So you kittens know me around this time of year; I’m always looking for something to cook that’s either dead easy to make or makes a lot of yummy leftovers. So it thrills my soul when I discover a new dish that’s both. Yesterday morning for reasons I couldn’t begin to fathom, I woke up craving Cowboy Soup. Remember Cowboy Soup? If like me you were a Girl Scout in the 1970’s, it’s a pretty fair bet you ate it at least once, a thick soup/thin stew with hamburger meat and beans and macaroni that not even too many underage cooks dancing around an open campfire can spoil. So anyway, I took to the internet and found several different recipes, and from mashing them together and elevating the grown-up snob appeal of a few of the ingredients (a few more fresh veggies and spices, a few less cans), I came up with this. And I’ve gotta tell you, it was dang tasty. My hubs and Dad both had two bowls full, and I have enough leftovers for at least one lunch stashed in the fridge.
Rhinestone Cowboy Soup
1.5 lbs. ground chuck
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 medium-sized jalapeno pepper, finely diced without seeds or ribs
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 28-oz can of tomato puree
1 can of diced tomatoes and chilis (Rotel – the same stuff you’d use to make queso dip)
1 12-16 ounce can of black beans, undrained
1 12-16 ounce can of baked beans in sauce (I used the brand that Labrador retriever sells)
3 cups of chicken broth
1 package of frozen corn
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of paprika
½ teaspoon of cumin
½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Brown ground chuck in a big soup pot over medium-high heat until no pink remains, drain and set aside. Add oil to the pot and reduce heat to medium; sauté onion, jalapeno and garlic until the onion is soft. Add tomato puree, diced tomatoes and peppers, black beans, baked beans, chicken broth, and ground chuck, bring to a boil. Add corn, brown sugar, condiments, and spices, reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
You can add COOKED AND DRAINED macaroni (1/2 pound dry) just before serving if you want it more like the Girl Scouts version. I served mine sans pasta and with cornbread, and the hubs and I each added dollop of sour cream to our bowls to mellow out the heat a bit. If you wanted it hotter, you could leave the seeds and ribs in your jalapeno; if you want it less spicy, you could leave the pepper out altogether.