Dinner Diaries

Winter-Buster Beef Soup

Winter-Buster Beef Soup

By Tim H. Martin

Bayou and bay flavors amp up this beefy-vegetable classic.


• 2 to 2 1/2 lbs. ground beef or venison

• 3 cups beef broth

• 2  28 oz. cans diced tomatoes

• 10 oz. can Ro*Tel tomatoes and diced green chilies

• 4 oz. can chopped green chilies

• 1/2 cup salsa (medium heat)

• 2 tablespoons olive oil

• 1/4 cup butter

• 4 cups russet potatoes (two large ones), small dice

• 4 stalks celery, fine dice

• 1 white onion, fine dice

• 4 cloves garlic, minced

• 1 1/2 cups carrots, sliced

• 1 1/2 cups lima beans

• 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning

• 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning

• 1 tablespoon chili powder

• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

• 1 tablespoon paprika

• 2 bay leaves

• 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

• Kosher or sea salt, to taste

• Black pepper, to taste


In a soup pot, begin warming broth, tomatoes, Ro*Tel, chopped chilies, salsa, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, salt, pepper, all seasonings and spices on low heat.

Brown ground beef or venison in a skillet, drain and add to the soup pot. Raise heat to a slow simmer and keep it there for the duration.

Add half the olive oil and half the butter to the skillet and sauté the potatoes until they soften slightly, then add to the pot. In remaining olive oil and butter, soften onions, celery and garlic, then add to pot.

Add carrots and limas to the pot, then cook soup about 45 more minutes.

Before serving, remove lid, skim fat and cool soup until slightly steaming. I’m a firm believer in letting soups and stews cool before eating so heat doesn’t hide flavor potential.

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If you can’t beat the groundhog ... eat him

– By Tim H. Martin

When Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow last Groundhog Day, I decided to the best place to cope with six more weeks of winter was in the test kitchen.

I’d been toying with an idea for a hearty pot of beefy-vegetable soup that would be better than your standard beef, broth and vegetables — something with a little zing and an indefinable aftertaste.

To amplify the flavors, I experimented with a hint of New Orleans and a dash of the Chesapeake Bay. The Old Bay Seasoning brings a surprisingly complimentary undertone to the soup. It’s subtle, yet delicious. The Creole seasoning, along with other spicy ingredients, brings warmth and hope to a long winter.

After several experimental batches and careful alterations, I was pleased with the final results. In the process, I forgot all about the stupid groundhog’s prediction. And, if the old guy sees his shadow again next year, he just might end up in the pot!

Copyright 2022 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd