Make yourself a pot of vegetable soup

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There's something comforting about a bowl of vegetable soup. Try this simple recipe.
There's something comforting about a bowl of vegetable soup. Try this simple recipe.
Lisa Boykin Batts | Times

A few months ago, my daughter, Anna, called and asked me how to make vegetable soup. “Do you use water?” she asked. I told her I didn’t and recommended she use chicken broth instead for more flavor.

I told her it’s always better when you make soup with homemade broth, but I have certainly made soup (and many other recipes) with canned chicken broth or beef broth. We continued our discussion about which vegetables to use and how I season my soup.

Although Anna has watched me cook many times and is a very good cook, I probably haven’t shown her how I make soup because I never make it the same way!

I might make it with leftover vegetables from a big meal and add in shredded chicken or turkey or perhaps ground beef. Sometimes I clean out the freezer and use partial bags of frozen vegetables and add in a stray sweet potato or a handful or rice or macaroni.

But it would be nice to have a recipe, I thought. I’d love for my kids to know how I make soup! When I got married, my mama wrote down a number of easy recipes and cooking instructions. For instance, she wrote down how to cook a pot of field peas and how to fry chicken. I also have her recipe for making biscuits and many other things. These simple instructions were so helpful for me as a novice cook.

When I made a pot of vegetable soup last month, I measured and wrote down the ingredients as I added them to my soup pot. Although I’ve included similar recipes in my food column before, I decided to share this with my readers. I’m sure there are some of you out there, like my Anna, who could use a little assistance with some basic recipes. I know I love getting help for recipes I’m not familiar with! And if you make it, feel free to make it your own. Add some sweet potatoes or green peas maybe.

Over the next year, I’m going to include some basic recipes in this food column. They will include some of the recipes Mama taught me and some I learned on my own. I hope these recipes will help you feed your family!