When I was growing up, my dad used to make this vegetable soup often during the winter. He used beef stew meat but I usually use deer meat and it works really well. This soup is very satisfying and quite healthy. I think it's the combination of vegetables that I love so much, especially the cabbage. It will taste better the next day, but the vegetables will definitely soften and break up when refrigerated overnight.
You can easily substitute beef for the deer. I have used beef stew meat or a chuck roast that I cut up myself. I always like to leave the skins on the potatoes, but you could certainly peel them. I often buy the bags of baby carrots and throw those in there whole just to make my life easier. I hate peeling things.
Rustic Venison and Vegetable Soup
2 pounds venison ham or shoulder meat, cut into about 1 1/2-inch cubes
Salt and pepper to season meat and soup
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
2 celery ribs, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
6-10 cups beef broth, divided (or 6-10 cups water plus 1 bouillon cube per cup)
2 bay leaves
3-4 medium red or yellow skinned potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes, peeling left on
1 cup baby carrots or sliced carrots
1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 head of cabbage, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can golden corn, drained (or equivalent in frozen corn)
- Season venison with salt and pepper.
- In a large heavy soup pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add venison. Cook in batches until brown, adding more oil if necessary. Remove and set aside.
- Add onions, celery and garlic and cook just until soft. Add the venison back to the pot, then add 6 cups beef broth and the bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low or just enough to simmer. Simmer covered for 2-3 hours or until meat is tender.
- Add potatoes and next four ingredients and increase heat to medium-high. Add just enough beef broth to cover vegetables. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaves before serving.