Hearty Hodgepodge soup

... a favorite recipe

by Elizabeth Samit

In my late teens, I lived at a 500 member, “New Age” commune for a short time, where I chose and prepared the dinner menu on occasion as my assigned weekly chore.  Later, as a young adult, I sometimes organized an entire meal for twenty at various weekend workshops in order to obtain a financial discount.  (My favorite was making breakfast as I love to crack eggs to relieve stress!)

I've been asked many times for this soup recipe:
In an eight-quart soup pot, fill two-thirds with water.  Add (finely chopped) any combination of:
 2 large onions
 1 lb. of mushrooms
 6 cloves of garlic
 1 green pepper
 2-3 stalks of celery (with leaves left on)
 4 carrots
 4 peeled potatoes, cubed
 ˝ bag frozen kernel corn
 8 oz. (1/2 package) of dried lentils (green, red, or yellow)
 8 oz. (1/2 package) of dried barley or brown rice

 2 bouillon cubes (preferably Knorr vegetable or chicken)
 1 can (6-8 oz) of mushroom soup
 4 bay leaves
 1 tsp. of dried oregano
 1 tsp. of dried parsley
 1 tsp. of dried basil
 Pepper to taste

Bring to a full boil.  Then, lower heat to simmer for at least 3 hours, stirring occasionally so it won’t stick. Afterwards, let cool, remove all the bay leaves, and then freeze as much as you don’t want to eat in the next week – it will last for months that way.

--October 1, 2010

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