When you grow up in a family of hunters, you get used to eating wild game in the cold months. Late fall means a freezer full of deer meat and duck. It may seem strange to those of you who never had a hunter in your family, but I grew up eating deer meat, so it's not strange for me at all. When it's prepared well, you can barely tell the difference between venison and its more common friend, the cow.
I married a man who is not a hunter. In fact, I think he's only shot a gun a few times in his life. He's a city boy, which means we don't get to enjoy a freezer full of his latest hunt. I'm perfectly ok with that though, especially since that means that his weekends are spent with us instead of out in the woods. 🙂 I do, however, miss the meat.
That's why I was thrilled when I got calls from my brother and dad telling me that they both shot large bucks this year. My brother finally got "the big one" and was so proud of his 12 point buck. I was proud of them too, but even more excited when they asked if I wanted some of the meat.
Of course I do! I'll never turn down free meat! It actually saved me from having to order our next cow. I can now wait a little longer, which means more cost savings for me! Yippee!
We were gifted 20+ packages of ground venison(about 1 ½ lb. each), 2 hams, and a large shoulder. I have no idea how to cook the hams or the shoulder, but I'm sure I'll figure out something.
You may be wondering what this has to do with vegetable beef soup. Well, I have been craving vegetable beef soup for a couple of weeks now. I normally make it with ground beef, but since I knew I would come home from our Thanksgiving trip with two coolers full of venison, I saved it until this weekend. I made a huge batch of soup, substituting venison for the beef, and it was delicious. We even have plenty leftover to save for future meals when mama is too tired to cook, which happens more often than I'd like to admit.
This vegetable beef soup is so easy. Chop, dump, and simmer is about the extent of it. If you don't like some of the vegetables I included, feel free to substitute to your liking. These are the vegetables my mama always used, so it's what I continue to use with my family. There's nothing like a good comforting soup in the cold months. Mmm mmm good!
Vegetable beef soup
- 1 to 1 ½ pounds ground beef or venison
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 ½ cup sliced carrots
- 3-4 cups chopped cabbage
- 1 ½ cups frozen organic corn
- 2-3 cups cubed potatoes
- 1 cup frozen baby lima beans
- 4 cloves garlic chopped or pressed
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- pepper to taste
- 4 cups broth vegetable, chicken, or beef
- 7 cups tomato product diced, whole, strained, etc
- pinch of organic sugar optional only if your soup tastes bitter or tangy from the tomato product
Brown ground meat. Drain if needed.
Add remainder of ingredients and stir to combine.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until potatoes and cabbage are tender.
Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.