Saturday, March 23, 2013

Chop and Drop Simple Veggie Soup

Recently my husband and I did a ten day vegan-style cleanse and during that time I had a lot of odds and ends of vegetables in my fridge.  I had also picked up several boxes of veggie stock (I'm to impatient to make my own, ) and I was in the mood to use our Crock-Pot.  Here's what happened next...

I used these ingredients:
One box of Vegetable Stock* (or 32 ounces)
Two sweet potatoes, cubed (2 cups)
Five large carrots, chopped (2 cups)
One bunch of green onion, chopped (1 cup)
Fresh green beans, cut to 1" pieces (3 cups)
a half bag of frozen organic corn I found in the freezer (2 cups)
Pureed tomatoes from our garden that I froze last fall (2 cups)
Olive oil (1 TBS)
Two cloves of garlic, pressed
Juice from one lemon
2 Bay Leaves
And one teaspoon each of dried parsley, dried basil, and herb de province

After all my chopping, cubing and dicing, I just dropped it all in to my Crock-Pot and set it on low for seven hours (ready in time for dinner that evening).  I was a little worried that some of the veggies would either get too mushy or not get cooked well enough.  I had no idea how it would taste, but the house smelled amazing.

Seven hours later, I sat down to the best bowl of veggie soup I've ever had!  The beauty of this recipe is that you can throw in whatever veggies you have on hand, even those half full bags of green beans and corn you have left over in the freezer!

For those of us who need a definitive recipe to help us get started, here you go:

Chop and Drop Fresh Veggie Soup
Active Time: 30 minutes (more or less depending on how fast you can chop veggies)
Cook Time:  4-6 hours on high, 7-8 hours on low (depending on when dinner time is)

32 ounces vegetable stock*
1 TBS olive oil
two cloves of garlic, pressed
juice from one lemon, or 3 TBS fresh lemon juice
2 Bay Leaves (remove leaves before serving the soup)
1 tsp dried parsley or 1 TBS fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp dried basil or 1 TBS fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp herb de provence
2 cups potato (any kind) cubed
2 cups chopped carrots
1 cup chopped onion, any kind
2-3 cups fresh or frozen green beans, cut in to 1 inch pieces
2 cups corn kernels, frozen or fresh* (not canned)
2 cups pureed tomatoes, any kind (I just put the tomatoes in my food processor for a few seconds, then drop them in the soup.)

Combine all ingredients in a 5 quart Crock-Pot or slow cooker and cook on low for seven to eight hours or on high for four to six hours.  Remove bay leaves and serve.

* Be sure to check in ingredient label for extra preservatives and additives in anything boxed, frozen, or canned.  With all ingredients, fresh and organic is the best option.  If you can find non-GMO corn, that is even better.   I can't always afford that, so I do as much as I can. 

One other thing to consider, take a look at the ingredient list above and then compare it with the ingredient list for Progesso Vegetable Classics Garden Vegetable:
Ingredients: Water, Potatoes, Carrots, Tomato Puree (water, tomato paste), Tomatoes, Corn, Celery, Kidney Beans, Green Beans. Contains less than 2% of: Modified Food Starch, Salt, Sugar, Vegetable Juice Concentrates (carrot, celeriac, red beet, lettuce, spinach, citric acid, natural flavor), Onion, Potassium Chloride, Corn Protein (hydrolyzed), Dried Parsley, Spice, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor, Calcium Chloride, Yeast Extract.

I know it takes extra time, but the lack of scientific-sounding chemicals and additives in my food is worth it to me.  And I think it tastes much better, even without the added salt and sugar!  I hope you enjoy it as much as my awesome** husband and I do!

** = this is what happens when I ask my awesome husband to proof read my blog.