For some reason, my mom's recipes are always tastier than mine. She makes biscuits from a recipe that has been handed down for generations in our family, but mine are never quite as good as hers. And grandma's are even better. Grandma has an amazing recipe for tea cakes from when she lived in England and also has passed down to us a wonderful recipe for deep dish fruit pies. I am blessed to have one recipe from my great grandmother on the other side of my family, whom we called Mammie. It's a family favorite, easy to make, and super healthy. Being a farmer's wife, dinner at Mammie's house always included fresh veggies and this one pot favorite was no exception.
Many of you will know similar recipes with ground beef, but Mammie's vegetable soup didn't have any meat in it. Of course, she also didn't use measurements, like many housewives of yesteryear. The closest thing to a measurement in this recipe is "one bag" and that's because she used bags of vegetables from the freezer she kept in the "breezeway" (a narrow sun room that allowed a wonderful breeze when the windows were open). This freezer was always full of vegetables that she had "put up" throughout the spring and summer.
All of this is on my mind for several reasons. I have been trying to cook at home and from scratch more often. I want to reach a point eventually where I only need to go to the grocery store for staples. I get vegetables from my own garden, my CSA basket, and the farmer's market. The new organic sustainable farmer's market in town offers a variety of meats and dairy products, as well. I plan to have my own chickens next spring (there are reasons I can't do that now but we are working on it). Overly processed foods are just not as healthy and I want the best for my family. I'm also thinking about Mammie's soup because it's what's for dinner tomorrow night!
I have converted this to a crock pot recipe for convenience's sake, but really this is just her recipe and I want to share it with you. You can double it if you are feeding a crowd. This is enough for my family of four to have seconds and leftovers. Be warned, it isn't very soupy, but this is how she made it, and everyone in my house eats it by the bowl full, going back for seconds, and with nothing else for dinner. I hope you will try it and let me know what you think.
Mammie's Vegetable Soup
Combine in a large crockpot, one bag each of frozen white corn, speckled butter beans, and okra. Add two bags of tomatoes. Sprinkle a few pinches of sugar on top. Let cook for about 6 to 8 hours on low, stirring occassionally until vegetables thaw.
Haha. I bet you're waiting for the next step, aren't you? Well there isn't one! When it's done, we don't even add salt or pepper because you don't need it! My husband is a salt fiend and he doesn't add salt to this recipe either. You can taste the freshness as it is, so why cover it up?
You can shorten the time but cooking on high till the veggies start thawing good. You can also substitute green butter beans if you can't get the speckled ones, but I do prefer the flavor and texture of the speckled ones. If you don't have frozen vegetables at home, buy the ones at the store and use whole canned tomatoes. You can crush the tomatoes as you put them into the pot and pour the juice in, too. I've done this myself and works just as well.