Requested recipe: Cowboy Soup

Having some easy, tasty go-to recipes is a great life-simplifier. This is one of my favorites.

I get so many requests for this recipe! It is awesome doubled, tripled, even quadrupled or quintupled for a group. It is flexible, because you can add any combination of beans, and it’s still good. And if you need to stretch it, an additional can or two of beans does the job. It can simmer all day, and it’s even better left over. (Sometimes I’ll throw in a couple of extra cans the next day to stretch it even farther.)

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)
1 can of corn or 10-16 oz of frozen corn.

When heated, add seasonings.

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.

My friend Susan, who is far more hardworking and frugal than I came up with this formula to make up for the packets:
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.

We top it with shredded cheese — cheddar, colby, jack, cojack, etc. — sour cream, and fritos.