For generations, when the guys in my family came in from an afternoon up in the tree stand, or after having huffed and puffed along the cross country ski trails, there was one delicious, hearty, all-in-one meal we were ready to eat: Oeth family vegetable soup!
Panty-waist be warned: yes, this is a soup, and yes, it's got vegetables, but it's not your typical vegetable soup. The Oeth family version is extra-hearty, containing three pounds of ground beef per vat. So, in addition to the potatoes, barley, tomatoes, and other healthy goodies, you've probably got a quarter pounder or two in every Thermos full!
Like great whiskey, the Oeth family vegetable soup really comes into it's own after a bit of aging. You could make this complete meal in a bowl in camp--and it'll be delicious--but if you make it a day in advance, the flavors really blend, the broth thickens, and you have an incredibly satisfying soup.
This soup freezes well, so have no fear, you can make a pot before your next trip for a quick heat-up meal or Thermos filler ready to take on the trail.
Oeth Vegetable Soup Recipe:
- 3 lbs ground beef, cooked
- 15 oz can of diced tomatoes (or about three fresh tomatoes)
- 3 qts of water
- 10 oz frozen and sliced carrots (or about five fresh carrots)
- 4 medium-sized potatoes, cut into cubes
- 3/4 cup barley
- 3/4 cup celery, chopped
- 3/8 tsp pepper
- 1 1/2 tbsp salt
- 3 tbsp dried parsley flakes
- Add all ingredients to an eight-quart stock pot and bring to a boil.
- Turn down heat and let simmer for one hour.
Hardcore technique: my dad eats his soup with a pile of buttered saltine crackers. He slathers each cracker, then dumps a hefty spoonful of soup on each cracker, before shoveling the buttery soup shingle into his mouth. Yes, I grew up thinking this was completely normal. I've cut back on this practice, but still can't help sneaking down a few crackers dripping with hamburger...er...I mean, vegetable soup and melting butter!
Let us know what you think of the recipe, or share one of your family recipes that keeps you fat and happy on the trail!