Hearty Crock Pot Cowboy Soup

Hearty Crock Pot Cowboy Soup is a robust, flavorful dish perfect for those days when you crave something warm and comforting. This soup is packed with ground beef, beans, vegetables, and a rich tomato base, making it a filling meal that’s easy to prepare and loved by all. Ideal for busy weeknights or lazy weekends, this slow-cooked soup brings a taste of the Old West to your kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 large potato, diced
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional, for heat)
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish (optional)

Instructions

1. Brown the Beef:
In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef until it’s no longer pink. Drain any excess fat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the skillet, cooking until the onion becomes translucent and the garlic is fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.

2. Combine Ingredients in Crock Pot:
Transfer the browned beef mixture to a large crock pot. Add the diced tomatoes (with their juices), drained corn, black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, and tomato paste. Pour in the beef broth.

3. Add Vegetables and Seasonings:
Stir in the diced potato, sliced carrots, celery, and chopped green bell pepper. Add the chili powder, ground cumin, paprika, dried oregano, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes, if using. Mix everything well to combine.

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4. Slow Cook:
Cover the crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours, until the vegetables are tender and the flavors have melded together.

5. Serve:
Ladle the hot soup into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro if desired. Serve with crusty bread or cornbread for a complete meal.

Tips for Success

  • Prep Ahead: Brown the ground beef and chop all vegetables the night before to make the morning assembly quick and easy.
  • Consistency: If you prefer a thicker soup, you can mash some of the beans and potatoes with a potato masher or immersion blender toward the end of the cooking time.
  • Flavor Boost: For added depth of flavor, consider adding a splash of Worcestershire sauce or a teaspoon of smoked paprika.
  • Storage: This soup stores well in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Variations

  • Vegetarian Version: Substitute the ground beef with plant-based meat crumbles and use vegetable broth instead of beef broth.
  • Spicy Cowboy Soup: Increase the amount of crushed red pepper flakes or add a diced jalapeño for a spicier kick.
  • Southwestern Twist: Add a can of diced green chilies and a teaspoon of ground coriander for a Southwestern flavor profile.

Conclusion

Hearty Crock Pot Cowboy Soup is a delicious and convenient meal that brings the comforting flavors of home-cooked goodness to your table. With minimal prep and a crock pot to do the heavy lifting, this soup is perfect for busy days when you want a satisfying and nutritious dinner. Enjoy the rich, savory flavors of this cowboy classic, and make it a staple in your recipe repertoire for years to come.

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