Need to get the kids to eat vegies and they won’t look at them. Vegie soup is the answer, especially if you get them to help you buy the ingredients at the supermarket for the soup.
Simple recipe really. You’ll need:
With the vegetables, really, pretty much anything goes. I have made the soup with a combination of canned corn kernels, canned peas, fresh potatoes, snow peas, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, pumpkin (butternut or regular), fresh oregano and Italian parsley. You could also add some parsnips, sweet potato (just a little), really, pretty much anything.
Peel and chop (dice) the vegies, crush and chop some garlic cloves and chop some onion. Take a big soup type of saucepan, add a little olive oil to the bottom and add some heat. When the oil gets hot (but not boiling) add the garlic – as always, enjoy the sizzle and smell the smell. Add the onions (two chopped should be enough) and stir so that the garlic and the onions are well mixed with the bit of oil that is there. Turn the heat down and put the lid on for about three minutes or so – just until the onions start to cook a little. Add some stock,
Now, at this point some guess work is in order. Not enough stock and you have steamed vegetables. Too much stock and you have a very thin soup. Start by adding half a litre of stock, and bring that to the boil. Add the diced potatoes, carrots and any of the other hard root vegetables you may be using. Turn the heat down to a simmer (adding a little more stock if the vegetables are not completely covered). Cook for five minutes.
Now, add the chopped broccoli, cauliflower, basically the rest of the vegies. There are some that say to obtain the best value from vegies, they should only be lightly cooked. Note, however, that vegetables that are well cooked are easier to absorb into the blood stream in the stomach and therefore the anti-oxidant value of them is more general. Briefly cooked vegetables are also necessary to get the anti-oxidant effect further down the digestive process. Really, you should have a mix of both.
So, slop the rest of the vegies in (the canned stuff too – open the cans and drain them off first though). Also be aware that if you use canned peas with mint flavoured sauce then the whole soup will taste like toothpaste.
Add more stock to ensure that all the vegies are covered. Stir and bring to the boil. Once at the boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and let the whole thing simmer for 10 minutes or so (actually, you can let it simmer for longer if there is something interesting on the TV and you don’t want to serve up at that point).
When you are ready to serve, serve the soup in a bowl (easier to handle than in the saucepan) adding a sprig of parsley to the top of the soup or the side of the bowl to make it look like you know what you are doing with this cooking business and that you do it all the time. Serve it with the crusty bread or bread rolls and the cheese on the table. Makes for a rustic, almost fantasy novel style meal.
As far as cheeses go, I find hard cheeses are good with soup. A good mix was Red Leicester, Colby and Gouda (OK, I know Gouda is not a hard cheese but it is nice with fresh bread and soup).
For a variation, just prior to serving, stir in some cream – the kids like it that way too.