Celebrate fall with a pot of vegetable beef soup
by Elane Jones
Oct 07, 2012 | 1962 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Vegetable soup is a great way to use locally-grown produce and provides plenty of leftovers for your family. Photo by: Elane Jones
Vegetable soup is a great way to use locally-grown produce and provides plenty of leftovers for your family. Photo by: Elane Jones
One might think I should have been “bubblin’ over” with excitement when Jennifer Cohron asked if I would be interested in writing a column on Southern cooking twice a month for the Sunday Lifestyles section.

But to tell you the truth, I thought she had totally lost her mind. I’m not an expert on cooking (as some in my family would generously be willing to point out to you) or writing columns.

However, I love to cook and I’m constantly looking for and trying new recipes. So if she’s willing to give me the space, I’m willing to give it a shot.

Each week, this column will feature a recipe that I’ve either used over the years or have just discovered.

I will test all new recipes in my own kitchen before I pass them on here. If my husband or dogs won’t eat it, I’m not about to feature it in this column.

I’m also well aware of the fact that a lot of people are doing their best to eat healthy these days. I was raised on good ole’ southern cooking, and I’m a firm believer that you can cook good food and eat healthy if you just give it a try.

The first recipe I’m featuring is a family favorite and also very healthy.

You can cook homemade vegetable soup anytime of the year using frozen or canned vegetables, but my grandmother taught me that the best way to cook anything right is to use fresh ingredients whenever possible.

Indeed, nothing tasted better than Mama’s homemade vegetable soup made with the veggies that came from her garden.

Well, my gardening skills are still not quite up to par with hers. My attempts at vegetable gardening don’t go so well at all.

So I decided to pay a visit to the only place where I knew I could get the fresh homegrown veggies I needed for my soup — the Walker County Farmers Market located on Airport Road in Jasper.

I love that place! With all those colorful fruits and vegetables, I get hungry just walking up to the stalls.

After gathering up the ingredients for my soup at the farmers market, I headed for the grocery store to pick up a couple of pounds of ground beef.

My grandmother started putting ground beef in her vegetable soup after I got a little older, so I just continued doing it too.

Below you will find my recipe for fresh homemade vegetable soup. Just be aware that it makes a very, very large pot because I always freeze the leftovers. That way I can have fresh veggie soup whenever I want it.

While I was chopping the onions, slicing the okra, peeling the potatoes, dicing the tomatoes, cutting the corn, and browning the ground beef, I mulled over the conversation Jennifer and I had about a title for this column.

I realized that we couldn’t have picked a more perfect one as I stood watching my big pot of homemade vegetable soup bubbling on the stove. The smells that were filling the air had me “bubblin’ over” with excitement too.

I could hardly wait to sit down with a big piece of homemade cornbread and a glass of cold milk with a bowl of that hot soup.

Hope you will enjoy it as much as my husband and I did. And yes, the dogs loved it too!