by Bill Pemberton

Wow, it’s time for the harvesting to start. Where did the time go? I love this time of year, with all of the fresh fruit, veggies, and herbs. It gives me cause to do something I love, cook.

Since I was little, I’ve always loved the process of cooking. My grandma took me under her wing and taught me a lot about how to get things done in the kitchen. Having raised five kids, (four were boys) she stood by the idea that they needed to be able to cook for themselves. She showed her love to people around her through food, and I do the same!

I’d like to share one of the favorite things I make in our home – a fresh vegetable soup. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

NOTE: the quantity and selection of vegetables can very to taste.


1 each:

  • Squash (sliced or cubed)
  • Zucchini (sliced or cubed)
  • Cucumber (sliced or cubed)

1 each Red, Yellow, or Orange Pepper (diced)
Two good hand fulls of Carrots (approx. 2 Cups)
3-5 Potatoes (cubed)
1 large jar stewed tomatoes (canned does work just as well)
4-6 cups Vegetable stock or tomato juice (you want enough to cover the veggies)
Spice to taste with:

  • Salt
  • Dill
  • Rosemary
  • Basil

Directions: Slice or cube up the veggies. The carrots will depend upon size, if you have small/baby carrots you don’t need to cut them. Once they are all cut set aside the softer veggies (Squash, zucchini, Cucumber). Add the potatoes, and carrots to enough water to caver and heat to a rolling boil until they are soft. This can take some time, be patient. If you are in a hurry you can do this step in the microwave. It can produce some mixed results, so use sparingly. Once they are soft drain the water, keeping a cup or two in reserve. Add the rest of the veggies, stewed tomatoes, and cover with the stock or juice. Now if your like me you’ll cut more veggies than you have stock or juice. This is where we can use the water from the potatoes and carrots. Lastly spice to taste.
Cook over medium High heat until the veggies are soft enough to cut with a spoon. Spoon into your favorite bowl and enjoy.

Variation: If you like to have some meat in your soup you can cook up some stew meat in a frying pan. When it is cooked through reduce the heat to low and add one can of you favorite stout beer (I use Guinness). Use this to mix up the bits of meat and fat that are still in the pan. Then add this to the soup when you add the rest of the veggies. The alcohol will cook off so it is completely safe for younger ones.

If I have one problem when I cook its making things on a small scale. This soup is one of these problems. The really nice thing about it is that it freezes and reheats great; it can also be canned for winter.

We are blessed to have members here at St. Luke donate their abundance of fruits and vegetables to our Gardens for Growth program. If you have a garden overflowing and would like to donate any, please bring them on Sunday mornings on August 9, 16, 24 and 31.  You will be able to leave a donation for these items Sunday mornings, the donations will help pay down the mortgage.