A way of sneaking in those pesky vegetables that some picky eaters refuse to eat on their own is to put them in soup. My kids are pretty good at eating most vegetables so I don’t need to puree the veggies but anyone with ultra picky kids can choose to do that. Even without pureeing it, since the vegetables get cooked in the broth they’ll get many of the nutrients even if they’re not eating the actual vegetable from the soup. And with all the wonderful organic stocks and broths readily available to buy, making soups can be fast and painless. It’s quick, easy, tasty and healthful— what more can you ask for? And, don’t have enough of something for a full meal or want to use up left-overs; soup is a great medium.
Here’s one soup I made in less than a half hour last night. I decided last minute to make it a dinner and movie night, but not with pizza. I had a little of this and that. I mixed vegetable and chicken broth to give it a rich flavor. I had some left over chicken breast (but not enough for much, so I thawed some tenders too). I decided to add some small meatballs (frozen, from IKEA— yes, Ikea, the furniture-in-box place) that made it into a sort of Italian Wedding Soup. I didn’t feel the need to add onions or celery since I used the prepared broths. The chicken is very tender not only because of the cut, but also since it’s poached in the broth.
Chicken, Kale, Bean and Meatball Soup
1 quart organic chicken broth
1 quart organic vegetable broth
4 chicken tenders, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
2-3 organic carrots, sliced
3/4 pound mini star-shaped pasta
1 can beans (pinto, cannellini, kidney)
2 tsp dried oregano
10-15 small meatballs
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
In a stock pot pour the two broths and bring to a low boil. Add kale, carrots and chicken. Stir and cook for 5 minutes before adding pasta, meatballs, oregano and beans. Cook 10 minutes then add cilantro and cook one more minute. Adjust seasoning (salt and pepper). My two eldest sons loved the soup and my youngest ate it but didn’t want the kale, even though he likes kale on its own. I didn’t push and just let him try to eat it without (a tough task!). I loved it too and both my eldest son and I had it for lunch today.