Thursday, October 30, 2008


I wish you all knew my dad. He's a cool guy, Baptist Preacher, Alabama fan (I don't hold that against him...), wonderful PawPaw, and a really good cook. He and I share a deep, deep love for The Food Network. And I'll venture out to say that he is the best, THE BEST soup maker in the history of the world. Clearly I'm a little biased, but his soup is GOOD. And it's never, ever, the same recipe twice.

So, in honor of BooMama's Souptacular Crockpotalooza, I'll share the recipe to my dad's famous soup. Actually, I'll share the recipe that he made last weekend. Because if he makes it again next weekend, it won't be the same.

I'll also go ahead and tell you that my dad doesn't know how to cook in small quantities. He cooks for 20 people, even if the meal is just for he and my mom. So this recipe will make enough to feed you, your family, your neighbors, your kids' teachers, have leftovers for days, and freeze some. Don't judge. He grew up in a large family.

Reminds me of the time that he smoked chicken during one of our visits to their house. There were 4 adults, 1 child, and 2 babies. He cooked 36 pieces of chicken. Mercy.

Ok. Here's the recipe.

Empty The Cabinet Soup
1 ham bone (we had smoked a ham earlier in the week and had a ham bone. Not necessary, but really, really good. Our ham bone had lots of ham still on it.)
If you don't have a ham bone, you will need 4 cups of any kind of meat. I've had this soup with ham and chicken. Yum. We added more ham to our soup in addition to the ham bone.
1 jar of pearl onions (with the juice - very important ingredient. Don't pour out the juice)
2 cans whole tomatoes
1 large can tomato sauce
2 small cans tomato paste
Veggies - we used fresh-frozen corn, field peas, lima beans, "soup mix" - which had green beans, carrots, & english peas - these veggies come in bags in the freezer section - we used a little over 1/2 a bag of each of the veggies. You can add okra and potatoes and the soup will be a little thicker.
2 cans Low Sodium chicken stock
2 cans Low Sodium beef stock
4 cups water
Garlic Powder (my dad has a really scientific way of measuring the garlic powder. He starts pouring and "circles the pot" 4 times. I think that would roughly measure out to about 4 tablespoons.)
1 T ham base
Black pepper to taste.
**Notice we didn't add any salt to this recipe. There is a lot of salt in the chicken stock, beef stock (even though they are low sodium), tomato sauces, & the ham base. You can always add salt later, but you can never take it out.

Combine all ingredients - in no particular order.
Simmer on med/low with the lid on.
The longer you cook it, the better it tastes.
It's great with crackers, but even better with cornbread. It's also good with a splash of Tabasco, too.

And, like I said before, invite the neighbors. You'll have plenty.

Head back over to BooMama's post and you can also find lots of other soup recipes, too.

Have a great, fantastically wonderful day!

Apparently, the mention of ham base has raised several questions amongst the bloggy community. Apparently, a lot of you peeps don't know what ham base is. So here's an explanation....
Ham base is a concentrated ham flavor - like bullion, but in a paste form. It intensifies the flavor of soups. You can get ham base, beef base, chicken base, and vegetable base. It comes in a little jar and can be found near the soup/stock/bullion in most grocery stores.
Except I haven't checked "most grocery stores." It just sounded good. I know for sure that it can be found on isle 3 in my Publix right down the street from my house. As for your grocery store? You're on your own with that one. However, I DO know that if you are making soup, a base of some kind will make it yummier.

Peace out.


Patty said...

That sounds so good! Can I ask a question? What is ham base? Are you talking about or referring to the ham bone? I would love to make this. Thanks for sharing this recipe and thank your dad, even though he is a Bama fan. lol!

Beachy Mimi said...

What is ham base?

Brook said...

Can I please see a picture of the pot you cook this in? I can't imagine its size!