This super EASY vegetable soup is a good way to use up summer vegetables popping up in your weekly CSA deliveries or your gardens. Feel free to swap out the cabbage for cut green beans, or corn for chopped bell peppers, or zucchini for cubed potatoes, or…well, you get the idea. Use what you have!
I also call this soup, “dump soup,” because you dump all the ingredients in a slow cooker and walk away! For hours! How many hours is almost up to you, from four to eight. I’ve never found it makes much difference.
And for heaven’s sake, don’t peel anything. Don’t peel the carrots. Don’t peel any potatoes. Just give them a wash. Peeling wastes your valuable time and needlessly eliminates additional fiber in your diet!
- 1 32 oz. box of vegetable broth (or homemade broth if you have it)
- 1 zucchini, washed and cubed
- 3 carrots, washed and sliced into coins
- 3 ribs of celery, washed and sliced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 28 oz. can stewed, whole, chopped or fire roasted tomatoes
- ¼ or ½ head of cabbage, sliced into squares or ribbons, however you like
- 1 cup corn kernels (fresh, frozen or canned)
- 1 15 oz. can red beans (or any color beans)
- Season with salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- A bunch of fresh basil (optional)
- Dried croutons for serving (optional)
- Dump all that in a slow cooker in any order.
- Vary the seasonings if you like. Substitute oregano for parsley, for example. Throw in a teaspoon of dried thyme or sage or tarragon. You get it! It's entirely up to you.
- Set on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 or 8 hours.
- Walk away.
- File your nails. Paint your house. Write a novel. Watch birds.
- Enjoy your soup with homemade croutons.
Now with all the additional time on your hands, you can direct your attention to pointless but interesting activities busy people have absolutely no time for. One such activity is birdwatching.
As a younger person, I had no idea what birds were what. I knew robins. And crows. Um. Maybe I knew what a hawk looked like. But now that I’m older, I suddenly recognize a greater variety of birds, both on sight and by song.
(You know you’re getting older when you can no longer read restaurant menus AND you can identify a great variety of bird species.)
As a younger parent, when I heard an older person declare something like, “Listen honey, it’s a warbling sea piper!” I would think, “Now how in the world do you have THAT much time on your hands??” I would then turn my attention back to things like: yelling at my children for playing video games on a sunny day; and hiding in the closet.
Haha! I didn’t really hide in the closet!
Why would I do that?
(Because kids are noisy and demanding.)
(Really, I only hid in the closet once…)
In any case, now I’m the older person with grown children and I have time for bird watching.
For example, I spent the weekend at the lake. There, we have a purple martin house.
It’s supposed to be for purple martins, anyway. But I know from my bird book–an item no younger people own–that sometimes tree swallows take over the purple martin houses. If–god forbid–THAT ever happens, no purple martin will ever return to the house. Tree swallows will forever be the house masters, year after year. A human should endeavor to chase away tree swallows from purple martin houses if they see them attempting a takeover. (At least, that’s what my bird book says.)
No one at the lake ever policed our bird house in this manner, so tree swallows are king here! They arrive in great numbers in May or so. They have babies and make lots of lively noise. I love them! Here are two tree swallows from an old picture:
They’re quite pretty with blue backs and silver, white bellies.
Then by July, all the tree swallows DISAPPEAR! It’s like magic! And it happens every year.
This year, I was sad to see the tree swallows leave, but guess what happened!
(Only older people will be able to guess.)
A wren came along and made a little nest in only the bottom hole after the tree swallows left!
At least I think it’s a wren!
(Con sarn it, Gladys! That sure is a wren! Now fetch me my cane, so I can get a closer peek!)
She has a very pretty song. There she is, just in the bottom apartment:
And just after I captured this photo, I sat down in my chair on the deck. Moments later, A LARGE BALD EAGLE flew across the lake right before my very eyes. But because my reflexes are no longer sharp, I didn’t get a photo! I wish you could have seen it!!
(This kind of stuff goes on all day at the lake. Don’t even get me started on the hummingbirds!)
Anyway, that’s what you can do while you cook your soup.