There are a million minestrone recipes out there, but I really wanted to find one that was kid-friendly because if your kids won’t eat it, then what is the point of spending all that time chopping veggies right? This kid-friendly minestrone was definitely a winner at our house. I like this recipe because although it does have a lot of veggies, I feel like some of them cook down enough that there isn’t big chunks of onion, or cabbage, or veggies that kids can be leery of. But the chunky veggies are more familiar and accepted by kids – carrots, peas, etc.
I received this cookbook ‘Food: Vegetarian Home Cooking’ by Mary McCartney a few weeks ago. First of all it is a beautiful, hardcover book that had me wanting to open it right away. We are excited to be giving away a copy of this book! Just leave a comment of your favorite soup to make your kids below to enter! We will close the giveaway on Sunday April 14, 2013.
Normally I am a bit leery of vegetarian cookbooks when I am cooking with kids in mind because a lot of times their recipes are designed with more adult tastes, flavors and ingredients. I will say that I was pleasantly surprised to find that the opposite is true with this cookbook. I found a lot of recipes that are easy to make, familiar, and definitely food my kids will eat. A little preview of some that looked especially enticing to me:
|Granola Bar To Go||Breakfast Pancakes|
|Hearty Quinoa and White Bean Soup||Corn Fritters|
As you can tell, the photography in the book is absolutely beautiful. So I was definitely excited to try her Minestrone Soup Recipe. She calls it Lip-Smacking Minestrone, which let me tell you it is definitely lip-smacking. Our family of four finished off an entire recipes in 2 days which is pretty incredible for us.
You begin by cutting up your veggies. One of them is a Leek, which if you have never used one before I just learned a great tip! Last weekend I attended a cooking demo with Carla Hall from Top Chef and she talked about the best way to wash leeks.
How to Wash a Leek
Chop the rest of your veggies. One quick-prep tip. Chopped carrots freeze really well if you are going to use them in a soup. I grow a ton of carrots in my garden and then chop and freeze them for later. Then when you are ready to make soup, they are basically ready for you to throw in the pot! We have here leeks, celery, onions and carrots.
After that it is just a matter of adding the rest of the ingredients to your pot, simmering, stirring and voila! You will have a beautiful pot of simmering veggie goodness to delight your family with. One thing I really like about this minestrone that is different from others is that it has peas in it. I feel like peas are a definite kid-friendly food and even if they aren’t as familiar with the other veggies in the soup, they can definitely find comfort with the peas.
Kid-Friendly Minestrone and Cook Book ReviewPrint Pin Rate
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium leek, trimmed, washed and finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery, trimmed and finely chopped
- 2 medium to large carrots, chopped
- 14 .5 ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 quart vegetable stock
- 5 ounces (about 2 cups) green cabbage, grated or finely chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/4 cup frozen peas or peeled fava beans
- 1/2 cup dried pasta, small shapes
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- grated parmesan or other hard cheese, to serve
- Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat, then add the chopped onion, leek celery and carrots, stirring well, and cook for a couple of minutes to allow the flavors of the vegetables to release.
- Stir in the chopped tomatoes, and the garlic. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, checking and stirring often. Pour in the vegetable stock, then add the cabbage, herbs, and the bay leaf, and mix in the tomato paste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the frozen peas, or fava beans and pasta and continue to simmer gently for a further 15 minutes. Add more stock if its’ too thick. Taste, and season with sea salt (only if it needs it, as the stock may be salty enough) and ground black pepper. Ladle generously into soup bowls and sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the top.