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Tasty & Healthy Winter Soups Kids (Actually) Love to Eat
Soup and kids. Seriously? I used to question it too.
Lots of hot liquid. Full of ingredients they’re likely to turn their noses up at. And time. Don’t you need time for a soup to taste good? And are they even filling?
Turns out soup is one of the best wintery food around for kids, and us. Here are 6 reasons why:
1) You can pack soup with heaps of fresh veggies, and they’ll never know ;-)
Soups are the perfect sneaky way to get kids eating their greens.
Use a hand-blender or fling the “detested” vegetables into a separate blender with some of the liquid soup base, then pop them back into the soup.
Genius. Your kids will never know.
Unless, of course, you allow them to watch and be privy to your tricky ways. Don’t.
2) Soup helps keep them hydrated
Winter is a time of year most of us don’t feel thirsty. But with soup’s main ingredient being water, it’s the perfect meal for keeping the family hydrated this season.
3) Soups are delicious and nutritious
Veggies, meat, beans, and pulses are the base of this one-pot wonder meal, to which you can then add an endless array of herb and spices. It’s the quickest way I know to ensure the kids are getting plenty of vitamins, minerals, fibre, and protein. Go soup!
4) Soups are usually inexpensive
Depending on the ingredients you use, homemade soups can be an inexpensive yet wonderfully satisfying and tasty meal for the whole family.
5) Soups are the perfect comfort food
When our little ones are not feeling well, and they’re not up to eating a lot, a bowl of homemade soup is easy on tired patients and sore throats.
6) Soups are time savers
Soups are easy to make, one-pot wonders. Especially when made in a slow cooker. Most soups freeze beautifully (if you’re wanting to freeze soup with a dairy ingredient, such as cream, don’t add it until you’re ready to reheat the soup and eat). And leftovers make the perfect lunch a few days later.
Here are some kid-friendly wintery soups ideas to get you started:
Carrot & Parsnip Soup (Serves 4)
- 1 large onion
- 500g carrots
- 500g parsnips (or replace these two with 1kg winter squash or sweet potato)
- 1 leek
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs mild curry powder (or pinch of chili flakes if you prefer)
- 2 chicken or vegetable stock cubes *
- 100g red lentils
- 1L hot water
- 1-2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves (optional)
- 1-2 tbsp crème fraiche (optional)
Peel and roughly chop the onion, carrots, parsnips, and leek.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan, then gently fry the onion for 2 minutes until starting to soften. Add the chopped carrots, parsnips and leek to the pan.
Sprinkle over the curry powder and red lentils and stir to mix in. Crumble the stock cubes into the saucepan and add 1 litre of hot water, then stir well until the stock cubes have completely dissolved.
Put a lid on the saucepan and cook for 20 minutes until the vegetables are cooked through and soft.
Once cooked, take the lid off, let the soup cool a little, then whizz until smooth with a stick blender.
Serve with a sprinkling of coriander leaves and cheese on toast, or your favourite oven-warmed bread, if wanted.
Creamy Tomato Soup (Serves 4)
This is a soup that both kids and adults adore.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 stick celery, diced
- 100g carrots, diced
- 150g waxy potatoes, diced
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1½ tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp sugar (optional)
- splash red or white vinegar
- 1½ x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
- 175g passata
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 1L boiling water
- S&P to taste
- 125ml whole milk (optional)
Heat the oil and sauté the onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, and bay leaf in a big casserole pot, for about 10 minutes.
Stir in the tomato puree, sugar, vinegar, chopped tomatoes, and passata, then crumble in the stock cube.
Add 1L boiling water and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potato is tender, then remove the bay leaf.
Puree with a stick blender (or in batches in a blender) until smooth. Season to taste.
Enjoy straight away, or can be cooled and frozen for up to 3 months.
To serve, heat the soup, adding the milk if using, but not letting it come to the boil.
Vegetable Beef Soup (Serves 4)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 potatoes, diced
- 500g ground beef
- 3 carrots, diced
- ½ cup peas
- 1 cup corn
- 1 cup fresh green beans, chopped
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 tsp thyme
- S&P to taste
Heat olive oil. Add diced onion and garlic. Saute until onion is translucent. Add ground beef and cook until browned.
Add green beans, carrots, potatoes, and chicken stock.
Bring soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook until potatoes are fork-tender.
Add peas, corn, thyme, S&P. Cook until vegetables are to your liking.
Chicken Ball & Gnocchi Soup* (Serves 4)
This is a super easy family meal to make in the slow cooker, and kids love the heartiness of the chicken balls and gnocchi.
- 12 uncooked chicken (or beef or veggie) meatballs
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 carrots, finely diced
- 2 celery stalks, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 cans chopped tomatoes
- 2½ cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp dried Italian herbs
- 500g gnocchi or tortellini
- grated parmesan and fresh basil for on top
Place all ingredients except the gnocchi, parmesan, and basil in a slow cooker and cook on LOW for 4 hours.
Add gnocchi and cook on low for another hour, or on High for 30 minutes. If the soup seems too thick, add a little extra water.
Serve immediately garnished with grated parmesan and fresh basil leaves.
Green Elf Spinach Soup* (Serves 4)
This is a simple but super healthy, vibrantly green coloured soup that goes down a treat with kids. Especially when you say it’s the favourite meal in Santa’s workshop…
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 200g potato, diced
- 1L vegetable stock
- 260g fresh baby spinach
- 50g crème fraiche
- optional: extra cream and dried chili flakes to serve
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the chopped onions and fry gently for 2-3 minutes until softened.
Add the crushed garlic and diced potatoes and cook for another 2 minutes.
Pour in the vegetable stock, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.
Add the spinach and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until it has all wilted. Stir in the creme fraiche.
Blend the soup, either with a hand blender or in a stand blender.
Serve immediately with the optional drizzle of cream and sprinkling of dried chili flakes.
While soup may not have been your first go-to meal for kids, we hope this article has shown you a few great reasons why soup can make a delicious and nutritious meal for the whole family.
* See: http://www.myfussyeater.com for more wonderful kid-friendly healthy food.
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