Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Soup Week: Garbage Soup

Happy Soup Week! It's yet another great collaboration of over a dozen awesome women on a very seasonally appropriate dish. In addition to swells of soup, you'll find a few loaves of bread and a Le Crueset giveaway in the mix this week.

If you read Kristen's (at Comfortably Domestic) Broccoli Cheddar Soup post yesterday, you know its cold in Michigan. Really cold. I was traveling around northern Michigan this weekend, still thawing as I write this post, both ego and a body bruised from my first downhill skiing trip. I was thankful for a warm bowl of soup yesterday after a cold morning on the slopes and a long afternoon in the car.

Why not take your dog for a walk on I-75 when traffic is stopped?
I thought about changing the name of this beloved family soup for the sake of my popularity during soup week. . .then I thought about how my notoriously picky niece has been asking for Garbage Soup for years, and I remembered the rise I used to get out of my friends when I excitedly told them I was having Garbage Soup for dinner. Priceless.

It's a family-recipe if we ever had one, given to my Mom by my Grandma (her mother-in-law), now a crowd-pleasing kitchen staple in my sister's kitchen. Why the name Garbage Soup? Since no actual garbage goes into the making of this soup, the best explanation I've been given is that the dumping of several cans of different ingredients necessitates the name. It seems barely justifiable, but traditions are important.

Garbage Soup
  • One medium onion, diced
  • 2-3 stalks of celery, thinly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 can of chicken or veggie broth (+1 can of water)
  • 1/4 cup of ketchup
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 small cans (~15oz) of stewed tomatoes or 1 large can
  • 1 can of sweet corn
  • 1 can of sliced new potatoes
  • 1 small head of cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 package of smoked summer sausage or kielbasa
  • salt + pepper
Saute the onions and celery in butter over medium heat until soft. Add the broth, water, ketchup and brown sugar and stir until everything is well incorporated. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for a half hour to forty-five minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Notes: If you prefer to avoid canned food you can use equivalent amounts (eyeballing, of course) of fresh corn, fingerling potatoes, etc. For my version I used fingerling potatoes, veggie broth, and minimally processed kielbasa. Also, you shouldn't need to add much, if any, salt. The ketchup, canned veggies, and sausage usually suffice for salt content, but if you avoid the cans that scenario will change.

Best enjoyed with sisters and a puzzle.

For more soup, check out these great blogs. . .
Monday, January 20th
Wednesday, January 22nd
Thursday, January 23th

Friday, January 24th

Saturday, January 25th


  1. Love it! I was wondering what kind of "garbage" went into your soup. Sounds delicious!

    Also, that guy walking his dog on I-75...really?! Was he begging someone's car to slide into him and punt him off the road? ;)

  2. I could tell, just by the name of this soup, that it was going to be pretty awesome! It looks incredible. No snow here in D.C. luckily...but the temps are dipping drastically! A bowl of this lusciousness would warm me up quite nicely! Stay warm and safe! : )

  3. I really don't miss the cold back east! We used to live in Chicago and the winters were brutal!! Good thing there are these delicious soups that will warm us right up. I love the idea of this garbage soup!

  4. This looks super yummy. I have a similar soup that my mom calls kitchen sink soup because it's everything we have in the house but the kitchen sink.

  5. Replies
    1. Hooray! We will have to talk blogs sometime, Cynthia!

  6. I love the idea of sausages in soup. I'm sure the kielbasa makes for a salty and maybe a bit spicy bite. Yum!!

    1. Yes! I bet sweet italian sausage would be great in here too, maybe for the next batch!

  7. Hey, girl: I make your mom's garbage soup all the time, even vegan-style. One of my friends in Colorado recently contributed it to a family recipe book, so it is getting wider acclaim, as well it should. Thanks for featuring it. Love, JoJo