Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Clean the Kitchen Vegetable Soup

From the bean of Green Bean

My grandmother, Kay (yellow apron), with her second husband.  
The woman in the flowered apron is my other grandmother, Thelma.

When my grandmother, Kay, was in her early 80s, she met and married the second love of her life.  Her new husband, Kent, jumped right into our family, helping cook holiday meals, wrap presents, and share stories.  Sadly, their marriage ended a few short years later when he passed away.  Their happy years together gave my grandmother a new lease on life.  She lived many more years - and had one more boyfriend - until she passed away in her sleep at 98 years old.

Kent left behind a fabulous vegetable soup recipe which my family has adopted and cherished as it would any heirloom.  What follows is my version of Kent's Vegetable Soup Recipe.

I cook it at least once every 6 weeks to empty out the produce drawers, clean off the counter tops and use up excess garden or CSA produce. Though the recipe I inherited called for canned beans and the like, it - like all good things - has adapted.  This recipe relies on seasonal vegetables and provides leftovers for a week.

Last night's iteration of Kent's soup - with purple potatoes, butternut squash and broccoli.

* All measurements are approximate. I've got produce to use up!

Total Cook Time: 90 minutes

2-3 large carrots, sliced
2-3 potatoes or sweet potatoes, cubed
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 stalks of celery, sliced
2-3 cups chopped seasonal vegetables (squash, broccoli, peas, green beans, greens, corn)
2 cups of chopped tomatoes (in season) or 1/2-1 cup pasta sauce, salsa, tomato paste
2-3 cups cooked or canned beans
3 tablespoons fresh herbs or 3 teaspoons dried herbs (parsley, basil, oregano, etc)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
5 cups broth (use cheapskate broth recipe here for more decluttering/savings)
1 cup uncooked barley or pasta, cooked rice
1 teaspoon each sea salt and pepper


Add all ingredients except for peas, greens, cabbage or starch (barley, rice, pasta) to stock pot. Cook on medium heat for 30 minutes.

Reduce heat to low after first 30 minutes.  Cook or an additional 60 minutes.  Add barley and any greens, peas or cabbage when there is 20 minutes of cooking left.  If you are adding uncooked pasta, follow the cook time on the package.  If you are adding cooked barley, rice or pasta, stir in and heat through once total cook time is done.

Adapt this recipe to how you eat and what's in your kitchen.  Pass it on.  And toast to long, full lives and a clean kitchen.


Anna (Green Talk) said...

I love this recipe. Great way to get rid of produce that is going bad. I wonder if you can throw in some old apples too?

Brenna Burke said...

I love soup in the winter. Your recipe sounds great! A big plus when you can reduce food waste and clean out the refrigerator too!

Mindful Momma said...

Ha! I've made this "recipe" many times!

Lynn Hasselberger said...


Green Bean said...

@Anna - I don't see why you couldn't use apples. It would probably be especially nice when using butternut squash! Yum.

@Brenna Burke - Thank you! Soup in winter rules.

@Mindful Momma - Ha ha. Isn't it the greatest. Just toss everything.

@Lynn Hasselberger - Thank you!

Betsy Escandon said...

This is an important recipe for anyone to have in their arsenal! I've moved more and more towards this kind of recipe -- the type you can adapt to whatever is in season/ whatever you've got on hand.


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