The Farmer’s Vegetable Soup…from garden, to pot, to table!

Whether I have just picked them from the garden or opened a can I’ve “put up” from the summer, vegetables are classic and versatile. This vegetable soup is so quick and easy that I even like to jar it up and share with friends or store for a rainy day. Well, it rained and rained today and a bowl of this soup was calling my name. I had some bread from the Mennonite bakery and my meal was set.

Like any good soup, you have to have a good base. Since I had chicken breasts and not a whole hen, I made a quick stock. I usually make my own stock with a whole hen, seasoning, and root vegetables, but today I used a short cut.

Quick Stock…great base for soups, stews, and gumbo

* 8 cups of water
* 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
* 1 can of Cream of Chicken soup…you’ll need another later on.
* 1 medium size onion – diced
* Two stalks of celery finely chopped
* 1 package of chicken bouillon seasoning (I use Goya)
* A heaping dash (tablespoon) of Nature’s Seasoning

Bring the water to a boil and add everything but the chicken. Reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes…add the chicken. Once the chicken is cooked, I reserved half of the meat (about four breasts) for some chicken salad. I love to make several meals from one starter or base. And that’s my quick chicken stock.

For the rest of the soup, you’ll need…

* Two jars of canned tomatoes or six medium vine ripened
* One can of cream of chicken soup
* Two cups of okra…frozen or fresh
* A cup and a half of lima beans from the freezer or green beans work well too.
* A heaping cup of egg noodles
* V8 juice for extra liquid if needed

Add the above ingredients except the noodles to the chicken and stock and bring to a boil. You may have to whisk the cream of Chicken to break it up or use a slotted spoon.

Reduce heat and let the soup simmer for about ten minutes. Add the egg noodles and cook them until done. If you are running low on liquid, use some V8 or tomato juice.

Soup’s on, Ya’ll! Serve a bowl with good toast, cornbread, crackers or grilled cheese.

As stated, this soup is so easy and quite delicious. I actually like it once it’s sat for a bit…the longer it sits, the more the flavors steep and concentrate… one of those “better the next day” recipes.

Follow glass jar sanitation instructions on the package of Mason or other glass jars…this soup cans very well and is a great present any time of the year. Tie a ribbon around the jar and share with friends and family…a mug or bowl of this soup is a marvelous treat from your garden and kitchen to there’s!

Sneak peak of tomorrow's post....the Farmer plans a tips and ideas!