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Lottie’s Vegetable Soup 

You will notice that Lottie’s vegetable soup recipe requires certain things. One is the use of a pressure cooker, something that often strikes fear into the hearts of those who have never used one and the other is that it calls for quite a few canned vegetables. (Let me assure you that her soup is absolutely delicious when made exactly that way.) However, at one point in time my youngest son, who enjoys cooking and is health conscious, asked me if it could be made using all fresh, or at least frozen vegetables and if it could be done in a regular pot. So, accepting his challenge, between the two of us we did a scientific experiment and made some the traditional way, some with the same recipe but in a regular pot, another one with fresh vegetables in a regular pot, another with fresh and frozen in the pressure cooker, etc., etc. In other words, just about every possible variation and then we did a taste-test comparison. (I must say that we wound up with a lot of soup!) The conclusion we reached (and the whole family agreed) was that they were all good, but the absolute best (instantly recognizable even with your eyes closed) was the original recipe, unchanged in ingredients and in cooking vessel. I hereby present you with…TA-DA! Lottie’s Vegetable Soup.

4 Quart Pressure Cooker
½ cup dried lima beans—Pour hot water over beans and let stand until rest of soup is fixed.
¼ cup barley
¼ cup split peas
2 large carrots, scraped and sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced or diced
1 large or 2 medium onions, diced
2 small or 1 large potato, peeled and diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 small can (7 oz.) white corn
1 small can whole cut string beans
1 small can peas
1 can tomato soup 
8 oz. can tomato juice
14 oz. can Del Monte tomatoes, diced
½ tsp. salt
1 T sugar
¼ tsp. pepper

Combine all; add lima beans, 3-4 quarts water (you can include the juice from the canned vegetables) to cover. Cook ½ hour in pressure cooker or 1+ hours in regular pot (if you must) covered, until beans are tender. Feel free to add more salt and/or pepper if you wish. Best if made the day before serving. This soup can also be made with pieces of top rib and/or soup bones. It is delicious that way. You can also add fish and Old Bay seasoning to come up with an excellent facsimile of Maryland or Eastern Shore Crab Soup.

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