taco soup

     This soup originated many years ago as one of my mom's Weight Watcher recipes. My own family loves it. I have made this several times on Wednesday nights for my church fam and it is very popular.
     When I mention its WW beginnings, everyone is surprised. They are also surprised to learn there is no meat. It really doesn't need it. The beans really load up the protein... hey, #Meatless Monday!
     It is simple to make. The most time consuming portion is time spent chopping the onion and opening cans. Since it doesn't contain meat, it could be a vegetarian dish if you switch the chicken broth to vegetable or mushroom broth. This soup also freezes very well.
     The secret to the creamy texture is refried beans! It gives the soup a rich, velvety consistency, decadence without the guilt! (It is a tiny bit spicy. If you wish, exchange tomatoes and green chilies for another can of diced tomatoes to lose the heat.)
     My mom sometimes adds brown rice under it and low fat cheddar cheese over it. You can also dollop the top with plain, ff Greek yogurt. Pair the soup with a big green salad and you've got a hearty meal!
1 t. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 can fat free refried beans
1 - 15 oz. can chicken or vegetable broth, preferably homemade
2 -15 oz cans petite diced tomatoes w/ juice
1 can tomatoes and green chilies w/ juice (like Rotel)
2 cans black beans, undrained
1 can great northern or navy beans, undrained
2 c. canned or frozen kernel corn, drained
salt and pepper to taste
Saute' onion in oil until soft and golden. Add refried beans, mash to soften. Let them melt before adding broth. Be careful not to let the bottom burn. Sprinkle with taco seasoning.
Slowly add broth, breaking up and incorporating refried beans, until smooth. A potato masher works really well for this step.
Add remaining ingredients and season to taste. Simmer for 30 minutes. Top with your own toppings, if desired...cheddar cheese, ff Greek yogurt, fresh salsa or avocado.
Serves approx. 18 (1 c. serving) WW Points Plus: 3 (soup only, without toppings)

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