Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ike's Vegetable Soup

It's Election Day, for many of us we are glad it's here and anxious for it to be over! I'm ready to cut back spending, starting today and to celebrate no more phone polls--- we're having Eisenhower Vegetable Soup for dinner! I found an interesting site while surfing the other day, The National Archives Presidential Libraries. From there I began reading and came across some great recipes and history associated with each President. There's actually a cookbook, Eating with Uncle Sam: Recipes and Historical Bites from the National Archives, with stories and recipes that were First Family favorites! 

The only five-star general ever to be elected President of the United States, Dwight Eisenhower was no stranger in the kitchen. Throughout his Presidency, Eisenhower used the kitchen on the third floor of the White House to prepare his favorite soups and stews. His directions tell a lot about the era and his cost saving ways... I like that Ike!

Dwight D. Eisenhower's Vegetable Soup
1 meat bone
a couple pounds of mutton or beef soup meat
5 quarts water
small piece of garlic
black pepper

President Eisenhower's directions:
"The best time to make vegetable soup is a day or so after you have fried chicken and out of which you have saved the necks, ribs, backs, uncooked. (The chicken is not essential, but does add something.)

Procure from the meat market a good beef soup bone – the bigger the better. It is a rather good idea to have it split down the middle so that all the marrow is exposed. I frequently buy, in addition, a couple pounds of ordinary soup meat, either beef or mutton, or both.

Put all this meat, early in the morning, in a big kettle. The best kind is heavy aluminum, but a good iron pot will do almost as well. Put in also the bony parts of the chicken you have saved. Cover it with water, something on the order of 5 quarts. Add a teaspoon of salt, a bit of black pepper and, if you like, a touch of garlic (one small piece). If you don't like garlic, put in an onion. Boil all this slowly all day long. Keep on boiling till the meat has literally dropped off the bone. If your stock boils down during the day, add enough water from time to time to keep the meat covered. When the whole thing has practically disintegrated, pour out into another large kettle through the colander. Make sure that the marrow is out of the bones. I advise you let this strain through the colander for quite a while as much juice will drain out of the meant. (Shake the colander well to help get out all the juice.)

I usually save a few of the better pieces of meat to be diced and put into the soup after it is done. The rest of it can be given to your dogs or your neighbor's chickens. Put the kettle containing the stock you now have in a very cool place, outdoors in the winter time or in the ice box; let it stand all night and the next day until you are ready to make your soup."

For more information about this recipe or any of Dwight Eisenhower’s favorite foods, you can check out the “Ike and Mamie’s Favorites” web page.


  1. He has some good soup making advice in this recipe.

  2. That is hilarious! My dad wasn't a cook but it sounds like something he would stir up. He loved a big chunk of meat bone. My mom's veggie soup was delicious, made early in the day & left to simmer most of the afternoon. Loved your post!


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