Sunday, December 28, 2014

Hearty Vegetable Soup

Raise your hand if you're sad the holidays are coming to an end. You can't see it but my hand is raised. Why does it go so fast? I attempted to slow down a little this December but for some reason the time continuum did not get to memo that it was also supposed to slow down. Oh well. Such is life. It was still a fantastic season and we were able to do some fun things! Plenty of cookies were baked, trees were decorated and lot's of gifts were opened. I am truly blessed and I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season. 

Now, raise your hand if you ate WAY too much during your festivites.  Again, my hand is up. Actually both hands are up. Shew, I feel the need for a detox. Ok, we all know that's not going to happen because I love to eat. However, I'm going to lighten things up a bit and have some vegetables that aren't covered in cream or cheese. I know, I know. They're delicious but I need a break before I eat more super satisfying, delicious, special occasion foods later this week. 

This is one of those recipes that even people who claim to not know how to cook, can make. If you can open some bags, a can and can read, then you can make this. All you do is soften the fresh vegetable, throw the rest of the ingredients in and let your stove top do the work! Easy peasy. 

I created this vegetable soup recipe years ago after one of my families many, many trips to the Smokey Mountains. My parents used to drag us there twice a year for long weekend getaways. One of the things I always looked forward to during those mini vacations, was our excursion to the Apple Barn. Ever been there? I totally recommend it. The apple fritters and apple butter are ah-mazing. I can taste it right now. The vegetable soup though, is out of this world. It's a basic soup with basic vegetables (please don't put sweet potatoes in my veggie soup. Sorry.). White potatoes, onions, green beans, corn, peas, lima beans, celery, you know. All the good stuff. They kick their soup up a notch though by adding white pepper. It's such a simple concept but adds such a great warmth to an already soul soothing soup. (I just totally got distracted by a piece of brisket on tv. What was I even talking about? Ohhhh soup. Got it.) 

This soup really is souper easy. Haha... Sorry. I really could not resist. I use mostly frozen vegetables. I'm glad that after years of a bad reputation, frozen vegetables are making a comeback. I've always used them and have never understood the fuss. They're all frozen at the peak of freshness and they aren't covered in salt and preservatives. I do use two cans though--tomatoe juice and canned tomatoes. I have no shame in my game. Especially since I used all of my canned tomatoes from my garden. It didn't take long. I'll fix that with my next garden! 

Word of warning: this soup is a little on the spicy side so it might not be a big hit to the little ones. I've never experimented with that so you will want to cut back on the white pepper. Maybe just 1/2 teaspoon. I serve this up in a big ole' bowl with a side of peanut butter crackers because growing up we always had peanut butter crackers with our soup. Don't ask me why. I don't know. It's just what we did and this always brings happy memories for me. 

Hearty Vegetable Soup                                                          Printer Friendly

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, diced
1 cup carrots, sliced
1 white baking potato, cubed
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 cups frozen green beans
1 cup frozen Lima beans
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
2 cups frozen peas
1 1/2 cup frozen corn
1 (46 ounce) can low sodium tomato juice
1 1/2 teaspoons white pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon celery salt

In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes or until onions have softened. Add garlic and stir in white pepper, black pepper, garlic powder, celery salt and salt. 

Next, add green beans, potato, Lima beans, tomatoes, and tomato juice. 

Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes. About 10 minutes before serving, mix in corn and peas. 

Adjust seasonings, remove from heat and enjoy! 

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