Today’s blog post is brought to you thanks to my lovely in-laws. I got a couple of vegetarian cookbooks from them for Christmas, and I got almost all my meals for my menu this week from them. Today is piano day, which means I pick the boys up from school, drop-off our carpool pal, drive to piano, drop them off, get gas (because it is down in South Carolina, where the gas is always cheaper), go to Aldi, pick them back up, and then drive them home. By the time we get home, is is 5:30, Ollie and Carina are sick of being carted around, there are groceries to be put away and bedtime is fast approaching. So what does piano day mean? It means I need to have dinner ready for us when we get home.
In addition to piano day, it was also a rainy day, so this soup was perfect.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cups chopped onions
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
- 1/2 cup sliced baby carrot
- 1 can red kidney beans
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can cannellini beans
- 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper
- parsley or cilantro, minced, for garnish
Start by sautéing some bell pepper, onion, and 2 garlic cloves in some olive oil until softened – about five minutes. I happened to have half an onion and half a red bell pepper in the fridge, so I didn’t measure, I just used them.
See that knife in the picture? It is a Kiwi and my favorite knife – the only one I really use – and I also got it from my in-laws. It has a couple of chips in it because Chad tried to use it to saw the rope thingie part of our trampoline anchor, which is some kind of braided steel or whatnot. FYI, it didn’t work.
Also cut up some baby carrots, about half a cup. Throw those into a crockpot with the sautéed veggies. Rinse a can each of kidney beans, black beans, and cannellini beans (did you know they are white kidney beans? I love kidney beans). Throw those into the crock pot, along with four cups of veggie broth, a can of diced tomatoes, 1 bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme and salt and pepper to taste.
Cook on low for eight hours. Then, if you like creamier and less-chunky soup (which I do), ladle about half of it into the blender, blend it up, and mix it back in. I don’t know about your kids, but mine would much rather eat their soup this way – they don’t like chunks of veggies.
Garnish with cilantro or parsley (we are a cilantro family ourselves). You will have to excuse unpinworthy picture, but I was not about to take the time to take a good picture when there were six hungry people waiting.
Enjoy! It is a very simple and satisfying soup. All my kids ate it, including Carina.
Which brings me to a question I have gotten a lot since I started cooking my family vegan meals. How do you get your kids to eat their veggies?
My answer? I make them! Simple as that. Maybe now you are picturing me prying their mouths open and jamming brussels sprouts in, but I promise it is never that gory. However, they are expected to eat what is put in front of it – at least one helping. There are no chicken nuggets waiting in the background in case they don’t like it, and if they don’t want to eat it, they can choose to go to bed early instead. I know that would qualify me as a mean mom in some people’s minds…I have even read a book that said you should let your child choose what they eat so that they can know that their emotions are valid. But I feel like we make a lot of important decisions for our kids while they are young, until they are wise enough to decide for themselves. Why shouldn’t what they put into their bodies be one of those decisions? There are a few things that absolutely make them gag (mushrooms, for example) and I don’t make them eat those, but I can tell when they truly hate something versus when they would just rather not eat something. Also, their taste buds will change and they will begin to accept more diverse foods if they are challenged a little.
In case I am starting to sound a little self-righteous, please do remember that just last week I posted about going to McDonald’s and Sonic. We still have a long way to go, but we have come a long way too. There have been plenty of tantrums thrown and timers set, but there are far fewer battles about food these days. For anyone who has been guilted into into feeding your kids junk, stay strong! It isn’t torture to make your kids eat the food that is best for them!