4 years ago5,000+ Views
Today I attempted to give my toddler a spoonful of my takeaway minestrone soup from a restaurant, not expecting much, when a surprising thing happened: "Mmm, mommy! Pasta soup! I really like it!" He then ate it all up. Amazing! I immediately realized what had made the difference, and why he said it that way. It's because they used a very thick tomato-based saucey base for the soup - so to him it tasted like spaghetti sauce. Eureka! Now I have the perfect, super-easy, very quick recipe to make for him that has lots of nutrition and that he will love. Wins all around! Here's the deal - Ingredients: - 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth - Around 1-2 cups pasta sauce, depending on how think you want it. Look at the label at the store and try to choose something isn't horribly loaded with sodium and that has a smaller list of natural ingredients, rather than a bunch of sugar and preservatives. There are some great options out there these days. - Pasta (optional). Whatever you child likes. You could chop spaghetti in small bits, or, in our case, use something fun like shells or bowtie pasta. If you don't have pasta or they don't like it, you could add beans such as white, red or garbanzo beans. - Potatoes diced small. Don't cut them too big, or they'll take a long time to cook. - Frozen vegetable medley, such as something with peas, carrots, lima beans, green beans, broccoli, corn etc. Smaller veggies are better for little ones. I know that ideally chopping fresh veggies is much better - and if you have the time, go for it! But this recipe is made for quickness and ease for the many times us parents don't have a lot of time but do want to provide a healthy meal. - 1 cup spinach or kale chopped very small. I have some frozen chopped spinach and kale that I use for smoothies and would be great for this. - You shouldn't need to add more spices or salt, depending on the sauce. - Shredded parmesan cheese (optional) Process: - Get the veggie or chicken broth to boiling - Put in the diced potatoes, pasta and frozen veggies - Bring back up to boiling, then leave at a simmer for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft. - Put in the greens and stir, then let those cook down for a couple of minutes. - Add the pasta sauce a 1/2 c. or so at a time, stirring in until you get the thickness you want. - Let cool and serve! You can sprinkle on a little parmesan cheese if your child likes that flavor. - I also freeze the leftovers in a covered cube tray or a larger square-cubed silicone tray, then put the cubes in a gallon ziplock freezer bag to defrost for future meals. My child eats about 3 cubes as a portion. Simple, right? Image credit: Whole Foods Market
I felt the same way, @danidee, but really it all comes down to the quality of the pasta sauce - getting one that has good, healthy ingredients and is well-seasoned.
At first I was a little wary, but once I read the ingredients list, I would totally try this out.