Picture of Charity SpaldingCharity Spalding is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian with over 10 years of experience, much of which has been spent working with people with disability and their families. She is also the owner of Accessible Nutrition.

I’ve got a recipe for home-made canned soup… well, it’s actually made using canned and frozen foods but “Home-made canned and frozen vegetable soup” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

The idea for this recipe came about a few years ago when I was staying at my friend Mark’s house. Mark had recently moved out of home. When I moved out of home, I just waved goodbye to my parents and drove five hours to my new home. It wasn’t like that for Mark. He had spent 10 years working towards moving out of home. He had to organise the right funding so that he could access the personal care he needed. He had to organise a special bed because his parents wouldn’t be there to turn him overnight. He had to wait until a suitable home became available. Eventually he got there! Here’s a picture of him picking up the keys to his own place.

Picture of Mark holding his house keys

Mark was there! He’d made it! He had everything sorted out and had successfully moved out of home … or had he? There was one thing that wasn’t quite as sorted out as he had hoped: food. He didn’t have much experience cooking, or even shopping for food. He ended up going to those “Golden Arches” near his house. A lot. So much that he noticed that his weight was starting to creep upward.

Now when I moved out of home and drove those 5 hours away, I was studying to be a dietitian. Part of my role is to teach people easy ways to eat well. So when I visited my friend in his new home I made up this “Homemade canned soup” recipe as a housewarming present. It’s been modified a little bit since that first try, but it was tasty even then. In the time since, I’ve been working as a dietitian, mainly helping people with a disability reach their nutrition potential and I know from talking to many people over the years that Mark’s food experience isn’t unique.

I have a drive to help people with disability be better able to cook for themselves. Recently, I was awarded a Fundability grant from Northcott Innovation to write an inclusive cookbook. And I need your help!

I want to write a cookbook that provides Easy, Healthy, Tasty meals that anyone can cook. I want it to be useful for people with limited mobility, people with mild intellectual disability, people with dysphagia who need texture modified meals, people who are just moving out of home and have never had to cook for themselves before, even parents who are trying to kid-wrangle while cooking dinner. This is a book for anyone looking for easy, healthy and tasty everyday meal ideas.

If you can spare 5 – 10 mins, can you please follow this link and let me know about your cooking experience, what you like and don’t like in the cookbooks you’ve used and what easy meals you’d like to see in a cookbook for people who don’t usually cook.

To say thank-you, here is the recipe that started it all. It’s as easy as opening a few cans and a bag of frozen vegetables then heating it all up on the stove. It feeds the whole household or can be frozen in individual portions for a quick easy microwave lunch.

Home-made Canned Soup

Serves around 3-4 adults

A bowl of vegetable soupIngredients:

  • ½ jar of passata or a can of tomatoes with herbs and/or garlic
  • 3 cups frozen peas, corn and carrot
  • 1 can mushrooms in butter sauce
  • 1 x 400g can 4 bean mix, drained
  • 1 x 400g can kidney beans, drained


1. Crack open the cans that need to be drained and rest upside-down on the edge of the sink to drain
2. Tip all the veggies into a saucepan and heat on a low heat, stirring occasionally, until boiling hot.
3. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly
4. Serve with a tasty bread or toast


  • If there’s not enough liquid, then add the rest of the passata or fill the tomato can with water and add this to the soup
  • Need help opening cans or jars? Talk to your OT about equipment to help in the kitchen.

FundAbility is brought to you by Northcott and funded by the NSW Department of Family and Community Services. 

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Home-made canned soup… Wait! What did I just say? Service Reviews

  1. Hi Charity. This is great thanks. Of course every person with differing abilities and difficulties will need different things in a recipee, but these simple ones can be adapted easily. In my work with people with cognitive and physical difficulties, I’ve found that gaining confidence in the kitchen is a big factor. So many people have had little experience due to perceived risks (sometimes real, sometimes not well founded) and like anyone need a chance to get some skills and have fun. These sorts of recipee’s help people to get confident and start thinking about further possibilities. Thanks for sharing! Chris