From 1939: Victory Vegetable Soup

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People across the world are all different. We have different cultural values, different beliefs, different histories, different facial features, different food tastes, different sides of the road we drive one… we have a lot of differences. But, you know what people everywhere can probably agree on? Going to the dentist is the worst.

I went to the dentist yesterday for a “deep cleaning.” My gums have been bothering me for some time, and as it would have it, my x-rays showed some extra plaque buildup. So, the appointment was scheduled, and I spent two weeks being nervous about the day that would inevitably come… and for good reason! Beginning at 8:00a yesterday, I endured two hours of what I can only now call deliberate torture. Two hours of needles, picks, scraping devices, and electric spinning pencil-like machines whose squealing whir noises are what we grow up associating with pain!

Okay, maybe I’m being overdramatic… a bit. But, my mouth hurts today. So, we’re making something soft.

What are we cooking? Victory vegetable soup from New York World’s Fair Cook Book published in 1939.

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Along with being soft, vegetable soup is also comforting, so it’s a good choice for my slightly “under the weather” day. My grandma used to make the best vegetable soup and she would laugh at me because I would go to the pot, pick out the potatoes, and eat all of them. My favorite part!

Let’s go into the kitchen and make some history!

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Here are our ingredients: Celery, carrots, onion, peas, green beans, potato, beef broth, salt, mushrooms, and butter (not pictured: cauliflower).

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Step 1: Chop up the carrots, celery, and onion, and add them to a soup pot. You can see that I chopped them into pretty big pieces because I like a nice, chunky vegetable soup. Go with what you like!

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Step 2: Add in the peas and green beans. Now, I used canned because I was going for a very soft soup. Feel free to use fresh or frozen, though. Again, go with what you like!

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Step 3: Here’s where I went off-script. I try to NEVER do that so I stay authentic! BUT, like I told you, my favorite part of vegetable soup is the potatoes! So, I had to add in a chopped potato. I also added in a cup of cut up cauliflower because I had some sitting in the fridge that I needed to use. It’s your vegetable soup – add in what you like that really makes it yours!

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Step 4: Now, I had to switch pots because the one I started with was too small. Mistakes are no big deal. Once you have all your vegetables (except the mushrooms) cut up in the pot, add the beef broth. Use homemade if you want. I just used boxed broth. And, add the salt. Start out with just a little, especially if you’re using salty broth to begin with, and add until you’re happy!

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Step 5: Bring your soup to a boil, then turn down the heat and let it simmer until the vegetables are all nice and tender. Mine took twenty minutes.

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Step 6: While your soup is simmering, prepare the mushrooms. Rinse them off to get any dirt out, then cut them if you like. I left mine whole. Put them in a little saucepan, add a tablespoon of butter to the top, put a lid on, and let them cook over medium heat until they’ve wilted down.

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Step 7: Drain the liquid that cooked out of them, and set them aside! Once your soup is done (when all the vegetables are tender), add them in and give everything a big stir. You just made vegetable soup!

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Final step: Ladle yourself a nice, big bowl of the soup, and enjoy the wonderful, soft comfort you made. Maybe you made it because your mouth hurts like mine. Maybe it’s a cold day, and you wanted something comforting. Or, maybe you just like vegetable soup because it reminds you of your grandmother.

Vegetable soup is one of those foods that everyone has eaten in one form or another, so it carries a lot of nostalgia, memories, and warmth with it. What do you think about that?

From 1939: Victory Vegetable Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 1 potato, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped cauliflower
  • 8 cups beef broth
  • 1 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 1 Tbs. butter

Directions

  1. Place celery, carrots, onion, peas, green beans, potato, and cauliflower in a soup pot. Pour the beef broth over the vegetables, and season with salt to taste.
  2. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce to simmer. Simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables (namely the potatoes and carrots) are soft.
  3. While the soup simmers, put the mushrooms in a small saucepan with the butter. Cook over medium heat until the mushrooms are soft, 6-8 minutes. Drain liquid.
  4. Once the soup has simmered until the vegetables are soft, add the mushrooms, stir everything together, adjust seasonings, and serve.

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