Taco Soup

1 pound lean ground beef (can use vegetable crumbles etc. for vegetarian option)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 envelope reduced-sodium taco seasoning
2/3 cup water
4 cups reduced-sodium V8 juice
1 cup chunky salsa
TOPPINGS: 1/2 cup shredded lettuce
6 T. chopped fresh tomato
6 T. reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
Baked tortilla chips, optional

In a large saucepan coated with nonstick cooking spray, cook the beef, onion and pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender; drain. Stir in taco seasoning and water; cook and stir for 5 minutes or until liquid is reduced. Add V8 juice and salsa; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until heated through. Top each serving with 2 T. of lettuce, 1 T. of tomato and cheese, and 2 teaspoons of green onions and sour cream. Serve with tortilla chips if desired. Yield: 6 servings.