Mom’s Vegetable Soup {Wednesdays with Wanda}

(This is a weekly post that I will be doing to honor my wonderful mother, Wanda, who passed away on September 22, 2009.  It is a place for me to share precious memories of her…for myself,  for you, and most importantly, for my children.)



My mother was a wonderful writer.  She wrote all the time.  In journals, in her Bibles, in cards, letters, newspapers, and magazines.

For a time, she wrote for the city newspaper.  She was the contributing food editor, and the column was called Wanda’s Kitchen.


I wanted to share her article about her delicious vegetable soup…perfect for chilly Fall weather!

(Of course, I picked this article because it was also about me!)

The poem at the end of the article was one of my favorites.  Mom would send it to me in a card whenever I was facing a difficult time in my life.  We even talked about this poem recently before she passed away.  I have it hanging on my refrigerator to this day.

Souped-up Soups

by Wanda Long

I like to fix vegetable soup every other week during the winter.  It’s an economical meal that can be made from leftovers.

Sunday dinner’s leftover roast beef can be divided into large chunks for the beef stew meat.  A large Tupperware container placed in the freezer is perfect for dumping leftover corn, beans, peas, and lima beans into after each meal.  Before long, there’s enough leftover meat and vegetables to make a large pot of soup. 

The meat gives a marvelous meaty flavor to my hearty vegetable soup.  There were times when I added plenty of stew meat to the soup only to discover when we began to eat, that the meat had mysteriously disappeared! 

Staring bug-eyed at all three of my children, I would blurt out.  “Who ate all the meat?!” With innocent looks, each child would exclaim, “I didn’t do it!”or “It wasn’t me!”

I always told the children that I just knew there must be a ghost living in our house who writes on our walls, breaks things, puts gobs of paper in our commodes, eats the meat out of our vegetable soup….and so on. 

After a bit of clever investigating, I finally found out who the little culprit was that was getting the meat, it was our middle child, Traci.  (We’ve always called her our “magic link”.)

However it seemed that no matter how many times I scolded her, she still managed to sneak off with some of the stew meat every time I fixed vegetable soup.  It made her older sister and younger brother furious.  Her dad and I were lucky to occasionally find one teensy piece of meat in our vegetable soup.

I knew I had to come up with a plan to “save” the stew meat for all the family when I fixed vegetable soup.  So, I  began cutting each chunk of meat into shreds.  The meat-thief thought the meat was too hard to pick out and …she finally gave up. From that time to this, the whole family enjoys nice juicy pieces of shredded beef in our vegetable soup.


1 1/2 – 2 lbs beef stew meat, boneless (shredded)

46 oz. can tomato juice

2 16 oz. cans mixed vegetables

1 16 oz. can whole kernel corn

1 16 oz. can cut green beans

1 16 oz. can lima beans

1 large onion, chopped

3 to 4 medium-sized potatoes, cubed

salt & pepper, as desired

1 1/2 teaspoons beef flavored bouillon granules

spaghetti, optional

Place beef stew in a large dutch oven and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.  If water boils down, add more.  Remove from heat.  Pour off water to get rid of fat.

Add remaining ingredients (except spaghetti) to meat and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and cook for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Add spaghetti the last 15 minutes of cooking time.

                                          “Sticker Uplifter”

Don’t forget to praise your children.  Try putting a colorful sticker or ribbon on your child’s plate for a job well done.  Watch their eyes light up as they sit down for a meal!


Food for thought:

“View From the Hill”

Worry is like a distant hill

We glimpse against the sky,

We wonder how we ever will

Get up a hill so high.

Yet, when we reach the top, we see

The roadway left behind,

Is not as steep and sheer as we

Have pictured in our mind.

–Author Unknown



P.S. Let’s just say when I make Mom’s vegetable soup for my family…the meat’s not shredded!    :)


  1. Great recipe and cute story. I had to laugh at the P.S. at the bottom. The cook always has liberty to tweek the recipe, right? (smile)
    Have a blessed day!

  2. Morning, Traci! You little stinker! LOL This is just precious! There is so much heart in your mother's writing – I love it. Her recipe sounds delish too! This is wonderful to do this each week, Traci, sharing your mother with us.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  3. What a cute story! :) Loved reading it. My husband is not a veggie lover, so this soup wouldn't go well in our house. But, I might have to make it for myself! ;) Yumm!

  4. Oh Traci- I love this post. What a wonderful mother you had – You can tell how much she loved each one of you. I am struggling with my granny ( who raised me) turning 93 and being put into a nursing home this year. Although she is still here on earth it is not the same – she is not herself . She has and will always be my hero.For some reason sharing her recipes on my blog is helping me through this time and introducing the world to my wonderful Godly granny ! I have a feeling that your angel is SO happy you are sharing this story!!

  5. Traci, sounds like a yummy recipe. We LOVE veggie soup! Of course, I would also very much enjoy the stew meat in it, too : ) . Oh, sorry about your kitchen! You know, in Atlanta there are people who had their whole floor flooded with the rains s few weeks ago! At first I though you had that, then I read about the dratted pipe! You are right about replaceable stuff. Linda

  6. What a fun story, Traci. I was the middle child, too. . . how wonderful to think that your parents called you "the magic link"!

    I imagine that, when we get to heaven, you're going to have a lot of people who want you to introduce them to Wanda. :)

  7. Another beautiful post!!! :-) I LOVE the idea of sticking your leftover veggies in a freezer bowl.. I'm going to have to remember that.. I LOVE veggie soup.. and LOL at you eating all of the meat.. I personally don't care to have meat in mine, but DH sure does!!

  8. Traci,
    I just found your blog while blog surfing (is that what they call it?). God must've had a hand in me finding you today. Actually you were the first one that I clicked on after going to 'Emma Calls Me Mama'. I was so touched by your post today. I can tell that you had such a loving mother and I can also tell by all of your blog how much you love your boys and what a loving mother you are. You are so blessed and they are so blessed to have you as their mama. I look forward to reading your posts daily. Thank you for sharing God's love with all of us.

    Lee Laurie

  9. Hi Traci ~
    I am catching up with your blog…..I am so glad that you are honoring your dear mom with a weekly blog….so cool to keep her memory alive !
    I just scanned over your blogs but, will go back and read more….I just bought a new dishwasher after the first "new" one broke…errr – I did a ton of research and found that KitchenAid is the top brand. Also I bought it at Lowes and they had the best warranty $99 bucks for five years…which is what I should have done with the first one. Anyway stay clear of LG and GE – they have the most repairs…Good luck and I got to go read more of your stuff !

  10. I just love your Wednesdays with Wanda post. I just made beef vegetable soup and thought of you and your mother and smiled.

    Oh Traci you need to go to an auction. They are so much fun and you can get some really good deals at least in our area. I would rather go to an auction than a yard sale.

    Have a great weekend.

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