Friday, January 5, 2007

Newport Homemade Vegetable Soup

Newport Homemade Vegetable Soup
Dorcas Annette Walker

I’m starting the New Year out with a recipe that I have never done before. This is the time of year to venture out and try something brand new. A couple months after we moved here to pastor the First Church of the Nazarene here in Newport I was sick. A lady in our church, Judy Layman who is also a great cook, brought me some homemade vegetable soup that I had never seen before in all my travels to different parts of the United States. Then a couple of Sundays ago I lay down to rest in the afternoon- something that I rarely do- and received a phone call asking for my punch-bowl recipe the week before. As we chatted the lady mentioned her recipe of homemade vegetable soup using canned vegetable soup that was so easy to make. I scribbled down the ingredients knowing I wanted to check out this recipe as it seems to be a popular one around Newport. In my half-awake state I never did get the lady’s name so I am calling this recipe Newport Homemade Vegetable Soup.

The only homemade vegetable soup that I was previously acquainted with was variations of my Grandmother’s vegetable soup. Every fall I spend a day cooking up a canner full of vegetable soup (using a hodge-podge of fresh garden vegetables) that I freeze for the coming winter. It’s a perfect way to use fresh garden produce. For my Grandmother’s canner recipe you start with a large package of stew beef (a package of cut-up beef) that you brown seasoning with garlic salt and pepper. Then puree in a blender: four quarts of tomatoes, one quart of cooked squash, one bag of onions, and one stalk of celery (dry the celery leaves for future use). Cut up and slice one bag of carrots, one large head of cabbage, and shred a cup of zucchini. Peel and dice up six to eight potatoes. Add: one package of frozen lima beans, one package of frozen peas, two packages of frozen corn, two quarts of green beans, and two cans of creamed corn. Sprinkle in two tablespoons of salt, one teaspoon of pepper, and one tablespoon of parsley. Bring to a boil and cook until all the vegetables are soft. The bright colors of freshly cooked vegetables alone are enough to delight the eye and this is soup is the height of nutrition. When cooled, pour soup into containers to freeze. A steaming bowl of my grandmother’s homemade vegetable soup never fails to bring warm summer memories back on a cold winter day.

There is nothing so cozy as a pot of soup simmering on the stove on a windy winter day spreading its fragrance throughout the house. In the good ole days there was always a soup kettle sitting on the back of the stove reserved for liquid and meat scraps. I sometimes store in the refrigerator during the winter months cooked potato and vegetable water to use for soups. Soups are a great way to personalize a recipe as they are easy to make and there is no limit to what ingredients or spices you can add to tempt your taste buds. The Newport Homemade Vegetable Soup is a quick and easy version of my Grandmother’s homemade vegetable soup of the past. Preparation time is around thirty minutes and this recipe serves five to six people.

Newport Homemade Vegetable Soup

Brown one pound of hamburger. Sprinkle ½ tsp garlic salt, pepper to taste, and 1 tb chopped onion (may substitute small minced onion).

Add to browned hamburger:
2 small cans or 1 large can of vegetable soup of your choice- adding water as directed.

Peel and dice up 2-3 medium potatoes to soup.
½ tsp salt
Boil until potatoes are soft.

Optional add:
½ tsp dried celery leaves
½ tsp dried parsley

Serve hot. May garnish with parsley leaves. Homemade bread, hot cornbread, or corn muffins is a great companion with this homemade vegetable soup!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a freelance writer, author, columnist, and photographer from Jamestown, TN. If you have any cooking tips or favorite recipes you are welcome to contact me by mail at: Dorcas Walker, 929 Wildwood Lane, Jamestown, TN 38556 or email me at: For more information about the Walker family and Dorcas’ books check out her website at: or htpp:// for other Creative Mountain Cookin recipes.

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