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Crock Pot Vegetable Beef Soup

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Is there a particular recipe that you’ve ALWAYS tried to make and it never, ever tastes as good as your mama’s? You can follow her instructions to a T, and it still is missing something? And it makes you stamp your foot and swear off making the recipe? Yeah…well for me, that recipe is Vegetable Beef Soup.

Not only does my Mama’s Vegetable Soup kick butt, my Grandmother’s is even better. And I’ve tried for YEARS to replicate it to no avail. They put something in there and they’re not telling me – the little boogers (I’m sure that’s not the secret ingredient, though).

But finally, I’ve made a Vegetable Beef Soup that I’m happy with – and in the crock pot, no less. I’m sharing my recipe with you and not holding back – because I don’t want you to stamp your foot and swear off Vegetable Beef Soup…that would be a sad life indeed.

Crock Pot Vegetable Beef Soup

But, here’s the kicker. I don’t use ground beef for my “beef” soup. I use venison. For the most part, I hardly ever use ground beef. I always use venison. We stick with steaks and roasts for beef.

For those of you who say you HATE venison, you’ve never had it the way I was raised on it. 😉 We get our venison processed with some beef fat so you can hardly even tell it’s NOT beef.

Vegetarian is Native American for lousy hunter. <–Tweet This

Crock Pot Vegetable Beef Soup

So, here’s a special touch…instead of using fresh onion for my vegetable soup, I like to use dried onion. I think it lends a different flavor – giving it my special touch. I keep a good stock of dried onions – check your local bulk food store for the best prices.

This also could easily be made on the stovetop if you don’t have a love affair with your crock pot like I do…or if you forget that dinner is coming and it’s 4pm. Dude – make a meal plan. 😉  Just simmer for 1 hour on the stove instead of 8 hours in the crock.

The stovetop method also leads to less slobbering since you don’t smell it for 8 hours.

Bon Appetit!

So, what’s the recipe you’ve never been able to replicate?

For daily meal inspiration, follow @stacywalkermyers on Instagram.

Crock Pot Vegetable Beef Soup

Comment Policy: I love hearing your thoughts and input on what I write. Since I write about what works at my house, what pleases my handsome hubby and darling children; I'm sure we'll disagree sometimes. In those cases, do what's right for you and yours. As with any form of communication, please only post comments that move the discussion in a positive direction.

About Stacy

Stacy is the author of Crock On: A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook and Keep Crockin': A Poorganic Slow Cooker Cookbook, and a stay-at-home and homeschooling mom to her three children, Annie (June 2009), Andy (August 2012) and Eli (September 2014). After an “awakening” in March 2011, her family switched to a more natural, whole foods diet. She likes to blog about how to live on less than you make and how to eat good food while doing it. Her passion is teaching others how to save money and she tag teams with her husband in this endeavor. At Stacy Makes Cents you’ll find information on how to save money in the kitchen, how to have fun with your kids, and how to be thrifty in all areas of life. Her passion is teaching others how to live debt free. Make sure to follow her on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and more to keep up with her daily antics.


  1. I’ll have to give this a go!

  2. Dinner TONIGHT! Thanks. :)

  3. My mother always made amazing chicken rice soup. I can make delicious cream soups, chowders, and chili — but not chicken rice– until I got a fat (we’re talking 8 lbs) chicken from a local butcher shop, and added my fresh homegrown herbs. The flavor is so much better. National brand chicken just doesn’t cut it for soup. Now I’m ready to conquer vegetable beef soup, with your recipe. And crock pot, all the better!

  4. Thank you! We LOVE venison and have three deer in our freezer as we speak…so nice to have a new recipe to add some variety! Ah, the joy of being a hunter’s wife…

  5. Do you rinse your venison or do anything else to it? I have a freezer full, processed with beef fat (I asked for as much as I could get), and I just don’t like it. On the nights I cook it I eat something else. Any tips?

    • No, I’ve never rinsed it. I was raised on it, so it’s normal for me. But I’ve had lots of friends come to dinner who “won’t” eat venison and they never had a clue it was not beef. :-)

    • Ours isn’t processed with beef fat, but we learned from an outdoorsman to soak the venison in milk to take out the “gamey” taste. It also tenderizes the meat. This was great when we lived in MN. In Iowa, the corn-fed diet makes the deer taste just like beef! Good luck!

  6. Stacy, I can’t wait to try this recipe! My father-in-law hunts and my above-the-fridge freezer is full of venison! We eat more chicken dishes than we do beef dishes (in which I’d substitute venison when we have it), so I’ve been having a hard time figuring out how to use it all without eating the same thing over and over. Looking forward to adding this to my repertoire :-) PS Venison is way better than beef in my opinion :-)

  7. Done…& smells good already! Will make cornbread later :)

  8. I do mine on the stove, but i use V8. And simmer the V8 and the cooked beef and the “hard” vegetables for bout 20 minutes. Add water. Then add a can each of the veggies i like. No beans. I had the same issue w my moms soup. In hers, the secret ingredients were…a bay leaf, a dash of chili powder and a shake or two of worchestershire. And i bet thats what is always missing. Its just a shake or two, to the whole pot…and the V8, however gross u think it is, its great as a veggie soup base…u could do v8 and beef broth instead of water i suppose..but try the worchestershire…

  9. “Vegetarian is Native American for lousy hunter.” Stacy you crack me up! Love your sense of humor! Oh, and the soup sounds delish – I will have to give it a try.

  10. Probably very similar to your beef soup but mine is a Beef Barley soup my mom used to make. I think the barley intimidates me. I can remember lots of carrots and celery and of course the barley but can’t quite seem to remember how she made it. So I I have not attempted it. Anyone have a recipe with the above they would like to share with me??

  11. Katherine says:

    What brand of crockpot do you use? Is it lead-free? I haven’t cooked in a crockpot for years because I refuse to cook lead into my food. Recipes like this one, with tomato, are particularly risky. I keep looking for a lead-free crockpot because I would love to be able to cook in one.

    • I have a Hamilton Beach set and a GE. I love them both. :-) I bought lead tests to check and see if they were lead free – they all tested negative for lead. You can pick up a lead testing kit at Lowes.

  12. For me it would have to be my mom’s meatloaf. No matter what mine is just not as good as her’s. We use venison a lot at our house too. We especially like to have it made into summer sausage! So much better than the store bought stuff.

  13. The soup looks really good, and we have some venison in the freezer since my husband got his first deer this year! Yay!
    But I’m really commenting to tell you that we had your sesame maple chicken tonight and we all loved it! You know it’s good when my husband keeps saying, “Honey, this is really good!” It seriously was like having Chinese at home! As a matter of fact we have had your dishes 4 out of 5 days this week. We had no flops…everyone liked all that we had. :)

  14. Stacy’s recipe #2 in the crock. Well, modified a bit…frozen parsnips and tomato sauce from 2012 garden. Added carrots and celery. And I had to add garlic :-) We have lots of venison but I only like hot dogs and jerky. Did not grow up with it. But it sounds like the way a butcher prepares hamburger makes a big difference. Had really bad elk burger once…that big fells had some serious hormones! Paul couldn’t even eat it….we gave it to a guy with sled dogs :-)

  15. I loved this. Tonight is my second time making it. Adding a few extra veggies and couple of cups of tomato juice, because there are a lot of us. Also, celery seed, because I can’t have anything tomato-ey without celery seed in it.

  16. Sarah Hoffman says:

    I tweaked this just a tiny bit to feed my large family, and I posted about it on my website I gave you credit for the recipe. Thanks! It was a huge hit; we all loved it.

  17. Today, I went to the beach front with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed.
    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched
    her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!

  18. Arsena N Penny McIntire says:

    I’m trying to eat healthier so this will be one of the first recipes I do. Thanks for all your hard work :)

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