We have deer. And squirrels. And coyotes.
They eat our gardens. Even the one on the deck.
They eat our tomatoes and strawberries and our herbs and our sunflowers and our jalapenos. Well, I killed the jalapenos. Who knew they needed watering?
As it turns out, other people will grow gardens for you. And if you show up at the Farmer's Market on the weekends, they will show up too! And then you can make vegetable soup from fresh vegetables, which are in a different food group than canned vegetables. TRUST ME.
The only reason to post this recipe is for the secret ingredient, because we all know how to dump veggies in a pot and call it dinner.
Pick your veggies. From the Farmer's Market or your garden or a roadside stand, but just this once, don't use canned veggies. Please. Just try this. You will only be able to buy what is in season at these places. It's hard to tell what season it is when you walk into the grocery store because they have everything all year round. That's not necessarily a good thing, friends!
Here is how I made this week's soup:
I sauteed a 1/2 a leftover red onion in half olive oil and half butter. After a few minutes I added some sliced celery and carrots. I added fresh corn that I cut off the cobb. After you cut it, scrape the back of your knife against the cobb. That juice is so good.
I added that to the pot with chopped up tomatoes and their juice, sliced zucchini and squash, and leftover limas and green peas. I also added a few uncooked, sliced okra.
Let this all heat up in a large pot for 10-15 minutes and then add vegetable stock until it's the right ratio of broth to veggies for your taste. Add salt and pepper and a bit of cayenne. If you like your veggies still crunchy, you can eat it now. If you like them soft, keep-a cookin.
When I serve this soup, I ladle it into bowls and add a dash of light cream. I wish there were words to type on this screen that would allow you to understand how much this adds to the soup. Alas, there are no words that powerful, so you will just have to try it yourself.
And yes, you can afford the calories in the dash of cream. You have eliminated meat for this entire meal, so you have quite a lot of wiggle room. We eat this with some fresh sourdough bread.
When you are at the Farmer's Market, please visit my friend Cary.
She owns Camino Bakery and is such a kind, generous, talented person. Her food is the reason I'm still in a good mood after a long week at work - she delivers our lunches on Fridays!
If you can't find Cary at your Farmer's Market, then poo. That's a real bummer. Look for her bakery/cafe to open downtown this fall. And if your downtown is in a different town than my downtown, then you are really out of luck.
Make yourself some vegetable soup. It will cheer you up.