Vegetables were always canned or jarred during the spring months to ensure a good supply over the winter. Often, when the weather started to turn cold, I remember Mamere Zeringue cooking a huge pot of vegetable soup on her old kitchen stove. This is her recipe. Should you wish, please feel free to add any of your favorite vegetables such as turnip, sweet potatoes, white beans, or any other vegetable of your choice.
- 3 pounds bone-in (marrow bone) soup meat
- ¼ pound melted butter
- 2 cups coarsely chopped onions
- 2 cups coarsely chopped celery
- 1 cup coarsely chopped green bell pepper
- ¼ cup minced garlic
- 4 quarts beef stock
- 1 (12-15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 2 (12-15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 1 (12-15ounce) can whole kernel corn
- 1 (12-15 ounce) can lima beans
- 1 (12-15 ounce) can black-eyed peas
- 1 (12-15 ounce) can red kidney beans
- 1 small head cabbage, cubed
- 2 cups red skin potatoes, cubed
- 1 (8-ounce) package vermicelli
- salt and cracked black pepper to taste
In a two-gallon stockpot, melt butter over medium high heat. Add soup meat and bones, cook until golden brown on all sides, 10-12 minutes. Add onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic. Sauté three to five minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add beef stock, tomatoes and tomato sauce. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook until meat is tender. Approximately 2 hours. Add carrots, corn, lima beans, black eyed peas, red beans and cabbage blending well into the soup mixture. Cook 12-15 minutes or until carrots are tender. Add potatoes and vermicelli and cook 12-15 minutes or until potatoes and pasta are tender. Season to taste using salt and pepper.
NOTE: Additional beef stock or water may be added during the cooking process to retain a soup like consistency. Remember you want vegetable soup not vegetable stew!