Do you remember eating alphabet soup as a kid? I’ll just bet that it was Campbell’s, straight out of a can! That brings back great memories but the recipe I’m sharing today is so much better! And so much better for you! We added LOTS of vegetables for added nutrition and beef for even more flavor. And the best part is that you can have this soup on the table in under an hour… 30 minutes if you already have the beef and vegetables cut up.
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The History of Alphabet Soup
Believe it or not, alphabet soup has been around for over 150 years! The first mention of it appeared in an 1867 edition of the Tri-Weekly Standard, “The latest culinary novelty is alphabetical soup. Instead of the usual cylindric and star-shaped morsels of macaroni which have hitherto given body to our broth, the letters of the alphabet have been substituted. These letters of paste preserve their forms in passing through the pot.”
There’s also an urban legend that a noodle factory had a mishap and some of their pasta came out looking like the letter C so the supervisor decided to create the rest of the alphabet, too.
Of course, Campbell’s Soup made it popular in the 1950s and almost every home in the US had a can in their pantry.
No matter WHERE it came from… my family has always loved eating alphabet soup. So in my quest to reduce the amount of sodium my family eats, I decided to make my own alphabet soup!
Easy Alphabet Soup Recipe
Feel free to add or subtract ingredients to make this recipe your own. I tease my family that soup night is really “clean out the refrigerator night”. Whatever veggies we have in the fridge and freezer often end up in the soup. So our soups are different almost every time we eat them.
- 1-2 pounds chuck roast, cut into bite-size pieces
- 2-3 T olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 4-5 stalks celery, sliced
- 2-3 large carrots, sliced
- 16 oz can diced tomatoes
- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with chilies (optional)
- 1 cup frozen green beans
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 2 cups low sodium beef, chicken, or vegetable stock
- 7 oz bag alphabet pasta
- water to cover
I have also added corn, potatoes, and canned vegetables instead of frozen. The seasonings can also be mixed up. Add cumin, chili powder, garlic, or onion powder if you don’t have those veggies, poultry seasoning, lemon pepper, or whatever seasonings you like. Leave out the diced tomatoes with chilies if you don’t want it spicy.
We use low sodium stock and canned vegetables (when we use those) but feel free to add as much sodium as you want!
Brown the beef in olive oil. Remove from pot. (I cook this entire dish in my big stockpot.) Add onion and celery. Saute until soft. Add garlic and saute a few minutes more.
Add the beef and the remaining ingredients back into the stockpot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are soft.
Add the alphabet pasta about 10 minutes before serving. It doesn’t take them long to cook and that will keep them from getting mushy.
We like eating soup in these latte bowls. They’re the perfect size to curl up with if you eat in front of the living room fireplace…lol… and one of the few things that I can afford at Anthropologie!
If you enjoyed eating this alphabet soup, you might also like these other soup recipes:
- Black-Eyed Pea Soup Recipe
- Chicken Enchilada Soup with Rice
- 21 Easy Soup Recipes to Make for Your Family Tonight
- Cabbage Soup
- Instant Pot Chicken Taco Soup
I hope you enjoy this recipe and even learned a little about the history of alphabet soup. Leave a comment and let me know if you’ve ever made alphabet soup… maybe you have your own recipe. I’d love to see it. Now I’m off to make more soup!
‘Til the next meal,