Hi retirees and other cherished readers.
Harvest time is here!
Homemade harvest soups are delicious and good for you.
If you are a gardener; you know that many of the fruits of your labor are ready for harvest during August and early September. There are some that seem to get ripe all at once, like tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, and corn. Gardeners understand the ‘harvest time rush” to pick, can, freeze or give away what can’t be used up in your regular meals.
Homemade harvest soups are one way to use and enjoy
your produce before it decays.
Homemade soups may take a little longer; but there is no comparison to canned soups. The taste of the homemade soups is far superior as well as being better for your health. The sodium content is much less in soup we make ourselves. There are no unhealthy additives and fillers in our homemade soups. And we have complete control of what we do add to our vegetables. Fresh vegetables are more nutrient rich than canned. So let’s pick those vegetables and prepare to make some soups!
Homemade Vegetable Soup
Vegetable soup is a good choice; because we can use so many different vegetables in the same soup. Many vegetables are coming ripe close to the same time. While the sweet corn is sporting brown silk, the tomatoes and peppers are turning red, green and yellow. The cauliflower and broccoli is forming heads and the green beans are ripening all at once. You can use all these and more. You are the chef. You can use whatever you have and in whatever quantity you desire.
Soup base or starter
Start with a soup base of onions, garlic, and bell peppers. Add a little olive oil, coconut oil, or other healthy fat to the bottom of the stock pan and cook over medium low heat until the vegetables are glassy.
Add cooked meat for flavoring. Beef roast is the standard; but you can use other meats or even mushrooms, which have a rather meaty taste. You may want to add some bouillon for more meaty flavor. You choose the spices and experiment.
Below is a recipe for beef vegetable soup. I have just guessed at the ingredients and amounts to give you a guide; but you can change it all around to suit yourself and your soup will still be delicious.
Beef Vegetable Soup
You will need to roast a beef roast or use the leftovers of last night’s roast. Or you can buy beef soup chunks, brown them and cook in water until tender and falling apart. I don’t like to bite into large half cooked chunks of beef in my vegetable soup. I like the meat tender and easy to pull apart. I will leave the quantity of the beef up to you. If you like a meaty soup; add a lot. If you just like it for flavor, or you only have a certain amount of leftover meat; use less.
1 cup onions, 1 cup bell peppers, and minced garlic to taste. I like my onions and peppers chopped rather fine. You may prefer larger pieces. You will just need to cook it longer to make sure they are tender. Put 1/2 cup olive, canola, or coconut oil in large stock pot and melt over medium low heat. Add vegetables and cook until glassy. Stir to keep from burning.
Blanch 8 to 10 medium sized tomatoes in hot water and put into cold for easy removal of skins. Chop the tomatoes and add to the soup starter. Add your pre-cooked beef, salt, pepper, oregano and beef bouillon to taste.
Add 4 to 6 cups of water. Or use part beef or vegetable stock.
Add the following vegetables:
2 cups celery (chopped)
2 cups carrots (chopped)
4 to 6 ears of corn, cut off of the cob
8 to 10 medium sized potatoes. Peeled and diced, or chunks if you prefer.
2 cups cabbage (chopped)
1 cup of peas (hulled) or you can use frozen
1 cup of broccoli (chopped)
1 cup of cauliflower (chopped)
1 cup of green beans (chopped)
(Feel free to add or subtract vegetables according to what you may have on hand)
Cover and cook over medium low heat until all the vegetables are tender. Taste and add more seasonings if desired. This is best cooked for several hours for the vegetables to get tender and the flavors to combine. Add more water if needed. Cook for a while with the lid off if you desire a thicker soup.
If you would like to use more of your vegetables; you can make a larger quantity and freeze or can this hardy soup for use during the long, cold winter months. It will taste even better in the winter.
Homemade Tomato Soup
Tomato soup was my favorite soup when I was little. But homemade tomato soup is wonderful. I just love it. It takes a while to prepare; but it is delicious. I think you could probably can it if you wanted; but I always eat it all within a few days. I love it so much. Pare it with a toasted cheese sandwich and you will think you have died and gone to Heaven!
My Tomato Soup Recipe:
Prepare soup starter:
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive or coconut oil over medium low heat and add:
1 medium to large onion (chopped)
1 cup of bell peppers (chopped)
1 carrot (shredded)
1 or two stalks of celery (chopped)
Cook until vegetables become glassy.
Fill a pot with water and heat until hot. Put cold water in a bowl or pan for shocking hot tomatoes. Place a few tomatoes in the hot water for a minute or two. Take the batch of tomatoes out, one at a time, with tongs and place them in the cold water until skins peel off easily. If skins don’t peel off easily, leave the next batch in a little longer. If the tomatoes go to mush, shorten the time in the hot water. If your cold water gets warm after a few batches, simply dump and fill with fresh cold water.
The next step is to remove seeds. I find that the seeds do not always blend up well in the blender for a smooth soup, so I take them out. Cut tomatoes in fourths and use your fingers to dislodge the seed pods. When all the seeds have been removed, your tomatoes are ready to add to the soup starter.
Season to taste with:
Small amount of sugar
(basil is also good in tomato soup)
I haven’t put measurements here because it depends on the amount of tomatoes you use. You will want to season it by adding a small amount, tasting and increasing if needed. You can always add more; but you can’t take it out if you add too much. You are in control. Add other seasonings if you want; or subtract some. Make it yours. You will need some sugar; but the amount will need to be your choice. Some people like a more sour soup, and others like it sweeter.
Cook over medium or medium low heat until the tomatoes go to mush and flavors meld together. If you want a chunky soup; it can be served this way; but I recommend the smooth soup. Turn off burner and let cool until it isn’t steaming. Dump by portions into a blender and blend until smooth. Return to the pan to reheat. Taste your soup again and add more seasonings if needed. If you prefer cream of tomato soup, add a little milk or sour cream before reheating. Enjoy!
* All photos courtesy of Pixabay.com
I promised, a while back, (in another post) to give you some more soup recipes at harvest time. I try to keep my promises.
Find out more about the health benefits of making your own fresh soup, and more soup recipes for using your harvest vegetables here:
LINK TO DIY SOUPS
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you come again soon. I love company, and my door is always open. I post weekly, so there will be something new waiting for you when you return.
At your service,