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My mother started this during the first depression and I thought it would be useful to do the same now. I have a quart jar in the freezer and I put left over vegetables, beans, and the liquid drained off canned goods, and left over meat. Add onions, celery, and barley and make soup from the left overs.
If you are boiling chicken or turkey off the bone, you can use both the broth and meat pieces, adding noodles or dumplings for the soup. We usually have soup made this way at least every other week.
Source: From the 1929 depression.
By antique person from Mid-MO
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My mother used to make a soup that she called Depression Soup. It started with a ham bone. Some of the ingredients were cabbage, onions and canned pork and beans. If anyone know this recipe, I would appreciate it.
Susan from Portage, IN
Simple "Depression" Navy Bean Soup Recipe #63111
Being a child of the depression, my mother used to make this very simple soup. I think the catsup makes a nice subtle addition to the flavor, without making it too "tomatoey". You can dress this up as much as you like depending on your ingredients and inclination. Feel free to add more or less of any of the vegetables and seasonings.
Soak beans overnight according to package directions. Pour off extra water. Add water to about 2 inches or more over the beans (depending on how"soupy" you want it).
Can saute the vegetables first if you want to get fancy or just throw them in the pot with all the other ingredients, except the mashed potatoes. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the beans are tender---the longer the better.
Add dried mashed potatoes gradually to bring soup to desired thickness. Serve with crackers (oyster crackers are good (11/20/2006)
Here is a similar type recipe, and if you used ham bone to make broth instead of chicken...?
Heat oil in medium size saucepan. Add potatoes, celery, and onion, saute for 5 minutes.
Stir in cabbage, cover and cook over medium heat, until cabbage is tender.
Add broth, bay leaf, pepper and pork and beans. Heat until soup is hot and then remove bay leaf and serve.
"True" Depression Soup doesn't have a long ingredient list. Start with a clean 55 gallon drum. Add 50 gallons of water. Several ham hocks or a Taylor Pork roll diced, one large onion, 2 pounds Collard greens, one whole box elbo macaroni. Place drum on concrete blocks and heat with wood from below. Simmer for one hour, serve. (09/19/2008)
By Chef Alfred