It’s a rare recipe where the directions can be summarized with the word “make”. My mother’s soup really is that simple: assemble ingredients, put the pot on to simmer, and let it do its thing. If you’d rather have more of a stew than a soup, simmer the mixture down until it’s nice and thick. If you want to make this recipe vegetarian, it’s equally simple: don’t add the meat. Bam. Done. Robust vegetarian dinner for several, coming up.
When I think of commercial vegetable soup, I remember watery broth with a few vegetables half-heartedly swimming in it. That isn’t a stand-alone dinner by any stretch of the imagination, and I’d be a little embarrassed to have it on my table. To use an automotive metaphor: if the store-bought option is a Ford Pinto, this soup is a Ferrari. It’s packed chock-full of every kind of delicious vegetable, plus chunks of tender, savory beef. This ain’t yo mama’s vegetable soup. It’s mine.
I chose to use chunks of round steak rather than a beef bone for this particular preparation, because I am currently city-bound and don’t have access to a good butcher. I also omitted the macaroni: I can’t remember my mother ever actually putting it in, and the soup doesn’t need it.
- 1 pound round steak, cubed
- 2 cups shredded cabbage
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cups diced potatoes
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 (15-ounce) can peas
- 1 (15-ounce) can corn
- 1/2 cup dried lima beans (you can use the canned ones, but they’re so much better cooked fresh)
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
In a large pot, combine all ingredients and add water to cover.
Simmer for 2-3 hours, or until all ingredients are tender and fully cooked.
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