My youngest son & me

My youngest son & me

About me

My name is Tanja (Sater) Miller and I'm excited about sharing my journey of converting my favorite recipes to gluten free! I am not a fancy cook - I prefer just a casual, fun meal. I am married with grown children (and have small grandchildren) & 3 dogs. I work full time as a registered nurse & I am a geek. Yes, I love Star Trek, Star Wars, Fringe, Firefly, Farscape and most of the other Scify shows. You will probably see a little of my geek side come out once in a while! Please join me on my journey of cooking, baking & converting every day recipes into yummy gluten free meals that everyone can enjoy (not just those with a gluten allergy!) Don't be shy about checking out my recipes....I have the gluten free version along with the regular recipe that I adapted from!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Old Fashioned Vegetable Soup

Vegetable Soup always reminds me of home. My parents always made vegetable soup in the fall with all the vegetables we had left in our garden. My parents had a huge garden and so did many of their friends. My mom wasn't wasteful when we were growing up so she would make huge pots of vegetable soup and then she would can or freeze any leftovers for winter days when we didn't have electricity because of a snow storm or for a quick dinner on busy nights. We could just open a can of the pre-cooked soup and just heat it on top of our Ben Franklin wood burning stove that we had in the basement or on our portable camping stove on the "snow days". I used to hate those nights without electricity but I was impressed with how my parents could manage dinner "pioneer style". I learned a lot from my parents and canning is one thing that I hated to help with as a kid but I am very grateful now that I have that skill. It has come in handy and I find that I enjoy doing it now. My favorite thing they canned was vegetable soup. I made some (and canned a few) to take with us this weekend to northern Arizona. We are expecting COLD weather and possibly snow up there so I want to have something warm and convenient to have for dinner since we cook "pioneer style" up there! 

This soup can be made with fresh vegetables from your garden or grocery isle or if you are can just get everything frozen so you don't have all the kitchen mess. You can buy a bag of mixed vegetables, green beans and a bag of refrigerated cabbage and add a packet or two of dry onion soup mix and some broth for a very quick & great tasting soup. You can customize it for your needs. Be sure to check labels for gluten free broths, bouillon and onion soup mix if you have a gluten allergy! If you want to add meat to this recipe then you can add stew meat or left over pot roast, cubed chicken, etc. I usually like to add a little bit of stew meat or pot roast for extra flavor but you don't have to. If you are a vegetarian you can leave out the meat and go with vegetable broths & bouillon instead. You can also add any other vegetables like peas, lima beans, mushrooms, squash, etc if you desire. My parents used whatever vegetables we had in our garden. I use whatever I have on hand in my refrigerator or freezer. If you are watching your carbs, you can leave out the potatoes and corn. 

Not only does this soup taste great but it is pretty easy to make. It makes a huge pot and you can even double to recipe for a larger crowd or to freeze or can for later use. You can even put it all in the crock pot in the morning and come home to a delicious soup for dinner! I like it because it reminds me of snow days and it doesn't have gluten like most of the store bought soups. I can't believe that commercial soups put wheat flour in theirs soups! The nice thing about this soup is that you can make it over the weekend and then re-heat it on the busy weeknight or you can whip it together with frozen vegetables, onion soup mix and broth and get it together in less than 20 minutes to your table for a quick dinner on a weeknight. 

This is one of the first "finger foods" my kids got as toddlers. I just scooped out the vegetables without the broth and put it on their high chair tray. They loved it because of all the different textures and flavors. My kids grew up eating vegetables at a young age so I never had issues with them eating vegetables growing up. All of my kids still love vegetable soup! I plan on making it for the grandkids too when they come to my house. Too many kids these days won't eat vegetables. 

Vegetable Soup Recipe:
  • 2 cups shredded or chopped cabbage (you can chop it yourself or buy the pre-cut packages in vegetable isle at grocery store)
  • 2 cups green beans (fresh, frozen or canned)
  • 1 cup corn,  more if you like lots of corn! (frozen or canned - I like to use the frozen fire roasted ones from Trader Joes)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped (or use 3 tbs. of garlic in a jar)
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 3 (16 oz.) cans of gluten free broth (any type will work: vegetable, beef or chicken broth)
  • 1-2 packets of gluten free dry onion soup mix (I use the Everyday Essential brand from Albertsons or the Hytop brand from Winco or the 4C brand - none of them contain gluten OR you can just use 2 tbs. diced dried onion + 2 tbs. of beef bouillon - if you are a vegetarian use vegetable bouillon instead - just make sure it is gluten free if you have an allergy!)
  • 1 carrot, sliced or shredded
  • 2 medium sized potatoes boiled or baked then chopped, optional
  • any other vegetable you would like to add: spinach leaves, lima beans, sweet potatoes, etc
  • 1 can (16-18 oz) chopped tomatoes or 4 medium sized fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • water or additional broth to cover most of the vegetables in the pot. (The vegetables will cook down a little bit so don't add too much liquid. You can always add more later if needed.
  • salt & pepper (we like to use sea salt at our house)
  • stew meat, left over pot roast or chicken, optional. (I usually pre-cook the meat a little before putting it into the soup. I saute the stew meat first unless I am am using the crock pot - then just dump everything in there uncooked and it cooks everything for you. Or if I have just a little pot roast and broth left over then I will put it in the freezer and use it in my soup at a later date. You can also purchase rotisserie chicken or use left over turkey from a holiday meal). This soup is also great without any meat). Customize it for your family! 
Mix everything together in a large pot and cook on medium until vegetables are soft. My mom used to cook it on low heat for hours so the flavors blended really nice. If I am making a smaller batch, I will just toss everything in the crock pot and let it do the cooking for me! The soup actually tastes better the second day. These are fabulous paired with corn bread muffins. (See my gluten free version of Jiffy Muffin mix on my blog!)

I hope you enjoy my family's recipe for vegetable soup! 

Gluten Free Casually

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