This taco soup is a marriage of soup and chili in the best way possible. Ground beef and fresh chorizo get browned and simmered with chili powder, cumin and paprika until fragrant. Then fire-roasted tomatoes and mild green chiles are stirred in for a Tex-Mex twist. Quickly whip up jalapeño and Cheddar cornbread muffins to serve on the side, and top with sour cream, cilantro and some diced avocado for a hearty, family-friendly meal.
For the Jalapeño-Cheddar Cornbread Muffins: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and generously spray 9 cups of a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together the buttermilk, egg, melted butter and dark brown sugar in a large bowl. Fold the cornmeal mixture, jalapeños and Cheddar into the buttermilk mixture until just combined (it’s OK if there are some small lumps).
Divide the batter evenly among the 9 greased muffin cups. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 10 to 12 minutes. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Then run an offset spatula around the edges of each muffin and invert onto a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.
For the taco soup: While the muffins bake, make the taco soup. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and chorizo and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned and crumbly, about 6 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper, a pinch of salt and several grinds of black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chili powder, tomato paste, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until coated and fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in the beef broth, fire-roasted tomatoes, black beans and green chiles, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, then simmer, partially covered, until the meat and beans are very tender and the sauce thickens slightly, 35 to 45 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Ladle into bowls and top with diced avocado, sour cream and fresh cilantro. Serve with lime wedges and the Jalapeño-Cheddar Cornbread Muffins.
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