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soups-are-souper

Posted on March 7th, 2013 by | 9 views
By Cheryl Tallman
www.FreshBaby.com

Soups are a terrific way to introduce your toddler to vegetables and fruits. There are many types of soups, but the best place to start with your toddler is with pureed soups.  They have a pleasing, smooth texture.  If your child's "spoon" skills are not refined enough for soup, pour it in a cup and let them sip away.

Pureed soups, such as cream of asparagus may sound exotic, but they are quite simple to make. Even a novice in the kitchen can be successful. A handheld immersion blender is a good appliance to invest in for making pureed soups hassle-free.  This appliance is placed right into the soup pot, move it around, and viola – pureed soup!

Don’t overlook fruit soups.  They are sweet, healthy and refreshing. Most fruit soups require no cooking.  You simply put ingredients in a blender and whirl away. Fruits soups are a huge hit with toddlers.

Toddler Treat: Creamy Asparagus Soup

Even some of the pickiest of toddlers will eat their veggies when they are in soup. This soup is a creamy puree, so it is easy to sip. Always check the temperature of soup before serving it to small children.  

Ingredients:

1 pound of asparagus, cleaned and chopped (If not in season, we recommend frozen)

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 medium potato, peeled and cubed

1/2 tsp Herbs de Provence (optional)

1 cup milk (dairy or soy) OR 1 cup coconut milk

3 cups of chicken or vegetable stock

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Over medium heat, add oil, celery, and onions to a large soup pot. Saute until soft. Add asparagus, potato, herbs de Provence and soup stock. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Puree soup until smooth with a hand blender, food processor or blender. Stir in milk (dairy, soy or coconut). Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

 

Leftovers can be frozen for up to 2 months.

 

Super Soup Activity

Create a “Soup Bar” for family fun! Prepare a simple soup recipe (see below) and spoon it into bowls or cups.  Line up a series of topping choices and let the kids sprinkle their own toppings on the soup! Here are some suggestions:

 

Black Bean Soup


Ingredients:

1Tbsp. olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 cans (16 oz each) Mexican-style tomatoes with mild green chilies (do not drain)

2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (15 oz) chicken broth

2 teaspoons ground cumin


Directions:
In a medium-size saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and saute for 5 minutes, until the onion is tender. In a blender or food processor, combine the onions, tomatoes and the beans. Process until smooth (this can be done in two batches, if necessary). In the medium saucepan, combine the bean mixture, broth and cumin. Cook over low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve the soup hot, topping each bowl with any or all of the garnishes. Serves 4-6.

 

Soup Bar Topping ideas:

 

  • Thinly sliced green onions
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Cubes of avocado
  • Wedges of lemon or lime
  • Sour cream
  • Bacon bits
  • Diced ham or chicken
  • Shredded cheese
  • Croutons or broiled cheese toasts

 

Thai Chicken Coconut Soup

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. Olive oil

1/2 - 1 tsp. Thai red curry paste

5 cups chicken stock

1 can (13oz) coconut milk

6 thin slices of fresh ginger

3 Tbsp. lime juice

2 Tbsp. fish sauce

3/4 lb boneless chicken breast, thinly sliced

 

Directions:

Slice chicken breast into very thin strips and set aside. In a large soup pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the red curry paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add chicken stock, coconut milk, ginger, lime juice, fish sauce and chicken breast. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat and simmer for 12 minutes. Remove and discard the ginger slices before serving.

 

Soup Bar Topping ideas:

 

  • Baby spinach, sliced into thin shreds
  • Button mushrooms, very thinly sliced
  • Thinly sliced green onions
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Cubes of avocado
  • Wedges of lemon or lime
  • Crispy rice or Chow Mein noodles

 

About the author: Cheryl Tallman is the co-founder of Fresh Baby, creators of the award-winning So Easy Baby Food Kit, and author of the So Easy Baby Food Basics: Homemade Baby Food in Less Than 30 Minutes Per Week and So Easy Toddler Food: Survival Tips and Simple Recipes for the Toddler Years. Visit Cheryl online at www.FreshBaby.com for more delicious tips.

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