This has been a cherished family recipe since my childhood. My grandma was very poor, but made the best food with what she had on hand, which, was usually ingredients from the garden and meat that my grandpa had raised or brought home from a good day of hunting. Hence the name bear soup, as my Grandma usually had bear or venision. But We always use beef stew meat. This may seem like a simple recipe but give it a try you will not be disappointed. This is the best comfort food ever and feeds a crowd. Also great to can and have all winter. Serve with a peanut butter sandwich and you have heart and belly warming meal.