Ms. Velma’s ‘It’s Just Soup’
Long ago, I lived in the basement apartment of the dearest older couple. Mr. Thomas loved his garden, and Ms. Velma was always cooking up something good — like this simple, yet amazing soup! I told her how mouthwatering it was and she said, “Oh, it’s just soup.” Measurements need not be exact. Freezes well to pull out on busy nights!
- 1 whole chicken plus several additional leg quarters, drumsticks or thighs
- 2 cans (28-ounce) crushed tomatoes
- 2 large onions (we used yellow and sweet)
- 2 cups white corn
- 2 cups tiny butterbeans
- 1 medium head of cabbage, shredded
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cans (15-ounce) creamed corn
- 3–4 large celery stalks, diced
- 2 tablespoons sugar (to cut acidity of tomatoes)
In a large pot, bring chicken to boil in 3–4 quarts of salted water. Once boiling, cover and reduce to a low boil, cooking until tender. Be sure to cover, as you do not want the broth to cook out.
Remove chicken with a slotted spoon and cool. Once cool to the touch, remove skin, debone and shred.
Add chicken and remaining ingredients except sugar to broth. Let simmer at low boil an hour or longer until nice and rich, and flavors marry. Taste for acidity and add in small amounts of sugar until flavors seem balanced. If too thick, add a bit of broth or water for preferred consistency.