “dump-and-stir.” Don’t own an Instant Pot? No worries: directions for making this on the stovetop are given below.

Attention meat-eaters: I added a cooked cut-up chicken breast to our leftover soup and it was awesome. With or without meat, this taco soup is a healthy, low WW-Point keeper. Thank you, Heidi, for getting real with us regular cooks and giving me one of my now-favorite recipes.

1 Tbsp. olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, chopped 3 Tbsp. taco seasoning 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed 4 cups water 1/4 tsp. salt 2 (14-oz.) cans pinto beans, rinsed 1 1/2 cups frozen corn 1 (14-oz.) can crushed tomatoes 1 cup favorite salsa (I used Pace Chunky) Cilantro, chopped

Press Sauté button on Instant Pot. Heat olive oil in pot and sauté onion and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in taco seasoning. Add quinoa, water, salt, beans, corn, tomatoes and salsa. Close and seal pot and pressure cook on HIGH for 10 minutes. When done, QUICK RELEASE.

Stovetop directions: Sauté the onion and garlic in a medium-size pot and then add the remaining ingredients and simmer until the quinoa is cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Serve with sliced avocado, chopped cilantro and plain yogurt and add appropriate WW points.

Serves 8

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