Vegetable Soup to Can

Justin T. Lane

My father’s side of the family tree was born and raised in Scott County, Virginia.  This recipe for canned soup comes from my father’s mother.  She grew up in Mabe, Virginia, which is apparently so small it did not even get included in the most recent census, nor does it show up on a Google map of Scott County.  She told me that when she met my grandfather and got married after World War II, my grandfather’s mother hand-copied all her recipes onto whatever pieces of paper she could find, to insure that they stayed with the family.  These recipes have been in the “holler” of Clinchport, Virginia, for well over a hundred years.  The 2000 U.S. Census recorded 77 people living in Clinchport.

This recipe does not seem very detailed, because my great-grandmother could barely read or write.  Most recipe details were passed on by telling and showing. 

Out of all the recipes my grandmother has that were passed down from her mother-in-law, I like this one the best.  My grandfather still talks about canning vegetable soup and how great it was to have that soup during the harsh mountain winter.  He told me they would work for weeks to make sure they would have enough food to last the entire family throughout the winter season.  If there was a particularly good harvest that year, they would still can all of it before the winter, but at the end of the season the family would have a huge feast and put beef in the vegetable soup as a way of celebration.

 (Add to or take away)

½ gallon potatoes, cubed

1 quart carrots, cubed

6 onions

2 cups green beans

1 gallon tomatoes

2 cups corn

Cook in large kettle 20-30 minutes.