Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chunky Vegetable Soup

Chunky Vegetable Soup
Dorcas Annette Walker

Every cold and snowy day my thoughts turn to a bowl of steaming soup with some kind of hot bread. There is something comforting about inhaling the aroma of just-baked bread as you eat a bowl of nourishing soup while the freezing winds howl outside. Just as my outdoor pets and livestock need more food to keep healthy during the winter months so our bodies too need an extra shot of vitamins to ward off the rounds of colds and flu. Instead of popping more pills prepare a kettle of my Chunky Vegetable Soup. I always make a large amount as soups and leftover breads freeze well and are easy to warm up in the microwave on days when your schedule is hectic. Taking a thermos of soup along to work for your lunch is not only healthful, but economic as well.

When I worked in our local hospital I always packed my lunch. My penny-pinching Dutch background didn’t see the sense in paying for food when I always had leftovers at home. Each day as I arrived for work the first thing the other nursing staff wanted to know was what I had brought for lunch. While they grumbled over the cafeteria menu or ordered take-outs from local fast-food restaurants, I enjoyed my homemade food. I soon was handing out extra cookies, brownies, and cake that the different shifts fought over to get a piece of. It was amazing how a batch of just-baked brownies immediately changed the atmosphere at the nursing station and set the tone for the rest of the evening. So if you want to make new friends or improve your work environment, take a Crockpot of homemade soup or some home-baked goodie to work one day and I can guarantee that you will instantly become the most popular person around. You might even win brownie points with your boss.

My Chunky Vegetable Soup is ideal to make using up odds and ends of fresh vegetables right after a major holiday that are left over in your refrigerator. You can add or delete vegetables to cater to the taste buds of your family or put the items in a large Crockpot and let them simmer all day long. The more fresh vegetables you use the more colorful your Chunky Vegetable Soup will be. If you don’t have any fresh vegetables on hand substitute canned ones or use a couple packs of frozen mixed vegetables instead. My Chunky Vegetable Soup takes a couple of hours to prepare and this recipe will make about two gallons of soup.

Chunky Vegetable Soup

2 lbs hamburger
1 large onion diced
1 c chopped celery
2 qt tomatoes pureed
1 qt tap water
1 qt green beans drained
3 c frozen corn
2 c peeled & sliced carrots
1 (15 oz) can of peas drained
2 large potatoes peeled and diced
1 small head cabbage chopped
1 tb dried parsley
1 tb salt
1 tsp black pepper
*optional: 2 c pureed squash and 1 c shredded zucchini

Brown hamburger in the bottom of a large kettle with diced onion. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil, cook until all the vegetables are tender, and let simmer. Serve hot!

Weekly tip: Soups are a wonderful way to disguise any vegetables that you or your family doesn’t like. Simply pureed and add them to the soup where the other flavors will override the taste!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: For more recipes check out her Creative Tennessee Mountain Cookin blog at:

No comments: