Need to Nosh: French Onion Venison Meatball Soup

Deer season may be over, but chances are— if you’re a hunter— that deer meat is still filling up your freezer when it should be filling up your tummy! There’s only so many venison burgers a person can eat in a lifetime, so if you’re looking for some innovative ideas to utilize that venison, then I have a yummy answer for you: French onion venison meatball soup! Cooking these breadcrumb-free venison meatballs in the crockpot while submerged in a flavorful French onion soup causes these meatballs to come out amazingly tender and deliciously flavorful. All with zero guilt since everything is 100% clean. Enjoy guys!

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French Onion Venison Meatball Soup
Serves 4
1 lb ground venison (ground turkey would work as well)
1-2 egg whites
1/4 cup grated zucchini, patted dry
1/4 cup grated yellow squash, patted dry
2 tablespoons parsley
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 large onions, sliced thinly
4 cups beef stock (bone broth will work as well!)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon thyme
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
optional: 1 tablespoon tapioca starch as thickener

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To start, grate the zucchini and yellow squash in a food processor. Pat the grated zucchini and yellow squash dry with a paper towel to remove any excess water. Next, in a large bowl combine the venison, grated zucchini, grated yellow squash, parsley, and 2 of the chopped garlic cloves. Finish by adding in 1-2 egg whites (enough so that the mixture holds together well but not so much that the mixture becomes mushy). Combine well, and form into 3/4-1 inch meatballs. Arrange the meatballs at the bottom of a 6 quart crockpot.

Next, cover with the sliced onions, thyme, bay leaves, remaining chopped garlic clove, balsamic vinegar, and salt/pepper to taste. Lastly, cover with 4 cups of beef broth so that the meatballs are covered. Important: do not stir right away! Cook while covered on low for 4-6 hours (after the first 2 hours you can stir without worrying about breaking apart the meatballs). If you’d like a thicker soup, stir in 1 tablespoon of tapioca starch for the final 2 hours of cooking. Be sure to remove the bay leaves before serving. This will be great to enjoy on a cold snowed-in winter’s day!

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