Deer season opens this weekend here in Alabama, and we've just about exhausted last year's venison stash, so that works out great! The weather's turned colder too, so last night I decided to whip up this Taco Soup recipe from Southern Living, substituting ground venison for the ground beef.

The best thing about this recipe is that it's SO easy! I was working on a batch of scuppernong jelly at the same time, but since this recipe simply requires browning the meat and then adding the rest of the ingredients before simmering for a good 20 minutes, that was no problem at all. Plus, since it's chock full of beans and veggies, this soup is already pretty healthy - but I used home-ground venison that had no added fat, making our dinner extra friendly for the waistline. (Since venison is SO lean, processors or home cooks will often mix in pork suet or some other fat with the ground meat, which really helps when making venison burgers.)

We paired the soup with some quick cheese toast from the toaster oven and enjoyed this hearty, humble meal next to a roaring fire. Doesn't get much better than that.