Growing up with a Southern momma & the occasional vegetable garden, homemade veggie soup was seldom the same soup twice, depending on what was growing outside or on sale.
As an adult, I avoided making veggie soup until I realized I had to power to make it the way I wanted. Goodbye, cabbage, pasta, & kidney beans. More importantly, goodbye watery soup! Mom loved to crumble crackers in hers but I yearned for a soup closer to a beef stew, yet with a tomato taste.
So here is a basic recipe that you can make your own. Don't be afraid to experiment. Your kitchen is your lab! =^..^=
NOTE: I love my old soup pot, which was actually a "well pot" in an old electric range, but it only holds the basic ingredients listed here. If you're thinking of adding more ingredients or even a lot more water, you might want to use a bigger pot.
If your beef isn't already cubed, cut it up and toss it into your soup pot with about an inch or so of water.
I only use enough water to cover the beef. Once the water starts boiling, keep the heat set on medium-low.
Add the chopped onions to the beef cubes, then cover the soup pot. You really don't have to stir at this point, but the water should NEVER go below 1 inch, so check every 15 minutes or so. I just set a timer.
After about 60-90 minutes, or whenever the meat is tender, add the carrots, cover, and cook for another 30 minutes.
Add the potato chunks, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are done. (I had redskin potatoes in the pantry, but any potatoes will do. I peel all the others.)
Check the water level & add a little more, if needed. (Sometimes the potatoes absorb lots of the water. Sometimes they don't.)
Add the drained corn, peas, and green beans. Cover and cook until the veggies are heated through, about 15 minutes or so.
Add the tomato sauce, salt, and pepper, and stir up the soup for the first time. Once the tomato sauce is heated up, the soup is "offically" finished.
At this point, decisions must be made.
I like a thicker stew-style of soup, so I add the water & cornstarch mixture if the soup seems too thin. Once it is added, the soup will thicken in about 3 minutes or so, with constant stirring.
Mom's soup was much more "juicier" so some water would be added instead, and then just heated up.
Whatever your decisions, take notes & decide what to keep or change for next time. With a little experimentation, you'll find the perfect Homemade Veggie Soup for your family. =^..^=