Monday, September 8, 2008

Cooking Up Some Fun

My son, Tater, is a strange child in that he is a huge fan of vegetables and healthy foods.

Sprout is not, she is more of a traditional kid-food eater. She could survive happily on PB&J and Macaroni and Cheese.

Tater went grocery shopping with me on Saturday and was fascinated with the ingredients that I was buying to make soup for one of our dinners and was quite insistent that he wanted to help make it. So tonight was the night, and he was a very big helper.

We made Tuscan Chicken Soup from the Mom-a-licious Cookbook. Tater was in charge of peeling carrots and a potato, which he did very well, no fingers in the sink at all. He also measured out pasta to add in (his own modification - little shells) and added the beans. We passed on Red Chard (his choice), and had the soup with pita bread and parmesan.

When I asked if he liked it he said "I LOVED IT! We made good soup together!" Sprout, was of course not all that overjoyed due to the vegetable content but was able to pick out the chicken and pasta.

My tendency is to not let them help - too fearful of injury. But I am glad I got over myself and let him help. Now that he is a first grader, I have to empower him a bit.

Anway, here is the recipe in case you are interested - it was really easy and I agree with Tater that it was good soup!

Tuscan Chicken Soup

2 minced garlic cloves (I use the kind in a jar)
1 tsp red pepper flakes (the recipe says chili flakes - I am assuming it's the same thing)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
8 cups chicken broth (the original recipe said "Free Range Organic") - I added some to compensate for the pasta
14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes (I couldn't find a can that size - used most of a 28 oz can)
2 boneless chicken breasts - cut into pieces

1 Yukon Gold Potato - diced (couldn't find this - used a regular potato)
1 can Italian white beans - drained and rinsed
2-3 stalks Red Chard - cut into one inch pieces, ribs removed (we skipped this)
2 large carrots - peeled and diced
2 ribs celery - diced (I just got some from the salad bar)
Handful fresh Italian parsley (skipped)

1) In a large pot, saute the garlic and chili in the olive oil.
2) Add broth and tomatoes.
3) Add chicken. (It doesn't say so, but I bumped the heat up at this point)
4) After about five minutes add potato (I also added the carrots and celery here)
5) Cook on a gentle boil for about 15 minutes (we added little pasta shells when there were 8 minutes left)
6) Add beans, chard (if using), carrots and celery (if you didn't already) and simmer for a few more minutes.
7) Ladle into bowls. Finish with parsley, Parmesan, and taste for salt and pepper.

In case you can't tell, I am not all that great at explicitly following a recipe. But this was good - and healthy!


Suburban Jungle said...

Well even if we can't be friends I can steal a recipe or two.

Thanks for the plug. I'm glad you found the blog enjoyable! Where did you hear about me?

Your Friend,

Jenny from the blog

P.S. You can try your luck on facebook... no promises

Kristen said...

You posted something on LWL and it was one of the first things I have read from there in months. I liked the post about hiding your blog from your in-laws. I am totally going to stalk you on Facebook :)