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.
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
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.
So, what’s the recipe you’ve never been able to replicate?
Crock Pot Vegetable Beef Soup
1 pound ground beef (venison or turkey would also work)
1 ½ cups cooked beans of your choice (I like kidney) or 1 can beans, rinsed and drained
28 ounces diced tomatoes, undrained
12 ounces frozen mixed vegetables
3 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried onion
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon pepper
Brown ground meat in skillet. Drain. Add to 4 quart crock pot with remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
Yield: 4-6 servings