Warm Up with a Pot of Vegetable Beef Soup

A Family Favorite Soup

Vegetable Beef Soup Recipe at Great Peace Academy


With the coming of fall it’s time to dust off some cool weather recipes. One of my favorites is vegetable beef soup. Growing up  my family just called it, Vegetable Soup. It is however a vegetable beef soup because it has ground beef in it. 
This is a soup that was (and still is) a staple in my family and extended family’s recipe repertoire. It’s one that we go to often because 1) it’s filling 2) comforting 3) made from what’s on hand and 4) good for you. 
Each member of my dad’s family has their own version and it can be adapted to your preferences as well. Because you can make it with what’s on hand this is a versatile soup that can keep you warm all winter long.  
The basics of the soup are browned ground beef, a couple of cans of tomatoes, or tomato sauce if you don’t have canned tomatoes, onions, potatoes and then you fill in with whatever veggies you have on hand.
Today, I’m sharing with you how I prefer to make Vegetable Beef Soup. 

Vegetable Beef Soup

Vegetable Beef Soup Recipe at Great Peace Academy
Vegetable Beef Soup
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1798 calories
216 g
281 g
58 g
110 g
22 g
2676 g
1572 g
37 g
4 g
28 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1798
Calories from Fat 526
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 58g
Saturated Fat 22g
Trans Fat 4g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 25g
Cholesterol 281mg
Sodium 1572mg
Total Carbohydrates 216g
Dietary Fiber 32g
Sugars 37g
Protein 110g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1 lb. ground beef, browned with salt & pepper
  2. 1 large onion, chopped
  3. 2 large carrots, diced
  4. 2 large potatoes, chopped
  5. 1/2 cup frozen corn
  6. 1/2 cup frozen peas
  7. 1 can green beans
  8. 2 large cans whole tomatoes, (I usually give them a rough chop)
  9. 1 tsp. sugar
  10. 2 tsp. herbs de provence
  11. 1 tsp. basil (fresh, chopped)
  12. 1 tsp. parsley (fresh, chopped)
  13. salt & pepper to taste
  14. 3 Cups of Water
  1. In a large skillet brown ground beef with 1/2 the onion, salt & pepper to taste. After it has cooked halfway add the carrot to soften. Finish browning and add mixture to stock pot.
  2. In a large stock pot, add remaining vegetables, herbs and spices, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.
  1. Serve with warm bread or crackers.

What is your favorite soup?



Homeschool Encouragement from Moms for Moms

The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas Author Blog Tour

The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas Blog Tour of Authors, stop #18 at Great peace Academy
If you are joining me as a part of  The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas Blog Tour, I’d like to say “Welcome to Great Peace Academy.” As you may already know, I was privileged to join with 54 other homeschooling moms to write over 100 chapters in what is a treasure trove of homeschooling information. It’s like sitting down and exploring the best homeschooling ideas, advice and encouragement on the planet in one complete eBook. 

This post contains affiliate sales links to products or services which may result in paid compensation for this blog author.

I want to tell you a bit about the book and why I was thrilled to participate in the creation of such a marvelous homeschooling resource. I was able to write 3 of the 103 chapters and I’m excited to share with you why I chose to write on each of these topics.


Encouragement for Homeschool Moms

My Three Chapters of Homeschool Encouragement in the Book

  • Encouragement for Moms of Gifted Learners
I was that mom. The one who had a child who was quite the enigma. No doubt he was smart, but other people kept insisting that he was more than smart, he was gifted. A word that used to terrify me. 

The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas, Encouragement for Moms of Gifted Learners


When it was first suggested to me that I should homeschool him, I was worried that I was not be the right person for the job of educating such a talented individual. In fact, I’m still not sure I’m the right person for the job. Yet, it was, is, the role that God has given to me and I seek to embrace it with as much passion for the task as I have in being a loving mom to my son. 
When I started out homeschooling, I had little knowledge of either homeschooling or gifted education. I fumbled around to find some kind of balance for him that never seemed to come. I was stunned in the first year, his Kindergarten year, when he completed a pre-packaged 1st grade curriculum in about 6 weeks, and went on to complete 2nd grade rapidly as well. I didn’t really know what to do. 
He had a drive, a hunger to be fed, more. More information, more challenge, more knowledge. So I determined to just do that. He read a lot, explored numbers a lot and drew pictures a lot. Science was fun for him, math was easy for him and information was limitless for him. 
As that mom, I found myself trying to learn about his unique needs and coming up short. I struggled to find information that could help me to provide for the needs that my son obviously had. I kept hitting walls because I didn’t really have an understanding for what it was I was looking for and research seemed impossible.
Until I learned the words. Every field of study has it’s own set of terms and once I understood the terms used in gifted education, I became more knowledgeable about the resources available to parents. 
When I began to write for The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas, I knew that I needed to share with other parents how to find resources for gifted homeschooling. So their discovery would not be as difficult as mine was. 

In the chapter I share with you the research that helped me to begin to understand the unique individual that my son is. I also share a large list of resources for gifted education and direct links within the ebook for accessing the websites associated with each source. 
  • Encouragement for Homeschool Moms During Job Loss 
It’s a scary prospect isn’t it? The idea that a homeschooling family could suddenly find themselves in the midst of unemployment. Most often a homeschooling family consists of one stay at home parent (usually the mom) and one working parent. So when the one income family loses the only source of income it’s unnerving, to say the least.

The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas, Encouragement for Homeschool Moms During Job Loss

That’s the exact position I found myself in just a little over 2 years ago. My husband lost his job through no fault of his own. He remained unemployed for two full years and in fact just started his new job about 2 months ago. 

As a result I’m able to share information, encouragement and ideas for homeschooling through job loss, from a very personal perspective in my chapter How to Homeschool During Job Loss. I share tips, ideas and resources for finding free materials for a homeschooling education. I also gently offer encouragement during what is a truly difficult life struggle. 
Unemployment for any reason is scary. During the homeschooling years it can cause panic. Finding the ability to overcome regardless of the circumstance can lead to a stronger more loving family unit.
  • Marriage Encouragement for Homeschool Moms
This is an area of life that I am truly passionate about. Looking around at friends and family I am overwhelmed and saddened by the number of marriages that end in divorce. Having been married to my husband for more than 20 years I’m quite aware of the stresses that can rock the stability of a marriage. My husband and I have been through many difficult and overwhelming trials.

After celebrating my 20th year of marriage knowing we had survived a lot of struggle and yet seeing so many others whose marriages ended. I realized that maybe I could offer encouragement through my blog. So I began writing a feature called Marriage Moment.  

The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas, Marriage Encouragement for Homeschool Moms

When considering topics for The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas I knew that I wanted to write a chapter on marriage. Anytime you put a family into a different dynamic it can be cause for upheaval within the marriage. Homeschooling is no exception. In fact, due to the nature of it, homeschooling can become a tremendous stressor to the marriage. That’s why I wrote the chapter Maintaining a Strong Marriage Through the Homeschool Years.

Learning how to prioritize a loving marital relationship during homeschooling can lead a couple to a stronger more complete marriage. In the chapter I share 5 ways to prioritize marriage through the homeschooling years, so that you will have a strong marriage for years to come.

  • Prioritizing Time
  • Prioritizing Kisses
  • Prioritizing Respect
  • Prioritizing Life Roles
  • Prioritizing Intimacy

Encouragement for Every Homeschool Mom

It really is a wonder! The topics found in The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas cover every conceivable homeschooling need, from PreK through high school, special needs, methods, approaches and interest led to encouragement for homeschool moms and the entire family. In The Big Book of Homeschool Ideasyou’ll find a resource that guides, compels, enriches, and revitalizes you in your homeschooling life. 
The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas, Encouragement for Every Homeschool Mom

There were so many marvelous topics for the book that we had to break them down into 3 major themes. Then each theme is subdivided by a general topic with multiple chapters per topic.
  • Ages & Stages; Preschool, Elementary to Middle, Teens & Beyond
  • Learning Resources; History & Geography, Home Ec, Language Arts & Literature, Special Needs, STEM, Engaged Ideas, Enrichment, For Moms, Training Hearts
  • Managing Your Life; Budgetary Concerns, Maintaining Your Home, Unique Homeschool Situations
There really is something for everyone, every need, every unique situation that is found in homeschooling. Topics like homeschooling with twins, homeschooling while pregnant, life on a dairy farm, time management, classical education and so much more. 

The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas Blog Tour

With the Blog Tour you have a chance to meet and get to know the authors on a more personal level, enter to win a wide array of giveaways, and enjoy the benefits of getting the ebook through one of two sale options.

2 Ways to Save on The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas

The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas and The iHomeschool Studio.
(October 1 – November 10, 2014)


Buy Today and Use this Code: homeschool to get $2 Off your purchase. 

The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas 
is a digital product in pdf, mobi and epub formats.
You get 
all three formats with one purchase in a zipped file.
The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas Sale via Great Peace Academy
Use Code: homeschool

Here is how the Blog Tour Works

The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas Blog Tour, Author Renee at Great Peace Academy
  • Simply follow along on the calendar to each of the authors blogs. Many are hosting giveaways and you can participate in each. I’m giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card (see below). 
  • Yesterday  on the blog tour Jennifer Janes shared her story of why she wrote the Special Needs Homeschooling and 25 Ideas for Ministry and Volunteering in the Community with Kids
  • Tomorrow, October 19, Adelien Tandian will be sharing her story of how the chapter How to Start Resarch with Your Logic Stage Kids came about.

Blog Tour Giveaway

I’m giving away one $25 Amazon Gift Card. To enter simply leave a comment telling me which chapter you are most excited about reading in The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas. Just follow this link and click on  table of contents.



One thing you can be sure of, you will be encouraged and inspired by this dynamic group of homeschooling mamas. We each have a passion for homeschooling, protecting our families, and strengthening others in our roles as homeschool moms.


Subscribe to Great Peace Academy for even more Homeschool Encouragement.

Fun Family Games

Family Games without Technology

Family Fun Games without Technology from Carrom Company, at Great Peace Academy
Did you know it’s entirely possible to spend quality time together as a family and have fun without technology being involved? Yep, it’s true! Card games, board games and lawn games are a great way to interact with your family. With a little friendly competition and a heart for fun you can enjoy family games during family time and unplug from technology at the same time. 

I was given a wonderful opportunity to choose a game from the Carrom Company. I received this game for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own and I am not being compensated for my review. 

Vintage Board Games for Family Game Time

Carrom Company has been around for over 100 years. You may remember the Carrom Board, which is a wooden gaming board that has 100 games that can be played on it. I know my husbands family has one and he remembers that his grandma has one as well. 

I had an opportunity recently at a blogging conference, to explore all of the boards that Carrom makes. These are good quality wooden games made right here in the U.S.A.  I was fascinated by several including, the Carrom Board, Skittles and Nok Hockey. 

But when choosing a game, I went with Hi-Bol. It’s sort of a non electronic version of skee ball. 

Family Fun Games for Indoor or Outdoor Play from Carrom Company at Great Peace Academy

To play each player has a turn where they roll 7 wooden balls, 6 plain and one red ball, from about 15 feet away, up the ramp and the ball jumps to land somewhere within the grid target, scoring points for the number where the ball lands. The red ball scores double points. 

The game is played in 5 innings with each person getting one turn per inning. At the end of the 5 innings the person with the highest score wins.

The game is built in a convenient all in one wooden box. The balls can be stored inside. It is hinged and opens up to reveal a metal grid target. A triangular piece of wood folds down to create the ramp for the balls to jump on. 

The first time we played we were indoors in the playroom because it was raining outside. We laughed as we learned how to throw/roll the ball. It takes a bit of trial and error. I finally discovered it’s better to get a good roll than a good throw. 

My son loved the game and keeps asking when we can play it again. All three of us had a great time playing and laughing together and best of all, we were unplugged and enjoying each others company. 

We also played outdoors. It’s a bit trickier on grass than it is on a flat surface but with a bit of practice we figured it out. 

Family Fun Games from Carrom Company good for indoor or outdoor play via Great Peace Academy

The Carrom Company has a good variety of wooden skill games and I’m sure you will find one, or a few, that your family will come to treasure for years to come. Best of all, they can be passed from generation to generation because they are quality American made wooden products.


Want to spend time with your family unplugged? Carrom is hosting an Unplug Your Kids: Connect the Family Night

I’m joining Carrom Company and YOU CAN TOO! Tomorrow (10/16/14)  at 6:00 p.m. you too can unplug your kids and connect the family. Turn off the technology in your household, share a meal, play some games and tune in to your kids! 

How do you unplug from technology in your family? Share your tips in comments below.