I get the impression that soup is meant to be an inventive process. I like to play with cooking, and I'm always varying my recipes (doesn't everyone?) but soup seems to offer one of the widest and most forgiving canvases for p laying around.
I recently stumbled upon this Crock Pot Blog which appears to be a source of easy-to-prepare slow cooker recipes. Some of them look really, really wonderful.
The great thing about crock pot recipes is that they allow you to do very little cooking with a big payoff at the end. And since time is lately my most valuable commodity (by a long shot) I am going to rely more and more on very easy recipes.
The zucchini soup is simple enough. To quote their ingredient list:
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 (4.5 oz) jar sliced mushrooms, drained
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1/4 t salt
1 large zucchini, sliced
1 small red bell pepper cut into strips
1 small yellow bell pepper cut into strips
1 t Italian seasoning
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs
Mmm! Good stuff. You combine everything up to the salt, let it cook for 10 hours and then turn the cooker up to "high" and add the zucchini, pepper, tomatoes and seasoning for the remaining half hour.
Fry up a mirepoix (onion, carrot and celery) in butter and add that to the crock pot instead of just raw onion.
Brown half a pound of Italian sausage and a pound of hamburger (with a bit of Italian seasoning and pepper), squeeze off the fat as best as possible and add the meat to the crock pot.
Double the amount of chicken broth to accommodate the meat.
Add half a cup of dry sherry.
It's now simmering away and smells amazing. At the very end, I'll add the zucchini, pepper and tomatoes. I'll let you know how it comes out. But check out that Crock Pot blog. I found them via their Facebook page. Facebook is starting to become an actual resource.