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Nothing Like A Creamy Soup On A Frosty Day

on January 3, 2012

Although we’ve had quite a mild winter here in the northeast, when I walked into the 20 degree wind this morning I was reminded of how much I love soup, especially on a frosty day like this one.   It’s a true comfort food.  But there’s another reason why I love soup so much and it is because it makes feeding my kids a healthy meal much easier.  Growing up, I was a picky eater, and so my mom fed me a different variety of creamy vegetable soup almost daily to ensure that I was getting adequate nutrition.  I don’t have the same “picky eater” issue with my kids just yet, but I find soup to be a quick, healthy meal that can reheated and served easily, while providing lots of nutrition in just one cup!

What I typically do is make a large pot of soup every weekend, focused on a different group of veggies/lentils/beans and offer it to my kids either at lunch or dinner 3-4 times that week.  On average, these soups provide 2 servings of vegetables per cup, plus protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.  So once they’ve had their cup for the day, I feel better about allowing them some of the indulgences that kids love.   These soups also make for a great school lunch for kids because they taste great lukewarm or even at room temperature — bring back the old school thermos!

This past weekend I made a Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with Kale, and not only do my kids love it, but my husband and I do as well.  Just one cup of this soup contains 1.5-2 servings of vegetables, 7 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, 200% RDA of Vitamin A, 50% Vitamin C, 13% Iron, 146% Vitamin K, 17% Folate, 16% Vitamin B6, Omega 3&6 —  an arsenal of antioxidants and phytonutrients!

Creamy Butternut Squash and Lentil

4 tbspn olive oil

1 sweet or yellow onion (large, or 2 small), chopped

6 plum tomatoes, diced

10 cloves of garlic, halved

1 medium sweet potato (peeled and diced)

2-2 ½  cups of roasted butternut squash*

1 cup red lentils

1-2 cups kale**, stems removed a cut into pieces

salt

2 tsp cinammon (optional)

½ tsp nutmeg (optional)

water or vegetable stock.

Heat olive oil in large pot, add onions and sauté for 5-7 minutes, until translucent/slightly golden.  Add tomatoes and garlic and sauté for 10 minutes.  Add sweet potato, sauté for 5 min. Add butternut squash and lentils.  Add water or vegetable stock just to cover ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Add kale, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt to taste.  Cover and simmer for 30 min. Puree soup with hand blender, or in a blender/food processor, if it seems too thick, add more liquid until desired consistency is reached.  Soup will keep in refrigerator for a week or frozen for 8 weeks.  Serve it plain or add a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream.

*If you don’t have the time to roast a butternut squash, you can replace with cans of pumpkin or purchase the ready peeled and diced butternut squash, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 30-45 min at 400.

**I use two cups of kale, but start with one and see how your kids feel about the soup and then work your way to 2, but all it really does is change the color a bit, flavor is largely unaffected.

Give it a try and let us know what you think!

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One response to “Nothing Like A Creamy Soup On A Frosty Day

  1. […] Use your freezer.  On any given day, I have several glass jars filled with soup and bags of muffins in my freezer.  These are quick, go-tos for breakfast, lunch or dinner. […]

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