I have my friend, Fela, to thank as the inspiration for this recipe.
Our daughters are around the same age, and we’ve been trading vegetable recipes for kids and thoughts on how to be creative when feeding picky toddlers. She recently sent me a text saying she had chopped up and sauteed a ton of veggies and then mixed them with Israeli couscous, which her daughter then devoured.
That sounds better than anything I make for kids or adults in this house sometimes.
I needed to step up my game!
It inspired me to think outside of the box a little (thank you, Fela!).
There are three things I know in my cooking life right now:
1) I really prefer to make one thing for all of us to eat every night. I don’t mind adjusting things for my daughter’s two year old fingers and taste buds, but I don’t have the time or inclination to make two completely different meals.
2) I want to experiment with different vegetables, spices and textures with my daughter, but I also know what she likes. I’ve been creative (remember my homemade mac and cheese with peas and marscapone?), and it’s ended up on the floor under her chair. I try to find a balance between giving her something fairly familiar that excites her, while sneaking in variety in different ways and forms.
3) I don’t spend all day in the kitchen. On the days I cook, I make extra so I can freeze it for leftovers. Even better are times that a recipe can serve double duty and be repurposed into something new the next day.
I have to say the result this time is pretty fabulous.
Vegetable Recipes for Kids – Homemade Tomato Soup
This homemade tomato soup recipe doubles as pizza sauce AND pasta sauce! It could easily be used as enchilada sauce if you switched up the spices a little.
It’s so easy I can’t even give it to you in official recipe form. Here is what I did for this homemade tomato soup recipe:
I tossed about 2 cups of raw veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roasted them in the oven at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes. (I used broccoli, carrots and bell peppers, but just about any veggie would do!). I then let them cool and added them to my Vitamix with one large can of San Marzano tomatoes.
The secret to this awesome soup and sauce? One small can of white beans.
The beans add an amazing smoothness to the sauce, while also giving a big boost of protein, which is what I was going for.
Blend it all until smooth and you are done!
I used it for pizza that night, and then as tomato soup the next day. For the pizza, I sprinkled in oregano and red pepper flakes. For the soup, I topped it with grated Parmesan.
The sauce really is a blank canvas for anything you want to experiment with! I think it would be delicious over eggplant parmesan, or on top of polenta. If you want an added oomph, add some garlic cloves to roast with your veggies. I froze the extra in silicone ice cube trays so it’s in perfect portions for baby girl pizzas and pasta.
Don’t be afraid to experiment a little in the kitchen! It’s not easy to always get the vegetables we need, but vegetable recipes for kids like this one fits the bill (and makes a pretty amazing adult recipe, as well).