Who needs a shell? Make Leigh’s taco soup PDF   E-mail
Written by By KAREN NADLER COTA Sentinel Lifestyles Editor   
Thursday, 13 March 2008
Leigh Keylocks with her Taco Soup. (J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
A few weeks ago the Cook’s Corner talked about the popular Wednesday night congregational suppers put on by Bowling Green Covenant Church, promising to share some more good recipes from the event.
This week’s cook, Leigh Keylock of Bowling Green, is the “mastermind” behind one of the most popular dishes debuted at the church. Her taco soup pleased tasters of all ages, including kids.
A look at the recipe reveals the happy fact that the recipe is quite simple but the resulting soup is hearty, filling and quite tasty. If you like beef tacos, you’ll like taco soup.
“I got the recipe out of Midwest Living magazine maybe three or four years ago,” she recalls. “But they didn’t have the rice version in there. I just made it up for the church dinner. I liked it so much I kept making it that way.”
The recipe works fine with either variation. If preparing the rice version of the soup, just leave out the beans, Keylock advised.
A native of Peoria, Ill. who attended Bradley University in that state, she went to work in the university town of Champaign, Ill. for the next eight years.
“I met my husband there” and the two were married in 2004.
When Keylock’s spouse took a position in exercise physiology at Bowling Green State University it meant her career would change too. But not very much.
Keylock is a book editor, working for a company called Human Kinetics.
“When we moved here I became a telecommuter. They set it up so I can do the same job from home. I work on books on sports and fitness.”
She takes the subject seriously, herself running several days a week, even in winter. It makes a good change of pace from her other more sedentary hobbies — knitting and reading classic 1800s literature by authors like Dickens and Jane Austen.
The fact that it’s healthy is something else she likes about the taco soup. Even better, it doesn’t cost too much to make.
“I like to make it for my lunch. Salad is a good side, or something like cornbread. But I usually just eat it by itself.”
Word started to get out when “I made the soup for my husband’s birthday party and some people from the church were there and they said ‘Oh, this would be great for the church dinner!’”
The all-volunteer dinners are held each Wednesday of the school year at 6 p.m., with the exception of Christmas break. Usually 60 to 80 people attend, and sometimes even more.
“There were three of us who did the dinner that night. Two of us put the soup together and the third woman did the deserts. My soup helper did the salads, too.”
The soup is best if allowed to simmer for an hour or two, after it has cooked on high in a crockpot for at least four hours. But if you’re too impatient to wait, it’s okay.
“I usually make it the same day, but (the recipe) makes so much I have enough for a week. It keeps for several days, so you can easily make it ahead.”

Taco Soup
Makes approx. 12 one-cup servings

1 lb. ground beef
2 cans diced tomatoes, not drained
1 can corn, not drained
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 packet of taco seasoning

 Brown ground beef; drain. In a crockpot, combine all ingredients. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. Serve with sour cream and shredded cheese, if desired. Soup can also be cooked on the stovetop; bring to boil, then simmer for 1-2 hours (until flavors are blended).

* Rice version: Leave out the beans. In the last 10 minutes of cooking time, add about 1/2 cup of cooked rice. Heat just until the rice is hot.
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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 May 2008 )
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