Think, Read, Cook

Because no single way of eating works for everybody.

We Also Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Cans!


You want vegetable soup? You want near-instantaneous vegetable soup? Get your hands off that can opener. You don’t need no stinkin’ cans.

I have no idea where the recipe for this soup originally came from. It doesn’t look precisely like the photo above, but it’s similar. It’s delicious, it’s healthful, it’s all the things a good vegetable soup should be. But the really cool thing about this soup is that it’s concentrated. You make it, freeze it, and then whenever you want an amazing, fresh-tasting vegetable soup, you get out a container, put it into a pot, and add an equal amount of water. Warm it up on the stove or in the microwave, and there it is in all its glory.

This is additive-free, preservative-free, homemade convenience food. It’s canned soup, without the can. Or the canned flavour. Or the Bisphenol-A (BPA) in the lining of the can that gets into your food and damages your health. Campbell’s is removing BPA from their canned soup tins, and that’s good… but their vegetable soup doesn’t taste anything like homemade.

This does. This is better. Make this instead.


Nearly-Instantaneous Vegetable Soup

(NOTE: if you don’t care for lima beans, substitute something else, such as kidney beans, peas, etc. You can also vary the content of peppers and onions. This recipe makes about 10 litres/ 10 quarts of soup, but can easily be halved to make less.)


6-quart basket fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped

4 cups carrots, sliced or chopped

3 stalks celery, sliced

1 or 2 large red peppers, chopped

1 or 2 large onions, chopped

1/2 cup barley

2 cups frozen peas, thawed

2 cups lima beans (thaw if you’re using frozen ones)

3 bay leaves

1/2 cup salt

1/2 cup sugar or sweetening of choice (or less if desired)

1/2 cup butter



Simplicity itself! Cook tomatoes, barley, and vegetables separately. Then combine together with remaining ingredients. Bring the whole lot to a boil, simmer for 1/2 hour, then put into smaller containers and freeze. When you want soup, dilute with an equal quantity of water. Enjoy.


14 comments on “We Also Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Cans!

  1. judy
    March 29, 2013

    What’s the amount of toms in lbs or kilos pls?

    • thinkreadcook
      March 29, 2013

      I’m afraid I don’t know; I just use a 6-quart basket of tomatoes like you find at markets. Sorry, I realize that’s not much help. 😦 As a suggestion, you could try 10 large tomatoes (large as in approx. 10cm in diameter) or 20 small (approx. 6cm diameter), which is about what will fit into one of those baskets.

      • judy
        March 29, 2013

        Ok. Tku. Are you in usa or uk?

      • thinkreadcook
        March 29, 2013

        Neither; I’m in Canada. How about you?

  2. MyMagicPill
    March 29, 2013

    I had the same question so did a Google search (how did the world function without Google). The answer I found was in reference to 8 quarts of tomatoes, but: “A quart is 32 ounces. If your tomatoes are around 8 ounces, enough to fill up an 8 ounce cup when chopped up, you would need 4 for 1 quart. So for 8 quarts you would need 32 tomatoes. Try to judge how many you would need for 32 ounces and multiply it by 8.” By that logic, for 6 quarts, you would need 4 x 6 = 24 tomatoes, if each is about 1 c chopped.

    • thinkreadcook
      March 29, 2013

      Depends on the size of your tomatoes. The thing is, this recipe is pretty forgiving. And you’re going to be adding water to it when you reconstitute it anyway. The “six-quart basket of tomatoes” will depend on the size of the tomatoes; but it’s going to be a good soup anyway, so just do the most approximate amount you can, and it’ll work out. 🙂

    • judy
      March 30, 2013

      Oh my. The shops and supemarkets all work in grammes and kilos.

      • thinkreadcook
        March 30, 2013

        This website has functions to convert Imperial measurements to Metric, and vice versa. Hope this helps! 🙂

      • judy
        March 31, 2013

        Tku v.m.

      • judy
        March 31, 2013

        It doesn’t give quarts!

      • thinkreadcook
        March 31, 2013

        There are four cups in a quart, and 8 ounces in a cup. 🙂

      • judy
        March 31, 2013

        Yay. Thank you so very much. When i was a child in england i was making a cake for my mum-which only my dad would eat. There was a measurement i didn’t understant. I phoned directory enquiries and the phone ladies helped me. The one who answered shouted ‘oi i’ve a little girl here making a cake for her mum but she doesn’t know what ! Is’ ah bless her i heard. Lol. Anycase they helped me. That was interesting wasn’t it!!!

      • thinkreadcook
        March 31, 2013

        Here is another site with metric conversions: This site includes quarts. 🙂

  3. judy
    March 30, 2013

    British born and educated etc but have lived in israel for the past 40 odd yrs.

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