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Welcome to my Blog 'In The Kitchen With Don'! Thank you for your visit and come back soon!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Vegetable soup

When the weather is cold and nasty I love making soups and stews. I'll often make a large pot of soup Sunday afternoon and eat on it for most of the following week. One of my all time favorites is vegetable soup. I put in all different kinds of vegetables and often make it so thick it is really more of a stew than a soup. It simmers long and slow for a couple of hours. Because of the long cooking time, canned vegetables are really more appropriate than fresh or frozen for most of the vegetables. The fresh things I usually use are: onions, celery, carrots, cabbage and either a rutabaga or turnip. Here's how I make my soup.

1 large onion, peeled and chopped
about 1 1/2 cup chopped celery
about 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
3-4 cups chopped cabbage (a bag of slaw mix is perfect!)
a medium sized turnip or rutabaga, peeled and cubed

In a large stock pot heat about 1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil. Add the onion, celery, carrots, cabbage and rutabaga. Fry over medium heat until the vegetables begin to brown a bit, taking care not to scorch.

Next add the following canned vegetables (each can is about 14.5 ounces each):

2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans crushed tomatoes
1 can peas
1 can green beans
1 can lima beans
1 46-oz bottle of low sodium vegetable juice cocktail

Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 1 1/2-2 hours. Eat with cornbread or good sourdough or homemade bread.

Variations: If I want to make vegetable beef soup, I'll take a pound or so of stewing beef (I like chuck best), cut into cubes, cover with water and simmer until falling apart. I then add the stewed beef and broth when I add the canned vegetables and decrease the vegetable juice cocktail by half or omit completely.

I also substitute other vegetables depending on what I have or what is in season. Sometimes I'll put in browned cubes of eggplant or zucchini squash. Some people like to use corn in vegetable soup, but I rarely do. You can also put in cubed potatoes if you like. Just use what you like or have.