Classic Childhood Vegetable Soup #SoupSwappers

This classic version of a childhood vegetable soup is loaded with potatoes, carrots, corn, green beans, peas, and onions. It's comfort food at its best.

I’ve been waiting months to share this recipe with all of y’all. When one of my favorite food bloggers, Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm, suggested the theme “Thanks for the Memories” as our December Soup Saturday Swappers theme, I knew right away what soup I was going to make. I even called my Mom to tell her about my recipe idea and pre-apologize for any hurt feelings which would ensue. Yeah folks, it’s one of those recipes.

By now, many of you know that I was raised on a small family farm in Western Maryland, and grew up on homemade vegetables, as well as farm-raised pigs and cows. Summers were brutal. They were often spent in the garden weeding and picking, and then hunkered down in our basement literally shelling and shucking all the skin off of our hands in the only cold air to be found in that hot-as-all-get-out unairconditioned country home. With all of the busy work, there wasn’t nearly enough time to play with my Smurfs, which totally sucked, because let’s just face it, Smurfs rock.

After all of that weeding, picking, shelling, and shucking, it was time to can or freeze everything, which often meant spending hours in a sweltering kitchen as I watched my Mom try not to blow up the entire house with our ancient pressure cooker. I’ll admit right now, that’s probably still one of the main reasons I haven’t submitted to the Instant Pot craze as of yet. That pressure cooker put the fear of God into me at a very early age and I’m just not sure I’m able to overcome that fear just quite yet.

Anyway, each summer my Mom spent hours making Vegetable Soup to can, or what I like to refer to as “TOMATO WATER WITH A FEW VEGETABLES THROWN IN FOR COLOR.” I’m sorry Mom, it was bad. Bland, boring, tasteless, and not something I ever looked forward to. The only thing that made it actually edible was eating it alongside saltines literally smothered in butter. After all, butter makes everything better. Or a grilled cheese sandwich. Or Smurfs. Smurfs definitely maker everything better.

So, for this month’s Soup Saturday Swappers, I decided that my Mom’s memorable vegetable soup was a recipe that I wanted to recreate, only without the whole tomato water thing and with tons of veggies thrown in for flavor. Also, I added a little bit of salt and pepper in as well, because, surprise, surprise, it actually works wonders to give food an actual flavor. Other than that, I left this childhood recipe fairly simple, as well as classic. After all, I wanted this to be a recipe that my Mom would actually eat. See, I’m not totally the worst daughter ever. P.S., if I’m grounded after this post, you better believe I’m taking my Smurfs with me to time out.

This classic version of a childhood vegetable soup is loaded with potatoes, carrots, corn, green beans, peas, and onions. It's comfort food at its best.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Sweet Yellow Onion, Finely Diced
  • 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Finely Ground Black Pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 (32-oz.) Carton Low-Sodium Beef Broth
  • 1 (28-oz.) Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 3 Red Potatoes, Peeled & Diced
  • 1 (16-oz.) Bag Frozen Mixed Vegetables (Carrots, Corn, Green Beans, & Peas)
  • 2 Bay Leaves

This classic version of a childhood vegetable soup is loaded with potatoes, carrots, corn, green beans, peas, and onions. It's comfort food at its best.

Directions:

  1. Place the olive oil, onion, salt, and pepper in a large Dutch oven or soup pot, over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for an additional minute.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, increase the temperature to high and bring to a rolling boil.
  5. Cover and decrease the temperature to medium.
  6. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
  7. Remove the bay leaves before serving.

This classic version of a childhood vegetable soup is loaded with potatoes, carrots, corn, green beans, peas, and onions. It's comfort food at its best.

Suggestions:

  • Serve this soup with buttered saltine crackers. Trust me, it’s a classic combination that never fails to satisfy.
  • If this soup proves to be too acidic for you, try adding a little bit of sugar or honey to it to cut the acidity.
  • Make this vegetable soup over the weekend or the night before to save even more time on a busy weeknight.
  • This soup freezes beautifully, making it easy to pull some out of the freezer on nights when precious time is lacking or when you feel yourself coming down with a cold and are in need of some comfort food.

This classic version of a childhood vegetable soup is loaded with potatoes, carrots, corn, green beans, peas, and onions. It's comfort food at its best.

Improvements:

  • Add dried or fresh herbs to this soup for even more flavor.
  • Replace the potatoes in this recipe with a handful of small pasta, like this Pastina.
  • I used a Le Creuset Dutch Oven when making this recipe. Its size is perfect for large batches of soup, enabling me to stir the soup often without fear of it flying everywhere and creating a gigantic mess.
  • Replace the red potatoes in this recipe with sweet potatoes, butternut squash, or additional fresh vegetables.

Classic Childhood Vegetable Soup

Classic Childhood Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Sweet Yellow Onion, Finely Diced
  • 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Finely Ground Black Pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 (32-oz.) Carton Low-Sodium Beef Broth
  • 1 (28-oz.) Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 3 Red Potatoes, Peeled & Diced
  • 1 (16-oz.) Bag Frozen Mixed Vegetables (Carrots, Corn, Green Beans, & Peas)
  • 2 Bay Leaves

Directions:

  1. Place the olive oil, onion, salt, and pepper in a large Dutch oven or soup pot, over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for an additional minute.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, increase the temperature to high and bring to a rolling boil.
  5. Cover and decrease the temperature to medium.
  6. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
  7. Remove the bay leaves before serving.
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This week, I’ll also be sharing this recipe on Kahakai Kitchen’s Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays.

This classic version of a childhood vegetable soup is loaded with potatoes, carrots, corn, green beans, peas, and onions. It's comfort food at its best.

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Soup Saturday Swappers is a group of friends who get together on the third Saturday of each month to share their favorite soup and stew recipes based on a theme chosen by one of the members. To join Soup Saturday Swappers you can send an email to wendyklik1517@gmail.com. Visit our Pinterest board to find more great soup and stew recipes.