Garden Vegetable Soup – Preparing and Canning

The gardens are planted, and I’m looking forward to making my grandma’s homemade vegetable soup with garden-fresh produce. Whether your vegetables are fresh or frozen, this is the best vegetable soup recipe you’ll ever try!

Canned jar of homemade vegetable soup, bowl of tomatoes, and serving of soup in white cup
Granny’s Homemade Vegetable Soup

My granny made the best soup around. I’ve never tasted any better. I get pretty close with my recipe, though. You can watch me make it and can it in the video.

Do I have to put okra in my vegetable soup?

You may be tempted to leave the okra out, but it makes this vegetable soup recipe sing. The okra thickens the soup and brings all the flavors together.

Personally, I love okra. But if you don’t like the texture, you can use a few pieces of whole okra and remove it from the soup once it cooks. You can also thicken the soup by stirring a little butter and flour together to make a slurry and then mixing it into the soup.

Can I substitute frozen vegetables for the corn, okra, and butter beans?

Yes! Your homemade vegetable soup still will be delicious. Try to find white corn if you can. You can use either whole or cut-up frozen okra. I use the cut-up kind because it’s easier to eat.

However, if you have a little extra time, I do believe using fresh vegetables makes a difference in the flavor.

Can You Add Meat to This Soup?

This is incredible vegetable soup on its own, but absolutely, you can add meat. A pound of chuck roast cut into 2-inch cubes adds so much flavor. My grandmother always added it and the juices straight from the pressure cooker. Watch the video to see how to do that.

NOTE: If you plan on canning your vegetable soup, you do need to take extra care about adding meat to it. Meat has to be canned with a pressure canner to ensure that it gets heated to a high enough temperature.

What to Serve with Vegetable Soup

This homemade vegetable soup goes with many different sides. For a simple but hearty lunch, you can serve this soup with warm, fresh bread such as my No-Knead Artisan Bread or just your favorite crusty bread from the store.

For a real treat, though, try serving vegetable soup with this Fried Cornbread. It’s truly amazing. Beware…you’ll need to make a triple batch. The minute you make it, it disappears. It’s just that good!

How to Make Vegetable Soup

Here is a close variation on my grandma’s homemade vegetable soup recipe. I make it with tomatoes fresh from my garden or canned from the last harvest, but grocery-store tomatoes will work just fine, too. You can also use canned peeled and crushed tomatoes.

Basil, thyme, and the other seasonings are key to this soup’s flavor. Of course, you can omit the dashes of hot sauce if spiciness doesn’t agree with you.

Feel free to improvise and adjust this recipe to your family’s taste and what you have on hand, as my Granny often did. Her soup was never exactly the same, but it was always delicious.

Granny’s Garden Vegetable Soup

My granny made the best vegetable soup around. I've never tasted any better. I get pretty close with my recipe. You may be tempted to leave the okra out, but it makes this recipe sing.
5 from 1 vote
Course Soup
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 8


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 2 pounds okra sliced 1/4 inch thick rounds
  • 8-10 tomatoes peeled and crushed
  • 3/4 cup butter beans
  • 4 ears corn (1 cup) cut off the cob
  • 1 tablespoon basil chopped
  • 1 tablespoon thyme chopped
  • 3 dashes hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lb. chuck roast cut into 2-inch cubes (optional)


  • In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add celery, onions, and garlic and heat for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Add okra, tomatoes, beans, corn, basil, thyme, hot sauce, salt, and pepper to the pot. Squeeze the lemon over soup. Add enough water to just cover the soup.
  • Bring mixture to a boil, and then reduce to simmer. Cover and let simmer for 1 hour.
  • Serve immediately with jalapeño cornbread (page 56 of Harvest Cookbook) or use pressure canner method of canning to can this recipe.


Be sure to practice good canning safety when canning meat. 
Courtesy of Stacy Lyn Harris
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For more garden-fresh recipes, check out Stacy Lyn’s Harvest Cookbook.  From Fried Green Tomatoes to Duck Meatballs and Cinnamon Pear Buns, you’ll find time-tested southern recipes plus my best advice on keeping bees, raising chickens, and so much more. Read what people are saying about Harvest HERE.

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  1. Margie Bolt says:

    This soup really looks good. How can I get the recipe?

    1. Stacy Harris says:

      It is the greatest soup. When I make it and eat it, it evokes so many great memories. My kids love it too. I am working on my next cookbook right now and the soup recipe is in it. As soon as it is released I will let you know.

  2. Janice Arnold says:

    Yum! That is what I love! Gardening, cooking, canning, fishing! Haven’t done the chickens or hunting yet but it is on my bucket list! Great show and video and look forward to many more!

    1. Stacy Harris says:

      Thanks so much. If there is ever anything that you would like me to do a video or blog on, please let me know. THanks again for commenting!

    1. I just sent out your book! Thank you! I love this recipe too!! I hope it becomes a favorite in your home!

  3. May I substitute broth for water? Can’t wait to try canning this soup!

    1. Hi Karen! Yes, you can substitute broth for water. It will work just fine if canned properly. It will taste great.

  4. Hope Davis says:

    Do you put sweet corn in your vegetables soup.

  5. Hi Stacy Lyn, my friend,
    This soup sounds great, as does the Potato Salad recipe that led me to this pageCan’t beat Granny’s cooking with a great big stick! katie

    1. Hey Katie!!! So good to hear from you. Granny’s cooking is always best. I totally agree! Hope you are great.

  6. Can I sub celery seed for celery?

    1. Sure, you can add celery. The celery see would give it a little different taste, but I think it will be good.

  7. Can’t wait to try this. How many servings would you guess this to be?
    Love you cookbooks

    1. Hi Cathy! I just did a new video of this soup and added chuck to it! It was so crazy good. To answer your question, it serves around 8. Thanks!! I hope you enjoy the recipe.

  8. If you use meat can you freeze this ok?

    1. You can freeze it with the meat in it. It will work beautifully!

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