Friday, October 2, 2015

End of the Garden Soup {Sabbath Soup} Flexible Frugal Freezable

"The hot soup and hot tea warmed them all."
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Long Winter

"End of the Harvest Soup", "Sabbath Soup" or "Grandmother's Garden Soup". Many names will work for this flexible, frugal and freezable soup! It is simply a bean-based vegetable soup. This recipe has been passed down in various forms from my great-grandmother and has been manipulated by yours truly in order to utilize all our garden glory (including the spring and fall garden harvests). It is an old fashioned type of recipe that doesn't give "exact" measurements but manages to turn out tasty every time! As it makes approximately 16 quarts, you will have plenty to freeze or serve for a large crowd.

To begin, you will need to soak 2 cups of butter beans (or your favorite white bean) in a generous amount of water the night before. The next day, drain the beans and add them to a * 16 quart stock pot (stainless steel is preferred because of the acidity in the tomatoes we will be using). Fill the pot ¾ of the way full with water, add a few generous tablespoons of salt and let them gently boil for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, until beans are completely cooked and soft. 

Since this is grandmother's recipe, a large stock pot is required (though you could always cut the recipe in half to accommodate a smaller pot).

While the bean broth is simmering, take about 6 very large or 8 regular size (peeled) potatoes and cook them separately in a pot. I usually fill up my 4 quart stock pot with potato chunks and that amount works wonderful each time. Once the potatoes are soft, turn off the stove and mash them with the water into a thick potato water (see picture to the right). When this is done, add this potato water to your large bean broth pot. Bring the large stock pot back to a boil and add the following vegetables.

Now remember, this is very flexible. What I have found that also works is to replace like-colored vegetables to accommodate what you have on hand (you can also call this the "clean out your crisper" soup):

~ 1 large cabbage, chopped, I use the food processor attachment to do this {or approx. 16 loose cups of chopped swiss chard, kale or a blend of chopped swiss chard, cabbage, kale and spinach} You could also add in a few cups of sauerkraut for a different dimension of flavor.

~ 4 large carrots, grated {approx. 4 cups and I wouldn't substitute the carrots as their sweetness plays an important role in the soup}

~ 1 very large or 2 small bell peppers, chopped {approx. 1 cup} {or a few peeled, shredded beets, or zucchini, yes anything really!}

~ 1 small bunch of broccoli, chopped fine (or 1 small bag of shredded broccoli stumps or a few cups of diced squash or 1 bunch of chopped spinach, or a few cups of diced green beans}

~ 1 bunch of green onions, chopped {or garlic chives, or a few tbsp. of dried chives}

~ 1 sweet onion, chopped

~ 3 stalks celery, chopped (or a few cups of shredded zucchini works as it seems we never have celery or a bunch of chopped spinach, or diced green beans}

~ Optional ~ 1 large rutabega, chopped

If you don't have something, just leave it out and add your abundant vegetable in its place to get the desired consistency. It comes out tasty every time as long as the bean and potato base is prepared along with the tomato sauce (which is added below). 

Once the vegetables are added to the pot, bring it all back to a boil while adding the rest of these ingredients:

~ 2-3 bay leaves {you will remove these in the end when you serve the soup}

~ lots of fresh dill, to taste {or about 1 - 2 tbsp. if dry}

~ 1 quart of home canned tomatoes {or store-bough tomato sauce or tomato puree}

~ 1 small can tomato paste {or add in additional tomato sauce, this is flexible}

~ 1 cube of butter {highly recommended}

~ sprinkle of Braggs seasoning mix {or Mrs. Dash original flavor or your favorite herbal mix}

~ seasoned salt and salt {to taste}

Let this all cook together for about 1/2 hour. Then taste it to see what it needs. Usually it needs more salt, sometimes more dill, sometimes more spices. You can add your own variations. When the vegetables are tender and the flavor is good, then it is ready to enjoy {or freeze for the future in family sized portions}! I noticed that it tastes even better the next day once the flavors have blended together.

Homemaking Hint: Stir the soup as you serve it and dip your ladle into the bottom in order to get the right ratio. If this isn't done properly, you will be left with beans at the bottom of your pot and none in your bowls.

When having fellowship after church, I prepare this soup the day before so little effort is required to make a large meal that day. This serves at least 5 medium-sized families generously. The day we reheat the soup, we often serve it with a relish dish of sliced cheese, olives, and our home canned pickled vegetables. We will also prepare the day before, some angeled eggs or serve bowls of hard-boiled eggs if time is lacking. Finally, we put out platters of finger salads (such as carrot sticks, cucumbers, etc.) and spread out slices of homemade bread with pats of butter. Being that most of this food is prepared from our farm, it is a very frugal and nourishing homestead meal! For other easy to make recipes, visit here.


  1. This sounds lovely! I love your plan for offering hospitality after Church - reminds me of the Lord's Day with my Grandparents in years gone by : )

    1. It is a very enjoyable time, Anna (and something I hope we continue to do during this technologic age as there is nothing like a face to face fellowship)! Thank you for taking the time to share here today :)

  2. Looks delicious Jes! I made soup yesterday. It got cold and windy here which is perfect soup weather. Today I will make a loaf of bread in the breadmaker while I do some painting! Have a lovely weekend! Diane

    1. During cool windy weather, there is nothing like soup simmering and bread baking! Pure bliss! Thank you for sharing Diane :)

  3. What a tempting recipe, smelling of Fall !
    I love soups, especially when they're made with the fresh products of a farm, we also have one here in Tenuta Geremia, be sure, I'm taking note, my darling JES !

    Blessings to you, dearie, have a joy-filled weekend
    with much love

    1. There is nothing like fresh, farm produce! I am glad to hear you have a local source. Thank you for taking the time to comment so kindly today :)

  4. Thank you for sharing this wonderful soup recipe! I love making large batches of soup to last the week ahead and share with family. Your idea of mashing the potatoes in their own water before adding to the soup is brilliant! That would help to thicken the soup too. In the past I have added instant mashed potatoes to my creamy soups, but like this idea better. : )

    1. You are most welcome! :) Yes, the potato water will add "body" to the soup! I am glad this was helpful. Have a lovely weekend Sarah!

      P.S. This is perfect to make for the week and giveaway also. We like to change up the meal with different side dishes and it goes a long way.

  5. This sounds like my kind of soup...yummy! I still have plenty from our greenhouse to use up and it will be just delicious in a soup. Thanks for sharing!

    Have a lovely weekend, Jes!

    1. Perfect! Thank you for taking the time to comment. Have a lovely weekend :)

  6. I just love how you "use up" SO many of the season end veggies in here- can't wait to try this! Thank-you! :)


    1. That is the nice part! When all is said and done, the soup is practically free! :) and oh, so healthy!

  7. It sounds lovely Jes, thanks for sharing!

  8. What an amazing soup to feed a large group of hungry bellies! I have to save this recipe for the next large gathering we will be having! Thanks for sharing! Your posts are always wonderful! :)

  9. Sounds good. Thanks for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop.