from: Mary Atwood
Chattanooga, TN

2 - 3 lb. very lean beef roast (or steak, stew meat, etc.)
2 - 3 qts water
1 T. salt (or more to taste)
1 T. peppercorns
3 bay leaves
2 tsp. Worchestershire Sauce
1/4 tsp chili powder
parsley, dried or fresh, minced, about a tsp. dried
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 stalks chopped celery
3 sliced carrots
About 1/3 cabbage, finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped (Your picky family members will not notice the onions after the soup is cooked.)

Cook all of the above in a large pot for about 1 & 1/2 hours. (After bringing to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer.) The magic key to a hearty country soup is the cabbage and other vegetables, cooked with the meat for a long period of time. Do not leave the cabbage out, because it is the ingredient that makes the soup "thick". You will not even be able to see it when the soup is done. And just think of the vitamins!

If no one in your family wants to bite into a peppercorn when served, then at this point, take your peppercorns out. Also take the bay leaves out, unless your family is familiar with eating around them. My son in particular loves the peppercorns and has said recently that they are one of his favorite memories as a child, when he thinks of my homemade vegetable soup.

For busy or working moms, you can also put the above in the refrigerator and finish it the next day.

Next, add:
2-3 cut up potatoes
1 large can whole tomatoes, cut or broken into pieces.
1 small can tomato sauce or paste
1/2 small pkg. cut okra, frozen
  (I often substitute 1 to 2 cups canned green beans for the okra.)
1 15 oz. can or frozen pkg. of small green butter beans
  (My mother always used butterbeans that she or my grandmother had put up themselves in the freezer. Of course, these were always so much better!)
7 oz can creamed corn
Extra whole kernal corn if you like.

 Cook all of the above for another 1/2 hour or until vegetables are just done. Serve hot with fresh baked cornbread.

Do you have certain recipes that bring back fond memories of your childhood? What better way can you find to bring fond memories back to your children when they are grown and gone from home, than with a heart-warming recipe?

This is a recipe that my mom made many times in my childhood. When I make it, it never fails to bring back those wonderful memories of her. Last week I made a pot of it and it was soooo hearty and delicious, just perfect for a cold winter day. Of course, in the south, cornbread is usually served with homemade soups! I have included our family's recipe for that, too!

This makes enough to feed a crowd, and will freeze nicely in individual portions.

Let me know if you try it. Hope you enjoy!