Hearty vegetable soup that will stick to your bones all season long.
A big thing for me with any recipe is its ability to be customized. What makes this recipe awesome is it can be easily tailored to accommodate your favorite vegetables or meat, even if you would prefer meatless!
This recipe is a favorite in my family and one that I have made for friends since college! It is so easy to create that many of them make their own hearty pots of soup by heart.
I love my vegetables, but I’m definitely a meat-eater. My favorite way to make this soup is with ham. I use Smithfield Hardwood Smoked Ham steak. These come in a package and are a thin piece of meat, so it is super easy to handle. Per the recipe, using half of the ham steak allows you to freeze the other half an use it later for your next batch! One other important aspect of ham to remember is that it is typically loaded with salt. I rarely add extra salt to the soup when using ham.
However, if you’re using ground beef or another meat, make sure to season it while browning. Otherwise, you might end up with less than tasty meat morsels floating around in your soup. That doesn’t sound very nice, does it?
If you’ve been following my recipes for a while, you have likely noticed that I LOVE my Dutch Oven. There are so many uses for it! It works stove top and also can go inside your oven. The way it works is that the construction, typically ceramic or a heavy metal, works to create constant, even heat to your food from all directions. This heating process helps to quickly give food that all day, slow-cooked taste that we all know we crave.
Buy the Dutch Oven. Make all of the things. Thank me later!
- large dutch oven / stock pot (6-7 quart)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 carrots, peeled, sliced
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 1 whole onion, diced
- ½ Smithfield smoked ham steak, cubed with bone
- 1 – 15 oz. can chicken broth or sub vegetable broth
- 3 – 15 oz. cans water
- 1 – 15 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 – 15 oz. can tomato sauce
- ½ cup each: frozen peas, corn, green beans, butter beans, okra sub equal amounts mixed frozen vegetables
- ¼ cup ditalini pasta sub diced potatoes, or other small pasta
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Clean and chop carrot, celery, and onion. Place in pot with olive oil and sauté for 5 min. Do not burn.
- Add ham and continue to cook ~5 more minutes. Fat from smoked ham should be released from meat. For ground beef, add salt and pepper. Skip for vegetarian meal.
- Add broth, water (using broth can), diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Stir.
- Measure and add vegetables and ditalini pasta. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring soup to a boil. Place lid on pot and reduce to Medium temperature – being careful to not let soup boil over. Cook for 20 minutes.
- Optional: Simmer on Low for an additional 15 minutes.
- Serve with toasted sourdough bread, grilled cheese, or corn bread.