Hobo stew is an inexpensive and flavorful soup that is easily customized to fit anyone’s taste.
Soups and stews don’t have to be expensive and time-consuming to be delicious. This easy soup comes together quickly and is enjoyed around campfires by scout troops and in family kitchens for everyday dinners.
Recipes for hobo stew vary wildly because this popular dish is often a hodge-podge of whatever people have on hand, or if made around a campfire, kids can often select their personal favorite ingredients to craft their own personal version of this stew.
For me, a hobo stew recipe must adhere to these rules: It must be easy. It must use minimal ingredients. It must be inexpensive. But it must still taste good! After all, taking shortcuts isn’t worthwhile if the end result isn’t something you want to eat.
How to Make Hobo Stew
Hobo stew can be made in a standard soup pot without needing to dirty any additional cookware. The beef and onion get sauteed together in the pot, then all remaining ingredients are added in and simmered until the potatoes are tender. It is really that simple.
How to Customize Hobo Stew
There are many ways to customize hobo stew. The customization most people make is which vegetables they choose to include. Any combination of onion, garlic, corn, peas, beans, and carrots will work well. I also call for great northern beans in my recipe because I like their size and mild flavor, but you can also substitute any similar bean.
A major problem I have with many hobo stew recipes is the lack of flavoring added. Yes, it keeps the ingredient list minimal, inexpensive, and easy, but it will taste extraordinarily bland. I get around this by using V8 Juice as half of the broth and creole seasoning to jazz up the flavor. However, you can substitute other seasoning blends such as chili seasoning if you prefer.
Other notable changes would be to add two tablespoons of flour as a thickener and one teaspoon of Worchestershire sauce for added depth of flavor, however, I omitted both of these from my recipe to keep the ingredient list as minimal as possible.
More Soup Recipes
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 2 cup beef broth
- 2 1/2 cups V8 juice
- 2-3 cups chopped mixed vegetables (such as corn, carrots, peas, and beans)
- 15 ounce canned great northern beans (with liquid)
- 3 russet potatoes (chopped)
- 1 teaspoon creole seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add chopped onion and ground beef to a pot and cook over medium heat until the meat has browned and onion is tender. Break the ground beef into crumbles as it cooks.
- Add all remaining ingredients to the pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer the stew until potatoes are tender, approximately 20 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
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