We don’t have many traditions associated with Halloween–it’s not my favorite holiday. But there is one tradition I really like. We always have soup for dinner and this year, I’m making vegetable soup. It actually makes me feel better after eating too many Snicker bars and Reese peanut butter cups.
Who needs a recipe for vegetable soup? Not me, and probably not you either. But I have something to say regarding ingredients I prefer. I bet you do, too, and I’m hoping you’ll share in the comments because I’m always looking for new ways to improve the classics.
My vegetable soup is rather like a scavenger hunt. I start with leftover pot roast and gravy. Then I raid the fridge for once-fresh-but-now-tired veggies, and half-empty bags of the frozen variety. Next, I grab a can or two of veggies out of the pantry, and finally, if the weather is not too cold, I check to see if I have any herbs I can add to the mix.
It may seem like an anything-goes policy, but actually, I do have a few rules.
- Yes to frozen okra. I don’t normally like boiled okra, but for some mysterious reason, I love it in soup. Try it. You’ll see.
- Yes to salt-free seasoning. I usually don’t add extra salt, and the variety of spices in the seasoning add interest to the flavor. I currently use Kroger brand Zesty Blend.
- No tomatoes. I love tomatoes but prefer my vegetable soup without.
- No cabbage. Sorry, Mom. I never learned to like the cabbage you put into your vegetable soup. It also reminds me of the cabbage soup some people eat to lose weight. Does anybody do that any more?
This recipe is perfect for a slow cooker. Simmer all day long and half the night too, if necessary, on days you aren’t sure when you’ll get home.
- 1 cup leftover pot-roast, cubed or shredded
- 2 quarts leftover gravy and /or beef broth
- 2-3 potatoes, diced
- 2-3 sliced carrots
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Bay leaf
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup green beans (I prefer canned)
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 cup frozen okra
- 1 cup lima beans
- 1 tablespoon Salt-Free Seasoning (I like Kroger brand Zesty Blend)
- Add meat, gravy and/or broth, potatoes, carrots and Bay leaf to slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours.
- Approximately 30 minutes before eating, add remaining vegetables and seasoning and turn heat to HIGH on slow cooker.
- Remove bay leaf and season to taste with freshly-ground pepper.