Hobo Stew

Hobo Stew/Soup
This soup can be added to or not – you can flex your artistic flair for soup.
I have made this soup/stew a lot because its cheap, it stretches and I love the flavor of the browned sausage, its really good with cornbread or homemade bread.
(I can just picture the hobos sitting around the fire cooking up what they could get during the depression.)

Some kind of meat if you have it, Polish sausage, cut & browned, is my favorite, or chopped ham, browned hamburger, cooked chicken, leftover (if fried, remove skin), even cut up hot dogs will do but are not as flavorful as sausage.

If using hamburger, add some garlic salt or garlic/onion powder while browning, so it will have some flavor. I usually add a little water to the skillet and heat it, to get all the scrapings of meat and put that in the pot too.

1 head of cabbage, cut up bite size
3-4 potatoes, any kind, chopped bite size (if using baking potatoes, remove skin)
2 carrots, coined
2-3 stalks of celery, cut up
1 large onion, cut in quarters or smaller (smaller is better)
1 pod garlic, skinned & cut up
2 chicken bouillon cubes or 2 cans chicken or beef broth
Salt & pepper to taste

Add any 3 cans of each or any of the following vegetables, undrained:

1 can cut corn, undrained
1 can pinto beans, undrained
1 can green beans, undrained
1 can kidney beans, undrained
1 can great northern beans, undrained
1 can lima beans, undrained
1 can blackeyed peas, drained

Choose at least 3 cans of different vegetables above. Put everything in a large pot, add water to just cover veggies and simmer till done. I like to use corn, green beans, and pintos. When fresh veggies are done-its ready.

This makes enough for a hungry army. If you want it more “soupy” add more water or a can of broth.

I like to make this after I pick up my commodities, because they always give me cans of pinto beans, green beans, cut carrots, corn, black-eyed peas or canned potatoes. When the pot gets low, you can always serve it over rice to stretch it or add another can of undrained vegetables.

*I have also made it with a tomato base, using canned tomato soup. canned stewed tomatoes or spaghetti sauce in addition to the other vegetables if I had not chicken or beef broth.

This recipe was given to me by a friend who raised her family by herself with the help of commodities & food stamps. This soup is really to use whatever you have on hand, like if you don’t have fresh carrots or potatoes, substitute canned.

The most essential elements are the (1)meat (for flavor), (2)cabbage, (3)fresh onion, (4)garlic, (5)chicken broth/boullion and of course, salt or seasonings.

You can really play with this recipe.
(if your a vegetarian, skip the meat & use veggie bouillon for base.

This recipe could also be easily adapted to a crockpot, just brown the meat first.

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  1. sheila says

    I love your website. The ideas on saving money are great. I have tried various recipies and enjoyed them all. One thing I would like to see more is freezing foods and left overs. Some ideas for homemade “tv dinners” for lunches and ect. More information on frugal ideas and menu planning. Thanks for all the infomation and enjoy the newsletters.


    • says

      We make our stew in a black kettle over an open fire. Each student brings a vegetable and we cut them and and add each item one at a time. We use beef tips which we put in first then we add potatoes, carrots, onions (all kinds) corn, cabbage and any other vegetable that the kids bring. We have had great success in making our stew and every child tries it and they never complain.

  2. june says

    Why peel the potato? I only take any bad spots out and wash the potato. then slice, chop, etc. The area close to the peel has most of the nutrients. Only for appearance sake is it necessary to peel a potato.

    • geekbearinggifts says

      I think it depends on the potato, which is why Ann says to peel them if you are using baking potatoes. In my experience, mealy potatoes like russets tend to lose their peels when cooked in soups and stews. The mouth feel of a big piece of potato skin without any potato is unpleasant (at least to me; to each her own!)

  3. says

    We use this recipe camping, but we make it dry. We take a large sheet of aluminum foil, cabbage leaves to layer first, onion, garlic, other vegetables, (whatever we have on hand), top with cut up meat, salt and pepper, and another cabbage layer, then seal up tightly in the foil and place directly on the coals. It steams and comes out moist in the packet. The packet is done when the packet gives easily. We serve it with a dollop of rice after the packet is opened. Delicious, filling, makes good leftovers, and very few dishes to wash, ideal for camping.

    If we have hobo dinners at home we use a pot and it is more like a stew/soup with a tomato base and bean cooking liquid from the beans, other fresh and/or canned vegetables with the salt and pepper, and serve it over rice. This somewhat reminds me of autumn stew.

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