Over the past year or so my husband and I have dedicated ourselves to getting out of debt. We are just straight-up tired of owing people money. In making a plan, we also agreed we would do our absolute best to not eat out- this meant setting a strict budget for our groceries and trying to cook more at home to pack and carry our leftovers to work. Through all of this my husband discovered he REALLY likes my soups so I decided to start actually writing down my recipes. Usually my soups include some form of meat (chicken or ham-off-the-bone), but this one doesn’t. This is NOT a vegetarian/vegan soup- it DOES have ham bouillon.
My usual methods- if I want to add meat (usually ham) is to get a pork-butt portion with bone-in and cook that in my slow cooker. I then pick the meat off the bone and freeze it in pint containers. My soups usually contain about 1 pint of frozen ham. (**This is incredibly helpful when it comes to saving money- the whole ham may only cost $12 but the meat can last multiple months!) Another great $-saving tip- buy whole meats (chicken, turkey, hams) around holidays- they’re on sale and much cheaper.My usual pots of soup contain 1 pint of the frozen ham.
This soup makes somewhere between 15-20 servings and only costs about $10-$15 to make. So here we go- recipe time!
Po’Boy Veggie & Bean Soup: Makes about 15-20 servings, prep and cook time 45 min-1 hr
1 large 6-quart stock pot
10 cups of water
3 (overflowing- probably 6 actual tbsp) tbsp “Better than Bouillon” Ham Base
1/2 medium sweet onion diced
3 cups carrots sliced (used store-brand pre-cut carrots)
6 stalks of celery chopped
2 zucchini chopped
2 squash chopped
2 quarts diced tomatoes (translates to about 4 15oz cans diced- mine were home-canned jars)
1 pint corn (translates to 1 15oz cans of corn)
1 pint white acre peas (translates to 1 15oz cans of…blackeye peas)
1 15oz can of…
– Great Northern Beans
– Kidney Beans
– Garbanzo Beans
– Black Beans
– Sliced White Potatoes
1 tbsp onion powder
1-2 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
1/4-1/2 tsp salt (or to taste- be aware ham base already has salt)
1 tbsp oregano
– Ground Cumin
– Ground Thyme
Step 1: Add 10 cups of water and ham base to heat up. I usually set mine to cook on the “6 out of 10” rank on the dial.
Step 2: Add diced onion, chopped carrots (mine were the storebrand, pre-cut carrot chips- I honestly didn’t measure but used about 1/2 the bag), zucchini, squash, and celery to pot, cover to boil for about 10-15 minutes.
Step 3: Add cans of diced tomatoes. I usually keep the juices in mine. It’s fine to drain them if you want, but leaving the juices gives the soup a little more flavor and fill. Add cans the cans of veggies- drain and rinse them as you go. So…adding cans of white acre (or blackeye) peas, corn, great northern beans, kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, and sliced white potatoes. Allow these to cook for 15-20 minutes. At this point, you can add the spices, as well, so the flavor can cook into the soup. If you’re into experimenting with food, try different spices or try not measuring. My general rule for the less intense spices (oregano/onion powder) is to add a decent layer of spices that covers the top of the soup- it sounds crazy, I know- but it gives a good proportion of spice to soup.
Allow the soup to cook somewhere between 45 minutes to an hour, or until the carrots, squash, and zucchini are cooked tender. I cook mine on medium heat until it’s boiling then turn it down to low to simmer the rest of the time. Enjoy on these cold winter days!
**A few modifications you can do depending on what you like:
– Exchange the ham base for vegetable stock if you want it vegetarian/vegan.
– Exchange the ham base for chicken base or turkey stock & add chicken or turkey.
– Make 8 servings worth of rice (of your desire) and mix into soup as you eat it.