Sunday, January 14, 2007

Jane's Cowboy Soup

A couple of months ago, I declared Polly's recipe one of the ideal ones.
1) It is quick and easy to make.
2) It is inexpensive.
3) It is nutritious.
4) It uses whole-food ingredients that are often on hand or easily stored.
5) Most importantly, it tastes great!

Another recipe that meets those requirements is Jane's

Cowboy Soup.

Brown 1# ground beef
with 1 small onion, chopped.

Add (liquid and all)
1# can of pinto beans
1# can of black beans
1# can of kidney beans
1# can of navy beans (or great northerns)
1# can of tomatoes
4-oz can of green chilies (optional)
10-16 oz of frozen corn.

When heated, add seasonings.
Jane's recipe says to mix:
1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch dry dressing mix
1 pkg taco seasoning mix
2 cups water,
and add to soup.
Simmer for 15-20 minutes or more.

I cringe at the price of those little packages, so instead of the seasoning packages, I add:
1 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp salt (or more)
1 tsp dillweed
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
a few cloves minced garlic (or 1 tsp dried garlic powder).
Simmer 15-20 minutes or more.
Shortly before serving, remove from heat and add
1 cup buttermilk.

This soup is excellent when it's naked in your bowl; it's even better when dressed up with cheddar, asiago, or monterey jack, sour cream, and/or Fritos.

In this house, that recipe serves 3. I suspect (for most households) it would serve 8.


  1. Ooooohhhhhhh--thanks for the frugal remake!!! I *hate* buying those little packets!! And we make this all the time.

  2. Susan,

    I needed a quick meal last night so I made this soup. Jane had posted it on Loopers once, I think, but I didn't copy it down. My kids loved it! (I had a half package of old Ranch dressing mix so I dumped that in along with a tablespoon of chili powder. I added no other seasonings.)

    Funny thing is, I make a simple chili that is very similar to this. It is essentially the same recipe but I use chili ready tomatoes, 2 cans of whole kernal corn plus juice, and a little extra chili powder. That's it. The kids don't like it. The difference between the two? I said the Cowboy soup wasn't chili. Go figure! Thanks for reminding me of this.

    And, it is fantastic with sour cream.


    Btw - this fed our family of 7 plus leftovers (but only enough for two or three average size bowls). Just in case you were wondering how many this serves "on average". :o)