How to Make the Cracker Barrel Vegetable Soup Recipe At Home

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is a combination family restaurant and Southern-themed shopping business with a home office based out of Lebanon, Tennessee, just east of downtown Nashville. Cracker Barrel is of the most successful dining establishments in the United States. The theme of southern American food encourages hearty portions and large meals that are famous across the nation.

Cracker Barrel was founded by Dan Evins on September 19, 1969 in Lebanon and the company remains headquartered there. It expanded rapidly and by 1977 had 13 locations spread across the south from Kentucky to Georgia. Cracker Barrel continued to expand, going public on the New York Stock Exchange in 1981. By 2018, the store was in 45 of the 48 contiguous United States, with California finally getting a Cracker Barrel to call its own in Victorville and eventually Hollywood.

The exciting restaurant has some offerings that are rather simpler in nature, one of these being their delicious vegetable soup. One of the most basic soups that you can get, their vegetable soup is nevertheless a fine take on this classic childhood dish. Cracker Barrel’s vegetable soup is a true childhood comfort food, elevated to adult status by just a few hints of refinement here and there.

Here’s the Cracker Barrel Vegetable Soup Recipe:


  • Serves 4-6
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • ½ bag of frozen sweet corn (or in season, 2 ears of fresh sweet corn, sliced from the cob and the portion of the corn remaining on the cob milked.
  • 4 B-size potatoes, red or gold, diced
  • 1 can lima beans
  • ½ pound green beans, cut normally, ends removed
  • ½ bag frozen corn
  • 4 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon, beef flavor OR vegetable flavor
  • 2 cans (14 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 carton (1 quart) vegetable stock OR 5 cups of mixed vegetable juice
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon marjoram
  • ½ teaspoon rosemary (optional)
  • Fine sea salt to taste


Enameled Dutch oven


  1. Perform all prep chopping and peeling as your ingredients call for. Be sure in the prep to portion off your herbs now, so you don’t have to be fumbling with measureware in the middle of your cook.
  2. Into the Dutch oven, preheated on low heat, add the celery, carrots, and onion and sweat until beginning to just soften and get aromatic. If the aromatics begin to brown, turn the heat down and briefly remove the pan from the heat – this is a sweat, not a sauté.
  3. Once the aromatics are smelling lovely, add the thyme and marjoram to the pot and stir for a few more moments, just until it begins to open up and smell lovely. These herbs are optional but highly recommended if you’re making this soup for adults and not kids.
  4. Add the tomatoes, water, stock or juice, and Better Than Bouillon (and the milked corn juice if using in-season fresh sweet corn) and crank the heat up to high.
  5. Once the broth is at a rolling boil, add potatoes and boil for 5 minutes.
  6. Once a piece of potato can be pierced by a fork with little to no resistance, back the heat down to a simmer (medium-low heat).
  7. Once the soup has come back down to a simmer, let it simmer for 15-20 minutes. Taste and add salt and other seasonings if desired, and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Serve immediately or allow to cool completely and store in the refrigerator overnight.

Once You are Done:

When finished, this soup should feature a luxurious, supple broth, lightly flavored with beef if that’s so desired; a full-bodied flavor with a subtle hint – but just a hint – of brininess under the vegetal brashness, and plentiful chunks of veggie in the broth. The flavor of herb should feature strongly in the flavor profile as well, with marjoram, thyme, and optionally rosemary giving the broth their signature earthiness.

This soup gets better in the refrigerator overnight and freezes beautifully; frozen it keeps for 1-3 months before becoming freezer burned. But let’s be realistic, you’re not going to let a soup like this sit in your freezer for three months.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a sweat?

A sweat is a low-temperature cooking technique which is used to soften vegetables without browning. A vegetable that cooks without undergoing caramelization is the mark of a good sweat, as it can prepare the vegetable for a soup, stew, or use in a roast where the vegetable is intended to be caramelized at the end of the roasting process but not before it hits the pan. Sweating is also commonly known as a “butter-steam,” as butter is the most common fat used in sweating.

History of Vegetable Soup

Vegetable soup is one of the most ancient forms of soup that exists. In Roman times, “Soup of onions” was included in cookbooks. A broth was part of the mix by the late 10th century. By the dawn of the 15th Century, potage, a thick, stewlike soup that was made by boiling vegetables until they lost their structure, was a daily staple of the working class. Potage was eaten on planks of staled bread known as trenchers, which led to people who enjoyed eating large portions of food regardless of quality being known as trenchermen.

Why not lentils?

For those who enjoy lentils in their vegetable soup, this recipe will not stop you! Think of this recipe as a beginning to culinary curiosity. Vegetable soup is a simple dish and difficult to mess up too badly. It’s an ideal second recipe for someone to try after they’ve learned the basic mechanics of cooking.

What should this be served with?

Vegetable soup is one of the most popular soups in the world. Modern vegetable soup was popularized by the Campbell’s Soup cannery during the 1930s, though its roots go back to medieval potage. Vegetable soup is often served with a meat sandwich for a lunch. It can also be served as a lunch on its own with a side dish, such as potato chips or crisps. Vegetable soup overall is an extremely versatile dish and one that can be used in many contexts.

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