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Homemade Vegetable Soup Like Grandma Used to Make

Growing up, I loved this soup!

Growing up, I loved this soup!

Looking for an Easy, Traditional Vegetable Soup?

As a kid, I loved my mother's homemade vegetable soup. In the fall and winter, it brought comfort—and even years later when I made it for my husband, he quickly developed a taste for it, as well.

With simple, inexpensive ingredients, my mother's homemade vegetable soup was very easy to put together. Although she had no written recipe for her soup, I followed her around as she made it one afternoon many years ago and made notes of the ingredients and quantities so that I could replicate her recipe.

Below you'll find her homemade vegetable soup recipe from my childhood.

You can easily make this soup vegetarian.

You can easily make this soup vegetarian.

About My Mother's Homemade Vegetable Soup

My mother primarily made this soup in the fall and winter. Some fresh vegetables were harder to come by, and thus some of the vegetables were canned. The advantage, of course, was that the preparation and cooking time was reduced. I've written the recipe to conform to exactly how she made it.

This vegetable soup recipe also incorporates beef; it's not a vegetarian dish. It should probably be more accurately described as a vegetable beef soup. You can easily make it vegetarian, however, by omitting the beef and substituting vegetable broth for the beef broth.

Either way, this is an affordable and easy soup to put together.

Carrots from the garden

Carrots from the garden

Necessary Equipment

The tools you will need to make this homemade vegetable soup are:

  • 8-quart stockpot
  • Cutting board
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Knife
  • Can opener
  • Pressure cooker (if you choose to follow the recipe strictly)

It doesn't get much easier than that!

Chopped vegetables

Chopped vegetables


Nothing exotic here; you'll find all of the ingredients at the local grocery store. The recipe will easily feed a family of 4 to 6.

  • 2 small potatoes, peeled and chunked
  • 2 small carrots, sliced
  • 1 green bell green pepper, chunked
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped
  • 1-2 stalks of celery, sliced into 1/4-1/2" pieces
  • 1 small red delicious apple, peeled and chunked
  • 1 small turnip, chunked
  • 1 (14-oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (14-oz) can green peas, drained
  • 64 oz V8 (or other brand) 100% vegetable juice
  • 1 lb. beef chuck roast
  • 1 can beef broth or 2 cups water with dissolved beef bouillon*
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • Salt to taste

* May use more broth as needed.


The meat can be prepared however you prefer, but my mother used a pressure cooker for her soup; and indeed, it produces a very tender meat.

  1. Place the chuck roast in the pressure cooker with water. Cook for 20-30 minutes. Remove any fat and cut into bite sized pieces.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare vegetables and apple (peeling, chunking, or slicing as directed). Add to the stockpot with canned or frozen vegetables.
  3. Add in vegetable juice and beef broth (or water with bouillon) and stir in seasons. Bring to a full boil, then reduce heat to medium.
  4. Add meat once it has finished cooking in the pressure cooker. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for an additional 30-45 minutes.

As kids, we had a bowl of this soup accompanied by saltine crackers and a slice or two of cheddar cheese.

© 2008 Ruth Coffee