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Judy's Vegetable Soup From Cans


If ever there was a pure American Frontier soup, this is it. In fact, it reminds me of American novelist Willa Cather's recipe for Vegetable Soup, from vegetables that are "run through a grinder then home canned; then in Winter add contents of jar to soup stock"--from a handwritten note she put inside her copy of The White House Cook Book. Judy Teeter, who contributed the following recipe, is a true New Mexican, creative cook, passionate singer (who sings with the local chorale), and is from Los Lunas, New Mexico--far from Cather's 19th century Nebraska. But the end product is pure and hearty anywhere, anyhow. Judy says it's great "for when time is short, but you want something really good!" [Please note, the cans are standard 14½ ounces, or 411 grams.] Oh, and for another variation, see the p.s. below.

Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Add the rest of the ingredients, season to taste with basil and thyme, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and cook about 20 minutes to cook the rice. Serve hot. It should not need much salt.

Judy says, "I never make this soup exactly the same twice. It depends on what I have on hand. It is easy, quick, not too heavy, and tastes wonderful." I agree--I made it twice with different herbs and beans--threw in some tired vegetables from the fridge, too.

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P.S. Joy, of Wamego, Kansas, writes in to note that the soup is richer and less salty if you start out with a 10-ounce can of vegetable beef concentrate and 1/2 can water (instead of the stock)--then add all the veggies. She says, "Easiest vegetable soup ever. E.T.A. 10 minutes. Serve with garlic cheese bread."